Rose Kent Kimchi & Calamari

ISBN 13: 9780060837716

Kimchi & Calamari

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9780060837716: Kimchi & Calamari

There are worse things in the world than being adopted. But right now Joseph can't think of one.

Joseph Calderaro has a serious problem. His social studies teacher has given him an impossible assignment: an essay about ancestors. Ancestors, as in dead people you're related to.

Joseph was adopted, but the only sure thing he knows about his birth family is that they shipped his diapered butt on a plane from Korea and he landed in New Jersey. How do you write about a family you've never known and at the same time manage all the other hassles that middle school mixes in the pot? What Joseph writes leads to a catastrophe messier than a table of shattered dishes—and self-discovery that will change his life recipe forever. . . .

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Rose Kent turned to kids for help in writing this novel—her own kids, since all four have Korean heritage and two are adopted. She and her family live in Niskayuna, New York, where they have frequent flyer points at Korean restaurants and Italian bakeries. This is her first novel.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7–Joseph Calderaro is facing many woes typical of a 14-year-old boy. However, trouble with girls, school, his younger twin sisters, and his parents is complicated by his growing awareness of the gulf between his Korean ethnicity and the Italian heritage of his adoptive family, especially his father. A school assignment is the catalyst for his search for information about his birth family. Communication between father and son reaches a low point when Joseph refuses to wear his birthday present of a corno (golden horn), proudly worn by Italian men to ward off the malocchio. His father insists that Joseph became Italian the day he was adopted. This lack of sensitivity is presented sympathetically, as the Calderaros can only focus on the joy of their bonding. The boy's status as a well-liked student and honest guy is jeopardized when he claims a famous Korean marathoner as his grandfather. A subplot involves an immigrant family from Korea, the Hans. Joseph's parents eventually appreciate his search for his identity, and they reach out to the Hans to help him learn about his culture. Kent has done an excellent job of creating a likable protagonist whose confusion about his status is touching, and also funny. This is one of the best of the recent spate of books about adolescent adoptees facing quests to establish their identities.–Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA
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