When a young Montana boy and his family move to Japan, he faces the challenges of moving, learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. Eventually, though, he meets new friends and begins to enjoy living in Japan. One day, however, when he tells his father about another boy at school calling him "half," he learns a lesson he'll never forget.
Rod Gottula's children's book Double! Not Half. is a slightly fictionalized account of several conversations he had with both his children and his students while he was living and teaching in Japan. All too often, people of mixed races or cultures are referred to as "half," a term which fails to take into account the tremendous beauty and sophistication that accompanies those who "walk in two worlds." By emphasizing the positive aspects of speaking TWO languages and having TWO cultures, however, Double! Not Half. aims to increase the reader's understanding of cultural diversity and the benefits that come with it.
Rod Gottula's book, Double! Not Half. contains a beautifully simple message of inclusion that fosters an appreciation for the value and potential that lies within every human being. Furthermore, the book's illustrator, Arthur Lin, utilizes the warmth of his water colors to create an authentic cultural experience that brings the story to life.