Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Jar of Dreams by Yoshiko Uchida

Publisher:  Scholastic, 1981
Pages:  131
Source:  My shelves
Genrea:  Middle Grade  Historical Fiction

Rinko is growing up in 1935 California.  She believes that America is supposed to be the land of the free.  However, she doesn't feel like she belongs here even if she was born here.  She is not proud of her Japanese heritage because kids at school make fun of her, call her names and make her feel like an outsider.  Then her Aunt Waka  comes to spend the summer with her.  It is her aunt who makes her father stand up to a bully, and decide to sell his business and start the business that he has always dreamed of having.  It is his aunt who has, with the help of her Uncle Kanda, convinced her brother to continue with his college and encouraged her to reach for her own dream.   
For such a small book this had such a powerful message.  I really enjoyed the way Waka showed Rinko that she should be proud of who she is no matter where she is.  I am sorry I waited so long to get around to this book it was really a great one.

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