Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wakame Gatherers” as Want to Read:
The Wakame Gatherers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wakame Gatherers

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  39 Ratings  ·  12 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wakame Gatherers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wakame Gatherers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Julia Somer
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This story is about a girl named Nanami and her two grandmothers. Baachan lives with her in Japan, and Gram is from Maine. When Gram comes to visit them in Japan, Nanami is worried about how they will get along. Nanami will have to be the translator for the both of them. Many children who are a part of bilingual families often are used as a translator for other family members that are uni-lingual. This story covers complex issues, such as the war that pitted her two grandmothers against eachothe ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2011, picture
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
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
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.

Viviane Elbee
This picture book is on the longer side, so it works best when you have time for longer stories.

I appreciated seeing a main character with a Japanese and an American grandmother, who discover each other's cultures. It was great to see both the differences and the similarities!
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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.
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.
Feb 05, 2009 added it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Suzanne Kamata
This is a sweet book that teaches about wakame seaweed gathering and has a poignant moment about Japanese-US relations during WWII without feeling like it's trying to fit too much into one book.
Linda Lingard
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this picture book about forgiveness and being sensitive to others. A good book for children who have families from different cultures. Different yet the same.
Lisa Marie
rated it it was ok
Jun 02, 2011
Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2008
Erin Lee
rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2012
rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2011
Bob Pomeroy
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2011
Ms. Simeon
rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2017
Katie Day
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2010
rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2013
Holly Thompson
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Emily Thompson
rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2015
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2012
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely premise, lovely story - a gentle, loving meeting of cultures. the pictures are very lovely too. The only thing to bear in mind here is that this one is definitely for an older audience - I'd say elementary schoolers. But for that crowd, this would be a fantastic read.
Aqila Johan
rated it it was ok
Oct 20, 2013
rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2010
Mary Lyon
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2015
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Holly Thompson ( is a native of Massachusetts and a longtime resident of Japan. A graduate of the NYU Creative Writing Program, she writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction for children through adults. She is author of the verse novels Falling into the Dragon's Mouth, The Language Inside, and Orchards; the picture books The Wakame Gatherers and the forthcoming Twilight Chant; and the ...more
More about Holly Thompson...

Share This Book