A book giveaway!

November 3, 2011 § 15 Comments

This is one of those books that was almost impossible to put down.

I don’t get much time to read anymore so when I get the chance to cozy up with a book, it has to be good. If I’m not captured in the first chapter I don’t bother. This book did not disappoint!

About the book:

The story is a journey through the eyes of a young Chinese boy, Henry, growing up in Seattle during World War II just after the attack at Pearl Harbor. Although Henry’s parents are very traditional Chinese, they insist that he attend an “all-white” private school to become more “American”. He doesn’t fit in. He faces all of the usual struggles of a 12 year old boy combined with the reality of discrimination and bullying as an after affect of Pearl Harbor. Eventually he meets “Keiko” a girl his age, at his “all-white” school, also there at the insistance of her parents who are Japanese. This becomes the premise of the entire book. An innocent but forbidden love. A struggle between respect for his parents wishes and becoming the man he has chosen to be.

The hotel referenced in the title is the Panama Hotel in Seattle. This is where Japantown and Chinatown were said to intersect.  Although this is a fiction piece, there are many references to actual places and historical facts. The video below narrated by the author, Jamie Ford, helps to explain the background of this story.

After reading this book I felt compelled to go on an adventure with my friend and see what “Japantown”, or “Nihonmachi”, looks like today and to visit the Panama Hotel. Here is what I found…

Jan Johnson, the owner of the Panama Hotel just happened to be sitting nearby. She was so gracious to spend some time sharing her experience with us and how she has worked to preserve Panama’s history and treasures. I didn’t realize that the hotel was fully functioning still and I am dying to go back for a tour of the basement!

Jan, the owner of Panama Hotel holding photos of the original space.

The tea and coffee shop was such a cozy and relaxing atmosphere that I didn’t want to leave.

If you visit the Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House you will meet the sweetest bilingual barista with her notes beautifully handwritten in Japanese…

Below is a slideshow of photos from today’s adventure at the Panama Hotel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can read more about Jan, and what she has done for the community here.

To enterpost to your facebook account and let me know in the comment section.

To enter again: tell me one of your favorite books.

For double points: support the local community and go visit the Panama Hotel (or Tea & Coffee house), sign the guest book and tell me about it!

I will announce the winner in 3 weeks!

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§ 15 Responses to A book giveaway!

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