Ozandends gives us a sweet rundown on the controversy over Yoko Kawashima Watkins' So Far From The Bamboo Grove. J.L. sums up my reaction nicely, allowing me to be lazy and link to him without any verbose ruminations:
...It's a reminder of the complexity of multicultural literature: when this book was first included in the curriculum, I suspect administrators saw it as “Asian,” without a whole lot of regard for how different Asians might view the same events.I'll add one thing, though: my son, who was mesmerized by Watkins' book in fourth grade, definitely read it as memoir, not as historical fiction. For him, it was a story of an orphan on the run in wartime, and he read it at least three times. I doubt if he even remembers that the Koreans were the bad guys, but I'll be sure to ask.