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Review: Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky

June 24, 2016


Red Berries

Tomi Itano’s parents immigrated from Japan to make a better lives for themselves.  Tomi and her brother were born in the US and are as American as apple pie – their parents have taught them to be good citizens and take pride in their country.

Things change for the Itano’s after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  Tomi’s father is arrested and held without charges and the rest of the family is sent to a relocation camp in Colorado.

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas is a wonderful historical fiction novel for middle grade readers and I absolutely loved it.  It tells the story of Japanese internment camps from the point of view of twelve year old Tomi and I thought her voice felt very authentic.

I loved the way the book pointed out the injustice of the internment camps (Italians and Germans weren’t rounded up) and the resilience and hope of the people in them.  Readers also learned that while many people shunned the Japanese and supported the camps there were people who were opposed to them as well.

I think Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky is a fantastic way to introduce young readers to a part of our history that hasn’t been discussed much until the last few years.  In light of today’s politics, I think it’s an especially relevant book that will appeal to middle grade readers on up.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Sleeping Bear Press. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2016 4:42 am

    I’ve read about the internment camps for not only Japanese but also for German and Polish Americans. It must be a sad part of American history to intern your own.

  2. June 24, 2016 6:58 am

    I’ve read a few of her historical novels – didn’t know she wrote for young readers. This sounds like a wonderful book.

  3. June 24, 2016 9:36 am

    That’s exactly why I like Ruta Sepetys’ books. They are YAs that teach kids history without cramming it down their throats. This looks to be the same.

  4. June 24, 2016 10:50 am

    What a great way for young children to learn about a very important part of history.

  5. June 24, 2016 11:12 am

    This seems like it is a great companion for her adult novel, Tallgrass, about those internment camps. I like the idea of teaching kids history through fiction, and I think Dallas would do a wonderful job.

  6. June 24, 2016 11:32 am

    This does sound excellent and very, very relevant!

  7. June 24, 2016 3:18 pm

    I like the title of this book–which includes the red, white, and blue–as well as the idea of it. Terrific review, Kathy!

  8. Literary Feline permalink
    June 24, 2016 4:30 pm

    This sounds like a great book. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  9. Patty permalink
    June 24, 2016 6:52 pm

    This really isn’t often discussed.

  10. readerbuzz permalink
    June 25, 2016 9:00 am

    I remember the name Sandra Dallas, so I had to take a look at Goodreads. Sure enough I’ve read several Sandra Dallas books, but it was so long ago that I didn’t post reviews at Goodreads. Happy to hear she is still writing.

  11. June 25, 2016 10:27 am

    What a great way for kids to understand what happened to the Japanese here in America. it seems like they always learn about the Holocaust but there were similar things happening right here.

  12. June 25, 2016 6:28 pm

    This does sound like a fantastic and important read. Thanks for putting this one on my radar!

  13. Mary@SplendidSummer permalink
    June 26, 2016 11:40 pm

    Interesting title and important history. Wishing you wonderful summer reading.

  14. bookingmama permalink
    June 27, 2016 7:58 am

    I definitely need to read this one. Looks fantastic. I need to look it up but I think Ms. Dallas wrote an adult book years ago about the internment camps.

  15. July 1, 2016 8:33 pm

    A very important book for kids(and some politicians) today to be familiar with. Just so history doesn’t repeat itself.

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