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Grandfather's Journey

Last updated Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Author: Allen Say
Illustrator: Allen Say
Date of Publication: 1993
ISBN: 0395570352
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2005

Synopsis: (from the publisher) Through compelling reminiscences of his grandfather's life in America and Japan, Allen Say gives us a poignant acount of a family's unique cross-cultural experience. He warmly conveys his own love for his two countries, and the strong and constant desire to be in both places at once.

Note to readers:
•  This is a book that is told both by the words and the pictures - one way to read is to focus on both - Ask active questions about the pictures - Who lives here? What do you think this person?s life is like? What do you think life is like in this place? What did Grandfather do here?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Whose parents are from another country? Grandparents? What country? Do they ever miss it?
•  Have you ever taken a long journey? How long? Where did you go?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  "I think I know my grandfather now" why? What does he mean?
•  Have you ever been excited to go on a trip, yet miss your home? What?s that like?
•  What do you imagine the places Grandfather visited are like?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a map of Grandfather?s journey.
•  Draw a postcard from your favorite place to everyone back home - on the back write a message to them.

Special activities:
•  Get out a map of the world or the United States. Where do you want to go? Why? What?s it like there? Where have you been?

*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!