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Weedflower cover art


Written by: Cynthia Kadohata
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
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Publisher's Summary

Twelve-year-old Sumiko feels her life has been made up of two parts: before Pearl Harbor and after it. The good part and the bad part. Raised on a flower farm in California, Sumiko is used to being the only Japanese girl in her class. Even when the other kids tease her, she always has had her flowers and family to go home to.

Now, other Americans start to suspect that all Japanese people are spies for the emperor, and Sumiko and her family find themselves being shipped to an internment camp in one of the hottest deserts in the United States. The vivid color of her previous life is gone forever, and now dust storms regularly choke the sky and seep into every crack of the military barrack that is her new "home".

Sumiko soon discovers that the camp is on an Indian reservation and that the Japanese are as unwanted there as they'd been at home. But then she meets a young Mohave boy who might just become her first real friend....

With searing insight and clarity, Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata explores an important and painful topic through the eyes of a young girl who yearns to belong. Weedflower is the story of the rewards and challenges of a friendship across the racial divide, as well as the based-on-real-life story of how the meeting of Japanese Americans and Native Americans changed the future of both.

©2006 Cynthia Kadohata (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"Kadohata clearly and eloquently conveys her heroine's mixture of shame, anger, and courage. Readers will be inspired." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Weedflower

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tracy
  • 03-04-09

A book of starting over and regrowth

I liked this book. The narrator was very good and the story is one that needs to be told. Many of us have forgotten the treatment of the American Japanese citizens in California during WWII. This book was told from a child's view point and didn't demonize the government, but simply told the story of what happened through a fictional character. It also touches on the treatment of the American Indian. Both of these are difficult topics that I think the author handled very well. This is a good book for everyone to read, but I think it would be especially good in the middle school setting.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-05-19

Issues with chapter selection

When I select the chapter it does not correlate with the paper copy chapters. Makes it difficult to follow along and find my place.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-08-18

This sucks

It was good the first day when I bought it and it read wherever I wanted to go but now it only read the first chapter

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clarice
  • 02-03-16

Awesome way to address a difficult topic with students !

I process the topic with students as thoroughly as I am able. Because Sumiko is of middle school age it is easier for students to relate to her challenges. Students go on an emotional roller coaster with the main character. There is compassion, frustration, anger, and Japanese guilt for main character. Most students can relate to the emotions but not the intensity. A well written story to start the discussion about the tragedies of wartime.