One of the books in my recent What should I read poll was Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent. I am glad I finally got to it.
The story is of a teenage boy who is exploring his roots as a Korean adoptee in an Italian-American family. The exploration is spurred by an assignment his history teacher has given, in which you are to explore your family roots. On top of all this, Joseph, the main character and narrator, is also looking for a date to his 8th grade Farewell dance. Joseph is also struggling with his parent's inability to deal with the fact that he is truly Korean and not Italian as they see him.
I really liked the idea of the book. I am seriously having a weird streak of reading books with Italian-Americans... AND I LOVE IT! Although there were far less references to Italian-American heritage in this book than say Penny From Heaven, I really like how Kent talked a lot about Italian food! (My husband's family owns an Italian restaurant.) But, back to the idea behind the book, adoption. I think it is great that there are books out there, like this one, which explore issues of adoption. I also thought it was cool how the searching comes about from a very poorly thought out history assignment. I teach American History as well, and I would never give an assignment like this. It can bring about bad feelings and hardship for many reason, not just for adopted children. All and all the book had humor, sensitivity, teen issues, and a strong boy main character/narrator.
I think I would recommend this book for some of my students, but I believe it is more appropriate for say sixth grade. I thought is was great!
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Welcome to My Tweendom
Class of 2k7 Blog- Author Interview