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The Wakame Gatherers

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Nanami has two grandmothers: Baachan, who lives with her family in Japan, and Gram, who lives in Maine. When Gram comes to visit Japan for the first time, Baachan takes them on a trip to the seashore to gather Wakame, a long, curvy seaweed that floats near the shore. While the three gather their equipment and ride the streetcar toward the beach, Baachan explains about Waka ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Shens Books
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Laura
I love that the title includes a new vocabulary word! It immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to find out more.

Nanami has two grandmothers: Baachan who is Japanese and Gram who is from Maine. One summer, Gram visits Japan and the three main characters collect wakame, a seaweed, from the ocean. Along the way, they learn about types of seaweed and life in Japan during WWII. The pictures are interesting and delightful and young readers will certainly want to spend time looking at them
...more
Kasmarine
The Wakame Gatherers (2007) is a Japanese American bicultural family’s realistic fiction and wakame informational book. Thompson beautifully reconciled two hostile cultures, Japan and America, during World War II, through mutual love and understanding. She set the story at Japanese sea shore with Nanami as the interpreter and mediator between the two cultures. After a whole day of gathering wakame the grandmothers discovered that they have many things in common and the wound of division was hea ...more
Chad
fantastic read for 7-8 year olds on bi-cultural families--told from the perspective of a hapa girl who lives in Japan and has two grandmothers, one from Japan and one from Maine, who meet each other for the first time. The poigniancy comes when they learn why and how each of the cultures learns the value of seaweed and how it connects them.
Jonathan Peto
I like the elements Thompson chose to combine: grandmothers from different cultures who live on different coasts, the wakame, the observant granddaughter/narrator.

It's a serious book, but the writing was a little clunky and the message about peace seemed a little forced and/or heavy-handed, I'm not quite sure which.

Angela
Nice cross-culture book, if a bit too long. Deals with some complex issues, including war. Like that they had pronunciation in the back for the Japanese words (my son seemed intrigued with the sounds of these words as I was reading). Enjoyed learning about wakame.
Christie Suh
This story is about a little girl named Nanami and her two grandmothers. Even though her two grandmothers speak a different language they find out they have a lot in common.
Tiffany
I like this book because it talks about a culture you don't usually see in books. There are Japanese words interwoven in the story and a glossary in the back.
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Holly Thompson was raised in New England, earned her B.A. in biology from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing/​fiction from New York University. Long-time resident of Japan, she is a lecturer at Yokohama City University, where she teaches creative writing, academic writing, short stories and American culture.

Holly's fiction is often set in Japan.
More about Holly Thompson...
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