Hiroshi, his parents and Grandfather are leaving Japan to move to Washington, DC. Grandfather has cancer and is seeking a new treatment in America. They are moving close to Grandfather’s first son. Skye is happy living in Washington and playing soccer. Then she learns that her Japanese relatives are moving here. Her father has never talked much about Japan and Skye barely speaks Japanese or knows much about the culture. Hiroshi and Skye both have to change their lives and learn new things. For Skye this means giving up on all-stars soccer during the summer so she can go to Japanese school, but it also means she gets to know a grandfather for the first time. Hiroshi has to learn to fit in an American school and learn English; he also has to give up his dreams of rokkaku battle and share his grandfather. Skye and Hiroshi both resent the other and neither really does much to help the other. But grandfather and kites brings them together. Grandfather has always been a champion kite builder and rokkaku battler. Hiroshi is learning form him and he slowly starts to teach Skye. As Grandfather gets sicker, the cousins are brought closer together.
What an excellent book! I loved the dual narrators as Skye and Hiroshi both got to tell their stories. I loved learning about rokkaku as I had no idea kites could battle. This book really made me want to go to the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, DC. I think this is a good book to introduce kids to the issues facing new immigrants and mixed race kids. I thought the mix of cultures and the problems that arose were really wonderfully written.