46 pages 1 hour read

Cynthia Kadohata

Weedflower

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2006

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Character Analysis

Sumiko

At 12 years old, the novel’s protagonist, Sumiko, knows what it means to face hardship and loss. Her parents died in a car accident when she was young, and she has lived with her Auntie, Uncle, and cousins ever since. She takes care of her younger brother, Tak-Tak, with a maturity and sense of responsibility beyond her years. Sumiko is hard working; she must complete several chores at her family’s flower farm both before and after school. Although her life on the farm is difficult, she has a genuine love for the flowers, especially the stock, or weedflowers. She dreams of owning a flower shop in the future. Although Sumiko loves the farm and the flowers, she’s lonely; she doesn’t have any friends at school and is too busy on the farm to spend time with children in the Japanese farming community.

When the US government relocates her family to an internment camp, they all find different ways to stay busy and lose the sense of closeness they had when they worked together on the farm. Sumiko feels lonely since the other children her age in the camp are disobedient and often steal.

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