"Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" tells a gripping account of the Japanese American internment during World War II, through the eyes and voice of a child as he matures through life. “Hotel” meets all of the Library’s READS' book criteria. The book has broad appeal and many discussable topics. Pierce County Library offers the bestseller in hardback, paperback, large print, audiobook, and downloadable audiobook and e-book download. It has also been translated into 30 languages.
Whether you are a history lover, romance enthusiast or simply savor an exceptional novel, you will be fascinated with this story that weaves fiction into real-life events.
The story begins in 1986, Seattle, Washington, then quickly—but not too quickly—moves back in time to the true beginning: 1942, Seattle. The story is told from words and feelings of 12-year old to 56-year old Henry Lee, a Chinese American.
The book describes being labeled different in society, due to ethnicity and race. This difference is made only more deeply painful for two young children who quickly mature into young teenagers who are torn apart with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Keiko, who is Japanese American, and Henry, who is Chinese American, bring readers laughter, fears, and tears, as they take on adventures, risks, and amazing courage.
Henry moves from his current day of 1986 back to 1942 memories as he goes through the belongings of Japanese Americans hidden in the basement of Seattle’s Panama Hotel. The hotel still stands today and it is an amazing historic site that draws visitors from around the world.
The story weaves a phenomenal tale exploring the history and attitudes of World War II in America, even more specifically, in the Pacific Northwest. The historical novel is rich in its telling of relationships from young to perhaps forever love to children and parents in multiple generations, and even relationships with school bullies.
It is these insights that will make “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” a beautiful read and discussion for all Pierce County READS’ participants, as readers think and talk about their opinions and reactions to the relationships and perhaps how those interactions cause them to view their relationships—with friends, parents, children.
Intrinsic themes in “Hotel” include courage, friendship, love, forgiveness, and redemption. Readers will truly enjoy the pleasure and insights in “Hotel.”
The book is available in multiple formats at Pierce County Library, Puyallup and Roy Public Libraries, and Barnes & Noble, King’s Books, Mostly Books, PLU Garfield Book Company, and other local book stores.
For more information about the book and author, discussion questions, and other books and DVDs related to the book, download Beyond the Book.
Pierce County Library offers many more books and movies related to the themes in "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." Take a look at the lists in the Beyond the Book 2012 category and request the items from the library catalog. Read, listen, watch and and enjoy!
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