The East-West House

By Bicultural Mom

This story was something completely new to me. It’s very honest and inclusive of certain elements that many children’s stories lack. Isamu is a double outsider, being both a foreigner in a new land and a biracial child in a community where no one else looks quite like him. I think that this is a story that many mixed / hapa children can relate to. It’s a very real depiction of some uncomfortable challenges and the tale of a boy who finds success in his own creativity and dreams.

Over the course of the book, the initial culture shock at the beginning of the book warms into this gentle story of a mother and son bonded by love and mutual interests. Isamu’s mother encourages his creativity and nurtures his bicultural identity. Readers are left with the understanding that Isamu has found peace in his mixed identity and embraces bicultural life.

This book could easily be used as a tool for opening up with your child about sensitive topics when you can’t quite find the words.