Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Year of Impossible Goodbyes

The Year of Impossible Goodbyes was a really strong story of a Korean family during WWII whose freedoms are taken away by the occupying Japanese. When I first started reading this story, I thought the main character was a young boy. When I found out that it was a young girl, it didn't change the story much but for some reason, I was surprised. I thought it may have been the relationship with her grandfather that made me believe it was a boy narrating. Either way, the story was strong from the beginning. I found myself thinking of how I would feel in this situation and I experienced anxiety and desperation just thinking about it. The situation that this family was in where they couldn't be free or even keep possession of their belongings was just terrible. I thought that the story moved rather fast paced until the ending where they were trying to find their mother. That part didn't move along as quickly for me as the rest of the story did.
In terms of teaching this book as a teacher, I think that I could handle it. The book brings up great questions about things that many people take advantage of such as freedom and peace. I could think of some great discussions to have with my students about the things that they thought about while reading this book. Of course, I don't think that as a child I would respond as strongly to this book as I do now but I still think that it is important for students to read literature such as this. It helps not only to teach them about history but also to look at their lives in a different way.
Overall, I thought that this was a great book. Most of the book, along with the ending especially, was particularly heartbreaking but I think that it is important that we not always shield our kids from the hard subjects of history and that we let them experience it through a great way, reading.

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