Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Twenty-Four Eyes

Twenty-Four Eyes, by Sakae Tsuboi, is a gentle book about a young teacher and her first group of students. The story spans 20 years, or "one generation," from 1927 to 1947 in a small village in Japan, and it is a tender view of the teacher and her students throughout that turbulent period of time.

The teacher, Mrs. Oishi, was a tiny woman with a huge heart, and her students loved her. In the beginning, however, she had to prove herself to the children and their parents, and struggled with all the issues facing a young teacher. You get to know about the lives of Mrs. Oishi and of each of the 12 children, and learn what happens to them over the course of those years, and of how the war impacts each of their lives.

This is an honest and nostalgic look at life during a period of great change. It is considered an anti-war book, but is not vociferous. It is a gentle story of joy and sadness, growth and change, and of the devastating effects of war on a small group of children and their teacher.

Being a teacher, I loved this book because it honestly portrayed the relationships a teacher has with her students. It touches the heart in a kind and gentle way, and leaves you feeling tenderhearted long after you finish the book.

This is my first book for Dolce Bellezza's Japanese Literature Challenge.


Bellezza said...

Robin, it sounds like just the thingn to start the new school year! I love teaching stories, especially gentle, tender ones as this seems to be. As a teacher starting her 25th year I'm always learning something new about the profession and my role, but it will also be with a bit of nostalgia for the beginning years that I'll pick up this book.

Congratulations on being the first participant with the first book read! I'm only halfway through Kafka on the Shore, myself.

Robin said...

Thanks, Bellezza. I know you'd enjoy this book, and I thought of you as I read it. It's such a nice portrayal of all those different feelings we have for our students and their lives. (This will be my 23rd year of teaching.) It was written in 1952, and a movie of it in 1954. I haven't seen it yet, but it's available on DVD so I've ordered it from Netflix.

cj said...

Great review, Robin. Congrats on getting off to such a good start!


Bobbi said...

Nice review!

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Sounds like a book I'd like to read. Unfortunately, I have so many other books on my must-read list that this one will have to wait a while!