So Far from the Sea – a picture book lesson

So Far from the Sea, by Eve Bunting is a beautiful, informative, and poignant picture book that tells the story of a family going to visit the grave of their grandfather, who died at the Manzanar Relocation Center during World War II. Chris Soentpiet is the illustrator, and just like in Coolies, his drawings convey a wealth of historical information. Historically, the basics of the whys and hows of the Japanese internment are explained in this story.

I used the sketch to stretch strategy with my students, as they love to draw and the pauses allowed me to step out of the story to provide additional historical background or discuss an illustration in more detail.

Other lesson plans for So Far From the Sea:


2 comments so far

  1. Ginger on

    I read this book to my fifth graders when I taught WWII. It was such a powerful book!

  2. Kenneth John Odle on

    But please keep in mind that Eve Bunting is an outsider to the Japanese/Japanese-American culture, and so is not always accurate with her depictions, especially with regard to perceptions and feelings. This has been an issue with some of her other books.

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