My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a sweet, beautiful and warm first love story this was! But also a story about growing up, doing the right thnigs and about those hard decisions in life.
I really loved it, espesially the parts when Henry was young. I would have liked to learn more about Keiko after she lost contact with Henry, Sheldon and Mrs. Beatty, she turned out to be a nice lady after all ;)
And there was some small mistakes made by the author... (Was there any internet support groups in 1986..? Did internet even exsist in 1986..?) Not that I cared so much about those detailes, as I loved the story itself.
Henry Lee is a 12-year-old Chinese boy who falls in love with Keiko Okabe, a 12-year-old Japanese girl, while they are scholarship students at a prestigious private school in World War II Seattle. Henry hides the relationship from his parents, who would disown him if they knew he had a Japanese friend. His father insists that Henry wear an "I am Chinese" button everywhere he goes because Japanese residents of Seattle have begun to be shipped off by the thousands to relocation centers.
In the opening pages Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
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