The Dover-Sherborn Community Newspaper, in Massachusetts, reports that the Dover-Sherborn Regional School committee has reversed its decision to remove So Far from the Bamboo Grove from the grade six curriculum.
Opponents of the book leveled criticisms that the book was biased in its look at the occupation of Korea by Japan and alleged atrocities committed against the occupying Japanese.
A synopsis, according to The Glenco Literature Library, which also includes a study guide,
Although she is Japanese, eleven-year-old Yoko Kawashima has lived all her life in Korea. So Far from the Bamboo Grove follows the experiences of young Yoko as World War II comes to an end and Korea is engulfed in turmoil as Koreans revolt to take back their homeland. Yoko and her family are forced to leave their tranquil home in Korea and to flee back to Japan in this story of heartbreak, cruelty, survival, and courage.
According to Davis, there were a number of issues to address including:
"...concern for the banning or censorship of a book...support for the use of the book and its author because of the positive experience of the students when coming to understand a personal struggle to survive; concern for the content of the book and questioning the maturity of students in the sixth grade to understand issues of rape and war; concern that the book is not balanced in its reporting of events at the end of World War II and the occupation of Korea by Japan.
The decision was made to keep the book in the curriculum but to bring balance to the unit on survival through the use of additional texts to provide background.