Journalists, correspondents, and other professionals all agree: Dandelion Through the Crack is a winner. It's a book that will keep you engrossed from beginning to end. Here's what they are saying:
Dandelion Through the Crack is a compelling memoir. One of the few memoirs by Japanese Americans who experienced the internment experience during World War II, it is worth reading for that aspect alone. This book is not only historically significant but also skillfully written. Kiyo Sato tells her story in straightforward prose that is never preachy or asking for pity. She reports the facts of her life simply and eloquently. As I read about her treatment at college the day after Pearl Harbor, I felt with her the bewilderment and then the shock as people in the hallways turned away from her and refused to speak. On the previous Saturday she had been a young American college student with a bright future. By the following Monday she and her family had become The Enemy. Dandelion is readable, gripping, touching, poignant, unforgettable!"
— Sherry York, Reviewer, Writer, Editorial Consultant, and School Librarian (retired). Author of numerous books including: Children's and Young Adult Literature by Native Americans, and Tips and Other Bright Ideas for Secondary School Libraries.
- Kiyo’s ability to capture the essence of her family’s touching interactions—from their daily toils in the fields picking strawberries and grapes to the much-anticipated nightly soaks in the family ofuro (bath)—breathes life into this inspirational narrative about hard work and family values. As each page turns, it is almost as if Kiyo herself has opened the door to her family’s home, inviting readers in to witness warm family dinners with nine children, listen to animated conversations about farming and school and experience Tochan’s engaging stories, all of which contained moral lessons for the Sato children—Kiyo, Seiji, Sanji, Aizo, Kozo, Kazu, Naoshi, Tomoko and Masashi.
While numerous stories have been written about the Japanese American internment experience, some fictional and others non-fictional, “Dandelion Through the Crack,” which has been compared to “Farewell to Manzanar,” brings something refreshingly new to the table. Rather than focusing on the interment experience alone, Sato’s memoir paints a rich portrait of the 1920s and on by unabashedly sharing the experiences of one Japanese American family and their quest for something more."
— Excerpt from a book review by Joyce Tse,
Staff writer for The Rafu Shimpo
- It is a magnificent memoir, fully worthy of being favorably compared to Farewell to Manzanar. I cannot praise its pointillist realism, its Zen-like austerity highly enough. Exquisite."
— Dr. Kevin Starr, Professor of History,
University of Southern California
Sato has now produced a poignant, insightful, and, in parts, poetic account of her and the Sato family’s struggles and triumphs, that in many ways is metaphoric of the Issei and Nisei experiences "before," during, and "after" World War II.
Each chapter begins with one of her father’s austere haiku poems. Sato skillfully weaves "story," history, and memories into a highly readable and accessible memoir of her family’s journey, survival, and finally a sense of place in this fabled land—America"
— Wayne Maeda, Nichi Bei Times
- This is an important story that should be told and retold to future generations, because history has shown that it only takes a generation to forget. Kiyo tells the story with great insight, heart and humanity."
— Steve LaRosa, public television producer
(KVIE, Sacramento, CA)
- I hope Dandelion Through the Crack is widely read and noted. Taken simply as a family chronicle, it is moving and graceful. But it is also a powerful, thought-provoking historical document, which dramatizes important changes in California and the United States as a whole."
— James Fallows,
national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly
- ...a vividly honest, deeply moving account of the trials and triumphs of her warm immigrant Japanese family's struggle to make a home for themselves in an often harsh and hostile America."
— Bill Hosokawa,
former editorial page editor & columnist of the Denver Post; long-time columnist for the Pacific Citizen;
author of: Thunder in the Rockies, and
Nisei: The Quiet Americans;
internee at Heart Mountain, Wyoming;
recipient of the 2007 Civil Rights Award from the Anti-
- Dandelion Through the Crack is a heart lifting true story of how love and determination outlive hate. Our own lives are made richer knowing the story of how the rural Sato family with nine children survived the American nightmare of Japanese American imprisonment in World War II to help create the real American dream of peaceful progress. This is compelling first person history."
— Greg Voelm, author of True Gold and Chair,
Sacramento Commission of History and Science
- The book will have a treasured place in the permanent collections of the State Library’s California History Room."
— Gary F. Kurutz, Curator of Special Collections,
California State Library
- This rich and detailed memoir, with the appeal of a novel as well as the value of history, will give readers much to think about as it puts new light on the human impacts of Executive Order 9066 and the fragility of civil rights in time of war."
— Kenneth W. Umbach, Ph.D.,
columnist for AASL’s Knowledge Quest;
former policy analyst, California Research Bureau,
California State Library
Many, many people have now enjoyed Kiyo's remarkable story in Dandelion Through the Crack. Some have shared their thoughts and how much they enjoyed the book in their reviews posted at amazon.com.
Since the second edition, Kiyo's Story, has also been published now, you can enjoy some amazon reviews here also.