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Ms. Newton from Lynn MA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Novels for a School in Need: So Far From the Bamboo Grove

My students need 70 copies of the novel "So Far From the Bamboo Grove".

  • $525 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

I am a seventh grade English teacher in a high-need community. My school is one of three middle schools in a city with a diverse population. It is very important that teachers ,in my community, provide a wide range of positive learning experiences that broaden students' world view and provide a window into the world of higher education.

Photocopy paper or ink for the photocopiers? Supply money is tight these days and there is no better place to see this than in the schools with the greatest need. I'm hoping the school went with ink...teachers will have to provide their own paper. What this means is that when it comes time to consider purchasing novels for students to read in class, the burden falls on teachers. My students need novels to read in class and it is my desire to provide them with these resources.

The novel ,So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins is a survival story about a Japanese family fleeing from Korea in the aftermath of World War II. It is considered "autobiographical fiction" because although the story is of Yoko's own experience, it is not entirely historically accurate. This novel was available at another school where I was teaching and it was the highlight of the school year. Fiery ,twelve year old, Yoko is a character that students can relate to as we experience her confrontation with soldiers, being hit by bomb shrapnel, losing her mother, and returning to her homeland. Reading this novel benefits my students because it is filled with so much action that it even keeps the interest of low level readers and students who do not enjoy reading. Yoko infuses life lessons that reach students on their level. It really stretches student thinking to imagine that the events in this novel actually happened and that Yoko is a real person who is still living. It is my desire to provide students at this school with the positive learning experience of reading this novel.

What is really touching about the experience of reading this novel is how eager my students are to keep reading chapter after chapter. The majority of my students do not read on their own time with video games and On Demand taking all of their attention. Through this donation you can be a part of showing my students that reading can be an enjoyable experience. You can provide a cultural experience and teach life lessons. Students do not forget this novel. In fact, I would recommend that donors read the novel as well. You will also love it and be awe struck by Yoko's experiences.

Ms. Newton
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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8 donors8 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 250 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
So Far from the Bamboo Grove Yoko Kawashima Watkins, Foreword by Jean Fritz • Barnes and Noble $5.39 70 $377.30

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


8 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Project Activity

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