Kimchi & Calamari
By Rose Kent
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060837693, 240pp.)
Publication Date: April 2007
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Kimchi and calamari. It sounds like a quirky food fusion of Korean and Italian cuisine, and it's exactly how Joseph Calderaro feels about himself. Why wouldn't an adopted Korean drummer—comic book junkie feel like a combo platter given:
(1) his face in the mirror
(2) his proud Italian family.
And now Joseph has to write an essay about his ancestors for social studies. All he knows is that his birth family shipped his diapered butt on a plane to the USA. End of story. But what he writes leads to a catastrophe messier than a table of shattered dishes—and self-discovery that Joseph never could have imagined.
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.
“Kent has done an excellent job...touching, and also funny.”
-School Library Journal
“Joseph makes a funny, engaging tour guide to the world of transcultural adoption.”
“This will have special appeal for adoptees, but the questions about family roots that Kent raises are universal.”