Written by Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrated by Julia Kuo
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Summer knows that kouun means good luck in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills. The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss’s cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own. Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family. Cynthia Kadohata’s ode to the breadbasket of America has received six starred reviews and was selected as a National Book Award Finalist.
Primary ISBN: 9781416918820
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback
Chapter Book, Age 09 or older
Community Represented: Japanese/Japanese American
Setting: United States, Japan
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: 1st Generation
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