Title: Grandfather’s Journey

Reference: Say, A. (1993). Grandfather’s Journey. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Brief annotation: This story is about a man who left Japan, visited the U.S., married in Japan, an then returned to live in the U.S. as an immigrant. In his old age, he returned to Japan, and years later after WWII his grandson immigrated to the United States and repeated the same cycle. It is a story of being torn between the love of two homelands and always being homesick.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Grade level: 4.2

Interest level: Students in grades 3-5 would be interested in this book.

Personal response: This story is interesting as it shows some of the emotions held by immigrants. It also shows how global events affect immigration. I especially love the ending where the narrator believes that he now truly understands his grandfather after having similar life experiences. This reminds me of the saying, “To know someone, you have to walk a mile in their shoes.”

Text-dependent question: Why did the narrator’s grandpa return to Japan?

Reading Strategy from Tompkins:

  1. A) Venn Diagrams
  2. B) This strategy is used to compare and contrast something, in this case the experience of the narrator, and the narrator’s grandpa. The teacher would pose questions and help the students discuss and analyze the experiences of the two people. Then the students would draw a Venn diagram to organize the ideas. The students would use this diagram to summarize the story’s events, experiences, and emotions. This can be done by having the students write a summary. After this, the students can share their summaries and the class can make a collective Venn diagram to put in the classroom.
  3. C) This strategy is appropriate because it is approved for the ages listed by the publisher of this book, and it is a good way to help the student’s analyze everything that happened in the book, as there was a lot of movement that occurred. Students can refer back to the book in order to do this. After organizing the events, the students can have a better understanding of what it would be like to experience such changes and can compare the experiences and emotions of the family members in the story.