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Drawing from Memory

by Allen Say

Published by Scholastic Press, 2011
64 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧45-176866

Age 10 and older

Allen Say抯 arresting autobiography focuses on his childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood in Japan, when his desire to be an artist was counter to his father抯 expectations. After World Way II (details of which are notably restrained), Say lived with his grandmother and then, remarkably, in an apartment on his own in Tokyo at age twelve after he was accepted into a private art school. Reading about another young, aspiring artist in the newspaper, Say sought the teen out and ended up meeting not only the boy, Tokida, but his sensei, Noro Shinpei, a noted cartoonist, who became Say抯 teacher, too. Say details the next three years spent apprenticing with Shinpei and attending art school, a phase of his life that draws to a close, like this book, as he prepares to depart for the United States at age fifteen. Say抯 fascinating personal history unfolds through both the prose narrative and the many illustrations, including black-and-white drawings, cartoons, and photographs and full-color paintings and panel illustrations. An author抯 note includes additional photographs accompanying a narrative in which Say writes more about his relationship with Shinpei, 搕his man who had become my spiritual father.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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