Jun 26, 2011
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
Allen Say's powerful book, has him retelling the story of his grandfather and his connection with him. His grandfather moved from Japan to the US when he was a young man. He explored the new country and "the more he traveled, the more he longed to see new places, and never thought of returning home." Once he reached California, he fell in love with its seacoast, its sunlight, and the Sierra Mountains. He returned to Japan to marry his childhood sweetheart and bring her back with him to California. While in the US he missed Japan, when in Japan he missed the US. Allen Say admits to sharing that same feeling with his grandfather, so he too must travel back and forth between the two countries "when I cannot still the longing in my heart. The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other."
Grandfather's Journey is a wonderful example of the immigrant story. Allan Say's illustrations are breathtaking, each one a work of art on their own. The many historical facts and events he makes reference to during his reminiscing, offer a great opportunity to discuss history and culture with kids and students.