Thursday, April 2, 2009

Year of Impossible Goodbyes

Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi (Dell Publishing, 1991)
I have to admit that it took me awhile to get into this book. Where I can appreciate the trials and tribulations that Ms. Choi's family went through during the Japanese occupation of Korea, the book just did not really seem to explain the Korean view of life like I was hoping it would. What I did like was the way the author described what her Grandfather had gone through since Japan took over. To be considered a "scholar" in your country and then have it all degraded because you are Korean and not Japanese was hard to read.
I also found it hard to understand why they thought Americans were terrible when we didn't come and save the day. We had so many other issues to be concerned with at the time (but this is another story best kept to myself - no political opinions are needed here.) I just found nothing in this book that made me feel for the family. Does that make me a cruel person? This book was just not inspiring to me.
Even though I am not a fan of this book I can see its importance in comparing texts. The fact that it offers a viewpoint that was not covered in "So Far From the Bamboo Grove" is necessary for students to see how sides view their history and plight. I am just sorry that I was not as inspired or moved by this book as I was the other.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a great website! How much fun would it be for multiple YA lovers to share books they have read? WOuld you be willing to add guest bloggers?

    I also LOVE Year of Impossible Goodbyes". We do a WW2 unit and this is a great book to get students to understand that there are differing perspectives and that there is not always necessarily a "right" answer to a topic- especially war.

    Have you read Faithful Elephants? One of my hands down favorite picture books....saddest book ever! Powerful as they get. I have read it to a class of 6th graders and at the end they were silent and few were crying. In fact I often read it since one of the teachers I work with cannot read it herself without getting choked up!