Friday, December 11, 2009

Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyui Choi

I really do not know where to start with this book. It is probably important to point out that I read So Far From the Bamboo Grove first so I am partial to it. That does not mean that I did not like this book. For sure it was just as heart wrenching at times as the other book in this paired text set, but it had just as much hope mixed in. One thing about this book that was not as strong for me was that it was not a true story, though it could have easily been the story of any child in Korea at the time. One thing that I really did like about this book though, was that it did not end when Japan surrendered. It goes on to talk about how the Russians came into Korea next. It is almost as if the nightmare just kept going for this family. What I liked about that though is, I had no idea that that happened. I am a little ashamed to admit that I learned about a major world history event in a fictional children's novel, but it is true none the less. This is why these kind of text sets are such a good idea in the classroom! You learn about history in a way that you never really thought you could. Plus, this would be far more interesting for students than simply reading about all this in a textbook. Even the best textbooks cant rival the novel for the human spirit and the connection the reader needs to feel something for the topic in question. This is why these kinds of text sets are such a good idea. I would absolutely use this kind of thing in my classroom.

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