During the last couple weeks my daughter’s fourth grade teacher read aloud to her class the brand new manuscript for the second edition of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight. I wanted to know how the kids liked it. They wanted to meet my mother, and the teacher happened to call and ask on a day my Mom was visiting our house. Mom was a bit nervous as we walked the short distance to school as she’s not used to speaking to an audience.
The kids were very quiet and attentive. They asked so many questions, politely raising their hands and waiting to be called on. A woman was in the classroom making a videotape of my mother. Even though my mother repeated the same story five times, the kids patiently listened. The teacher had explained to them that it was hard for her to remember things that happened recently. Nervousness aside, my mother really enjoyed talking to the kids and was impressed with their good manners, friendliness and curiousity.
The kids had really liked the book of my mother’s life in Japan during the Depression, WWII and the Occupation. They learned about another culture in a very personal way. They learned a lot about the seriousness of war yet in a gentle manner. Their teacher felt it was an important and valuable learning experience for them.
Now I am putting the final touches on the book. Editing is a never-ending process, but there comes a point when one has to let go and publish. Fortunately I have the voices of approving children in my ears.