The East-West House

By Northwest Asian Weekly

Based on the life of Isamu, [The East-West House] is a great, real-life example to use when teaching children to make the best use of bad circumstances. I was very surprised at the book’s honesty about the situation of Isamu’s family — his parents aren’t married, and he and his mother discover that his father has another family. This is actually one of my favorite things about the book. The story doesn’t go into specifics (there is a more detailed account of Isamu’s life at the end of the book), but neither does it omit these facts. I think it is very important for children to understand that families come in all forms. A child’s family may not be “traditional” with a mother and father who are married and living together. Seeing that Isamu’s family turned out okay can lead that child to believe that his or her family is okay as well.