December 20, 2018

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

Uncle Satori says mastery is a well-worn path. (At least, that's how my cousin Akiko translated it for me, though I rarely take her at her word.) If he's right, then I am mastering a path of hatred, carving it deeper every day like the scars along my thighs.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

By: Jamie Ford
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol. This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry's world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While "scholarshipping" at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship-and innocent love-that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept. Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel's dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice-words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago. —from the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka

The Buddha in the Attic

By: Julie Otsuka
Recommended for grade(s): 12

The story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as "picture brides" nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journey by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experience raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the the deracinating arrival of war. National Book Award Finalist. —from the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

A Darkly Beating Heart
Lindsay Smith

A Darkly Beating Heart

By: Lindsay Smith
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

A troubled girl confronts her personal demons in this time-travel thriller alternating between present day and 19th century Japan. No one knows how to handle Reiko. She is full of hatred; all she can think about is how to best hurt herself and those people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt at her home in Seattle, Reiko's parents send her to spend the summer with family in Japan, hoping she will learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping backward in time into the nineteenth-century life of Miyu, a young woman even more vengeful than Reiko herself. Reiko loves escaping into Miyu's life . . . until she discovers Kuramagi's dark secret and must face down Miyu's demons as well as her own.

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Pachinko
Min Jin Lee

Pachinko

By: Min Jin Lee
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12, College Plus

In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew. "There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones." In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. -- From Grand Central Publishing

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.