22gigantes.com - In 1959 when her mother dies, grieving twelve-year-old Ayumi leaves her home in Japan and crosses the Pacific Ocean alone to find the American father she’s never met. Biracial, she is confronted with a resentful half-sister and a racist stepmother. The family maid and her rebellious fourteen-year-old son Diego are the only people who befriend her. Ayumi wants to be accepted by her new family, but how much of her true self must she give up?A violin prodigy, Ayumi’s only solace is her music. Boys at school taunt her and steal her music books. When she is deprived of her violin, she feels like her mother has died all over again. With Diego’s help, she shocks even herself by doing the unthinkable.
Most helpful customer reviews 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful. All A's YA! Not to be missed. By snowtreker Ayumi’s Violin is an outstanding work of YA historic fiction. As the grandfather of a biracial child, I was immediately drawn to it by the overview on the book’s back cover. But Ayumi’s story touched me on many more levels. Author Tatsumoto takes her readers back in time to post World War II America, a time when tensions between Whites and Asians are volatile. Twelve-year-old Ayumi, being both Japanese and Caucasian, is an outcast in both her native Japan and her father’s America, where fate has brought her following the death of her mother. Music, her violin, is Ayumi’s sole source of solace.Tatsumoto fashions a literary symphony fusing Ayumi’s core Japanese culture with the pressures of 1950’s middle class America. Schoolyard bullies, a bigoted music store shopkeeper and a self-absorbed, society-climbing stepmother become a discordant harmony to tender movements of support from newfound friends and an estranged father. Turmoil builds to a crescendo as Ayumi battles her conscious, knowing she must right a personal wrong, but the consequences might spell disaster for her American family and worst of all, could result in the loss of her father’s love.As a simple bow draws sound from a taut set of strings, Ayumi’s plight moved me from despair to hope, from tears to laughter, from fear to calm, and back again. Ayumi’s Violin is a story to be read and re-read for the wisdom it imparts, a book to be truly treasured. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Inspirational story - beautifully told By F. Peek Ayumi’s Violin is wonderful book. Like Charlottes Web by E B White it’s especially for younger people but it’s a story that’s a joy to read no matter your age. Like Charlottes Web, Ayumi’s Violin has much to say about living a worthwhile life. From page one you are drawn into Ayumi’s life and want to keep reading, to keep enjoying Ayumi’s life as she lives it and overcomes challenge after challenge beginning with the loss of her mother, the tensions of adapting to a stepmother and stepsister, adapting to an alien culture, and to racial tension. Seeing Ayumi overcome the difficulties in her life will certainly inspire any young person who faces the similar problems. The author does a masterful job of bringing out Japanese culture as the story unfolds. You learn for example about the Japanese Zen notion of Gaman - enduring the seemingly unendurable with patience and dignity. I am convinced everyone has some talent to bring out as Ayumi did her music and that talent will enable them to better overcome adversity. Ayumi's Violin dramatizes, not preaches, how talent born of passion, dedication, hard work can pull a person through hard times. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. A Lovely Book By K. P. Tracy Have you ever moved to a new place, felt surrounded by different faces, lost amid unfamiliar customs? Aching, poignant, and yet ultimately uplifting and inspiring, in Ayumi’s Violin author Mariko Tatsumoto looks through the eyes of a girl overwhelmed by tragedy, sent to live in a world she doesn’t understand. She tells Ayumi’s story with warmth, sensitivity, and heart.Ayumi's Violin strikes a stark contrast between cultures, but also similarities. There is racism: Ayumi finds ridicule and rejection both as a half-gaijin in Japan, and in post-WWII California as a half-Japanese child. In Japan's impoverished economy she is taught the nobility of humility and self-denial, while in America's booming economy she witnesses gross excess and crass consumerism. And still, she also encounters beauty, generosity, and sacrifice in both countries.In lovely prose, the book will touch you, inform you, and warm your heart. Your family will come to love Ayumi’s Violin and read it over and over again. See all 33 customer reviews...
"[An] insightful book...totally engaging for anyone who admires good writing and enjoys a sensitive story about a youngster moving to America." - Pagosa Sun, Ruby Sisson Library About the Author When Mariko Tatsumoto emigrated with her family from Japan at the age of eight, she didn't know English. As soon as she learned to read English, she fell in love with books and wanted to become a writer. But beforefinding her way to becoming a children's book author, she became thefirst Asian woman attorney in Colorado.
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