Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
By Isabel Cohen | The Central Record
This is a powerful story about a Chinese-American boy in Seattle during World War II. Although he wears an “I am Chinese” button night and day, Henry Lee is constantly being mistaken for one of the feared Japanese. “Scholarshipping” at an all-white school, he is teased and forced to do dishes, work in the kitchen, and clean up after his classmates. The future looks bleak… until Keiko Okabe, a Japanese-American girl, turns up in his school. The two immediately bond. Soon though, Keiko and her family are ripped away from their lives in Seattle and placed in an internment camp. It is up to Henry to bring the friends back together and safe again, but that is no small feat.
I thought this book was enlightening. People usually focus on how the Japanese were the ultimate enemy, that they could do no good, but we rarely consider how they felt living in the U.S. I believe that this disrespect to people who had no part in the war can easily be compared to racial discrimination today–just look in the news. Black men, women and children are being mistreated and killed just like Japanese-Americans, and like the victims of the early 20th century. Not many white people are considering how those victims are feeling. Keiko and Henry were no more our enemies than whites are to these black people, and yet we are treating them the same way. This book teaches a lesson that is vital to our lifestyle in 21st century America: one person alone is not the entirety of an ethnicity and should not be treated like that entirety.
Just because someone is part of a group of people, for example, the Japanese, does not mean that they should be classified as being a devout supporter of that group and all of its beliefs. This book is perfect for grades seven and above.
The CCS PTO Variety Show wows and entertains
By Isabel Cohen and Claire Slater | The Central Record
On April 29, Charlotte Central School hosted the ninth Annual CCS Variety Show. From skits about the zoo to an original piano duet, the talent show was a welcoming, laid-back, local venue for aspiring young artists and comedians.
The emcees, Chea Evans and Katie Taylor, made the CCS Variety Show a welcoming and easy place to experience performing; their jokes and overall friendliness calmed, nerves and lift spirits.
Although Sam and Max Zinner are not new to the stage, this was the first year that Max accompanied his older brother on the vocals. Together with Stuart Robinson, the trio sounded amazing, bringing back the old song “Crazy” by Willie Nelson. All three of them have great musical talent, proving the point that CCS is the perfect place to start out on the path to professionalism.
Second grader Hailey Sheehan took a great risk in singing alone—and performed beautifully.
Taryn Martin-Smith’s excellent voice was put on display for everyone to hear. Although being on stage was daunting, Taryn pulled through. I have a feeling that we will be seeing her in the future—in plays, talent shows, and more!
Patcha Hennessey (right) made his debut at CCS with an original piano duet, accompanied by Sam Zinner. “Das Sturm Untershlupf Duett” was an amazing display of their abilities and we hope that Patcha will return next year with another stunning piano score.
Looking for more from your favorite budding journalists? Head over to The Central Record, part four to read more.