(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In this sequel to Watkins' fictionalized autobiography So Far from the Bamboo Grove thirteen-year-old Yoko, her sister Ko, and her brother Hideyo live together in post-World War II Japan, struggling to make a life for themselves after their harrowing escape from Korea. Yoko's family was stationed in North Korea during World War II while Yoko's father worked as a Japanese government official in nearby Manchuria, but they were forced to flee the country when Russian and Korean Communists escalated their war against Japan and drove the Japanese people out of Korea. Yoko and her sister Ko escaped with their mother, who later died, and Hideyo escaped alone and later reunited with his sisters in Kyoto. Yoko's father remained behind, working in Manchuria, and is now imprisoned in Siberia.

Like So Far from the Bamboo Grove, My Brother, My Sister, and I paints a picture of courageous young adults struggling against poverty and prejudice to make a place for themselves in the world. It is a story of survival, and Yoko, Ko, and Hideyo conquer hardship after hardship by relying on each other for love and support, and by helping each other tap their own strength. During their life in Kyoto, the children endure both physical pain and mental anguish, and they fall prey to false accusations of arson and murder. But their story is more about love than about hardship, and it is more about fortitude than misfortune. At the end of the novel, we cannot help but...

(The entire section is 297 words.)