Tuesday, March 06, 2007

BRRRR!!! It is cold here in Lexington, KY! Not by Midwest standards, but certainly by Virgin Islands and North Carolina standards. It is still a beautiful area, even if a bit chilly at this time of the year. Have seen lots of foals out in the fields. They are so cute! Spent from 10-5 yesterday doing either drive-by looks at houses or actually going into the ones I wanted to see. Several houses later I found one that I would like Steve to look at. Sure feels weird to be opening up people's closets, etc. One of the houses had a shiny silver, very large trash can very prominent in the master bedroom. Not my choice for a clothes hamper! Nor was the house one I'd want to buy - the driveway was practically a cliff in pitch and height. But, the fun is the hunt and the realtor is picking me up at 10 again today.

Was looking the comments on Barnes and Noble about So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780688131159&itm=1 Apparently there is controversy brewing over the way the Japanese author portrays Koreans during WWII. This book was published back in the late 80s and was, and still is, used by many 6-8 grade teachers. In 1988 the 6th graders in the Alaskan school I was librarian for used it and loved it. McDougal even has a Literature Connections copy available. One has to keep in mind that the prejudices of the time period in which a book is set as well as those of the time period in which it was written, and those of the author, are evident in any book we read. Rather than banning a book because we don't agree with the author's impression of the situation - and most certainly Watkins has deep feelings about the Koreans as she was a Japanese child living in Korea - we should consider the fact that this is a fictional autobiography. Most certainly Koreans would have a different impression of what happened in their country during WWII than a young Japanese girl who was terrified as her family escaped Korea. Would I choose to use this book as required reading in a school with a large Korean population - probably not. Just as I would not use any of the Little House on the Prairie books in a school with a large Native American population.

Haven't had a free moment to read any new titles, but I can still wallow in discussions of books and there is always some book being challenged by someone. :-)