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Teaching Tools for the Classroom


Random House Inc: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Teacher’s Guide (pdf)
     11-page guide includes:
        Information relating to:

    • About the Book House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
    • About the Author Jamie Ford
    • Teaching Ideas
    • Discussion & Writing
    • Suggested Activities
    • Vocabulary
    • Information Relating to:
      • Pearl Harbor and Executive Order 9066
      • Racial Inequality and Discrimination
      • Jazz
    • Other Works of Interest
    • Common Core State Standards Guide
      • Reading: Literature-Grade 11-12
      • Reading: Informational Text-Grade 11-12
      • Writing: Grade 11-12
      • Research to Build and Present Knowledge


  • Book Cover
    Create your own book cover for House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, incorporating the novel's themes, characters, and/or settings.
  • Cast a Film
    Imagine you are a casting director for a film of House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Whom would you cast in the major roles? Why?

Here are some examples of student film interpretations:

Posted by Gabriella Cerio on June 10, 2013

Posted history project by jgleahy12 on June 5, 2011    

Trailer published on Feb 22, 2013 with Hayden, Max and Ethan   

  • News Clipping
    Look in your local newspaper or archives for an article that involves some aspect of the novel and bring it to class.  Present it in front of the class and explain how it relates to the novel.
  • Character Rendering
    Draw your interpretation of a character from the novel. How does this character dress.
  • What Would You Bring?
    Illustrate or write about what you were bring and why if you had to leave your home for an internment camp. 


Goodreads Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Quotes        


Seattle Area and the Panama Hotel

Jamie Ford’s website has a great deal of information about Seattle, his family and the places he pictured as he wrote the novel. 

Seattle International District Tour and Walking Tour of the Places in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet pdf. Published by Bainbridge Public Library in Bainbridge Island, WA. Viewed on February 14, 2018.

History of the Pacific Hotel by By Tiffany Ujiiye, Assistant Editor.  Pacific Citizen. June 10, 2015. 

West Coast Jazz

This website, devoted to black history, includes information about Oscar Holden, the jazz musician in The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

An interview with Oscar Holden’s daughter and some family photos.


Summary & Study Guide: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from BookRags
Kindle Edition. This study guide includes the following sections: Plot Summary, Chapter Summaries & Analysis, Characters, Objects/Places, Themes, Style, Quotes, and Topics for Discussion. For purchase.

Study Guide Questions for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from Mount Mercy Academy – Buffalo, NY.  
A number of questions by category.   

Study Guide: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from SuperSummary  
Kindle Edition. SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 36-page guide for “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 52 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 10 important quotes, discussion topics, and key themes.  For purchase.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Lesson Plans for Teachers from Bookrags
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 120 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.  Subscription service-some free samples.

'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet' by Jamie Ford: An Analysis of the Importance of Setting by Philip Anderson
Kindle Edition. This is an academic essay of 2, 058 words which examines the importance of the settings of the novel and, by implication, Ford's use of structure and the historical context of the novel. For purchase.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet study set from Quizlet
Search millions of study sets and study with flashcards, games and more.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 4th Quarter ORB Project Website created by Sean Ewing. (student of) Ms. Thomas - Period 1 - 6/10/13.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet study guide from Gradesaver
Study guide contains a biography of Jamie Ford, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Additional premium content available for a fee. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweetstudy guide from SuperSummary
In-depth study guides written by experienced teachers, professors, and literary scholars for a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles. Subscription service.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet study guide from Shmoop
Digital curriculum and test prep publisher offering online learning and test prep and teaching materials on the web and mobile. Some content for purchase. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet study guide from BookBrowse
BookBrowse is an online magazine for booklovers - including reviews, previews, "beyond the book" articles, author interviews, reading guides, and much more. Subscription service.


Japanese Chinese Internment.  Library of Congress: Teaching with Primary Sources 

The American Japanese Internment: How Young People Saw It.  Smithsonian Education 

Japanese American National Museum 

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives 

A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution. The National Museum of American History

View Daily Life in a Japanese-American Internment Camp Through the Lens of Ansel Adams. Smithsonian Magazine

Japanese Relocation During World War II: Educator Resources.  National Archives

Japanese American Exhibit & Access Project.  University of Washington. Universities Libraries - Special Collections

Seattle/Chinatown International District showcases the many cultures in the area

Japanese Internment Camps: Teacher Lesson Page.  Harry S. Truman Library and Museum


Fiction Books:

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

Disappearing Moon Café by Sky Lee

The Climate of the Country by Marnie Mueller

Heart Mountain by Gretel Ehrlich

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Such Sweet Thunder by Vincent O. Carter

The Soldier’s Return by Melvyn Bragg

Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter R. Pouncey

Liberation by Joanna Scott

All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

12 Pictures at an Exhibition by Sara Houghteling

Nonfiction Books:

Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment by Dorothea Lange

Only What We Could Carry: the Japanese American Internment Experience by Lawson Fusao Inada, California Historical Society

Japanese American Internment Camps by Gail Sakurai

Last Witnesses: Reflections on the Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans edited by Erica Harth

Democracy on Trial by Page Smith

And Justice for All: An Oral History of the Japanese American Detention Camp by John Tateishis

Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps by Michi Nishiura Weglyn


Japanese Relocation with Milton Eisenhower from the War Relocation Authority (WRA) and Office of War Information (OWI) is available for free download at the Internet Archive   

Challenge to Democracy (Japanese Internment) is available for free download at the Internet Archive 

Barriers and Passes, ca. 1939 - ca. 1945 is available for free download at the Internet Archive  

Toyo’s Camera  

The Cats of Mirikitani

Rabbit in the Moon

Snow Falling on Cedars