Ages 13+ | Breath of Flowers Vol. 1 (Tokyopop)

Breath of Flowers
Published by: Tokyopop
Written by: Caly
Illustrated by: Caly
ISBN: 9781427861511
Ages: 13+


Azami has a serious, serious crush! However, there may be a societal concern about Azami’s crush.

Years ago, Gwyn signed up to attend Azami’s school, blindly taking advice from a friend. What Gwyn did not realize is that her new high school does not have a girl’s basketball team. So when the team assumes she is a boy she rolls with it. However, an admirer of one of the team members keeps showing up for practice (Azami). Unbeknonst to Gwyn, Azami has a crush on her.

At first, Azami is upset by finding out Gwyn is a girl. Later, however, Azami tells her “It means that my feelings haven’t changed even though now I know you’re a girl.” When they get teased out in pubic by one of Gwyn’s middle school friends, Azami gets frustrated and angry with Alvin and knocks over all their drinks in the cafe in order to prove her point.

When Gwyn passes out during basketball practice she is sent to the school nurse. Azami accompanies her, and to her astonishment notices scars and bandages around Gwyn’s chest. The school nurse tells Gwyn that if she keeps binding her chest and not eating in order to look more like a boy, she will have to call her parents. Gwyn immediately starts to isolate herself from Azami. She hides in the library. She starts spending her time with another friend, Judith. And Judith has some serious plans of her own.

At the end of the day, however, Judith’s help becomes an issue, and Gwyn and Azami must figure out together what they really want for themselves and each other.

Language Arts Elements of Story           

Plot: Azami has been attending high school basketball practice becuase she has a crush on a member of the team, Gwyn. When she finds out Gwyn is a girl trying to play basketball on a more and more serious level Azami not only falls more in love with her, but truly embraces Gwyn’s dreams.

Major Characters: Gwyn Torm, Azami Takahashi, Basketball Teammates and Rivals, Roman, Thomas, Alvin, Judith, Zachary, Idina

Major Settings: High School, the Mall, Cafe, Nurse’s Office, Basketball Court, Summer Picnics, Outside Basketball Court, Gwyn’s House, Azami’s House

Themes: Friendship, Gender Identity, Love, Rivalry, Relationships, Goals

Lesson Plan Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards for Middle and High School Readers

Key Ideas & Details
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

*The number(s) referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.corestandards.com)

Lesson Idea for Middle and High School Readers

Before reading, review the themes listed above with your students.

Next, and while reading, ask students to choose two themes and identify and analyze their development throughout the story. Students should include how their two themes inform and overlap with each other as well.

If any students want to shre their ideas, please allow some time for sharing.