Volunteers needed in March!   Click here to sign up.
 Site Areas: 
Printer-friendly version   

My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary about the Best 4 Months Ever!

Last updated Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Author: Rebecca Otowa
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 4805312165
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2016

Synopsis: My Awesome Japan Adventure is the diary of an American fifth grader who travels to Japan to spend four exciting months with a Japanese family as an exchange student. He records all his adventures in this diary so that he can tell his friends back home about what he did and saw during his time in Japan. With the help of a Japanese foster brother and sister he visits a Ninja village, tries new foods, learns brush painting, and gets the inside scoop on daily life in a Japanese school.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know where Japan is? (have the kids find Japan on the globe or map in the classroom)
•  Have you ever had an awesome adventure at home, nearby or on a trip?
•  What are the different places you have visited?


•  wasabi - a Japanese plant with a thick green root that tastes like strong horseradish and is used in cooking, especially in powder or paste form as an accompaniment to raw fish (sushi)
•  international date line - The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of navigation on the surface of the Earth that runs from the north pole to the south pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.
•  futon - Japanese quilted mattress rolled out on the floor for use as a bed
•  jet lag - extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones
•  harvest - the process or period of gathering in crops

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do you eat for breakfast?
•  Have you ever tried any of the foods described in the book?
•  Would you enjoy taking a trip to Japan?

Craft ideas:
•  Create a notebook with small scrapbook pages for a trip you have taken (or would like to take) or one of your favorite subjects (like cooking or ninjas). Draw little pictures and write facts on small pieces of paper and attach like photos to the scrapbook pages.
•  Make the origami flower as described in the book or a fish as shown on our Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/june-2016/
•  Make a Father's Day card.

Special activities:
•  Look around the classroom and take detailed notes for a page in your scrapbook. Discuss what you see with each other.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!