This book should not be taught nor read I can't believe what publishers will do to sell books.  This book is moral sewage and innocent children are being poisoned by reading this book. Please don't be fooled by the well-written narrative.  This book is akin to an escape narrative of an SS officer's family from Birkenow Auschwitz concentration camp where their father worked as a Nazi officer while cruel freed Jews are rabidly intent on exacting revenge on the Nazi officers and their innocent Nazi families.  Should a sympathetic story of a KKK clan family members escaping from angry African American be taught to children?  Should we teach sympathetic perspectives of Pol Pot's family???  Please consider why this would be wrong! Teaching such a narrative without proper understanding of context is distortion of historical reality and inexcusable moral irresponsibility. The fact that this book is being taught to children across the US is a travesty born out of ignorance of East Asian history.

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Well, I haven't read the book, but based on all the comments here and the controversy it has stirred up, I am certainly intrigued to add it to my large stack of books waiting for me on my bedside table.  This is the very reason why I encourage my students...

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Well, I haven't read the book, but based on all the comments here and the controversy it has stirred up, I am certainly intrigued to add it to my large stack of books waiting for me on my bedside table.  This is the very reason why I encourage my students to read every banned book they can grab.  While we may not agree with what a book reveals to us, as long as it makes us think and to consider our viewpoints and reasons for those viewpoints, we come to know ourselves better and are more comfortable with our place in the world.  Also, the more you know about the other side and how they think, the better we can relate to differences and perhaps the closer we will come to compromise.

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This type of book is the reason why inaccuracies in so-called historical books, movies, and televisions programs bother me so much. There is a program on the History International Channel called "Naked Archaeologist." Simcha Jacoboviski, the host, present the bare, naked fact about biblical history. In one episode, he asked a scholar something like "Suppose that 500 years from now an archaeologist finds documents about World War II. But it is all from the Nazi point of view. Nothing is found to support the other side. What will historians be led to believe?"

What we are most exposed to becomes the truth for us.

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Do you see any value in reading it and discussing it in juxtaposition with other texts? I was just reading this review of When My Name Was Keoko where it recommends reading that book alongside Year of Impossible Goodbyes and So Far From the Bamboo Grove. Couldn't children learn through discussion of various historical perspectives? It's been a very long time since I read it, so I readily admit that I cannot remember the story in detail. I do, however, recall a review a few years ago by a prominent Korean author (though the name escapes me) in which she advocated reading the book. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

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My father had his hometown in the Philippines overrun by the Japanese when he was 5.  He lost his father and at least one uncle to Japanese action, either military or "civilian."  Yet he is able to understand that not all Japanese were culpable for what happened to him.

I would agree with my father that it is individuals who do evil and that a child, especially, can not possibly be culpable for the actions of an entire country.

 

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