Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata [in Bloomsbury Review]
After Pearl Harbor is bombed, every little thing changes for 12-year-old Sumiko, who lives on her aunt and uncle’s flower farm in California with her brother and cousins. Even though she’s an American, Sumiko and her Japanese American family look so much like the enemy that they are rounded up and eventually sent to a faraway prison camp.
There Sumiko hesitatingly befriends a young Mohave boy – the Native Americans being yet another ethnic group whose fate is also unjustly controlled by the U.S. government – whose family’s ancestral lands are being encroached upon by the newly built Japanese American prison camps. Kadohata’s Newbery follow-up does not disappoint.
Review: “In Celebration of Asian Pacific American Month: A Literary Survey,” The Bloomsbury Review, May/June 2006
Tidbit: Soon after she won the esteemed Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira in 2005, Cynthia Kadohata was a delightful guest at her very own public program, “The Twinkling, Sparkling Writing Life: 2005 Newbery Award Winner Cynthia Kadohata,” at the National Museum of American History hosted by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program on April 10, 2005.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult