By Vicki Berger Erwin
270 pages – ages 8+
Published by Sky Pony Press on October 17, 2017
Synopsis from Publisher- “Twelve-year-old Rosie is fiercely proud to be an American, and has a happy life with her family in their comfortable home in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii.
Then, on the morning of December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor is bombed and everything changes.
Rosie’s parents, both of German descent — but American citizens who have lived in Hawaii nearly all their lives — are immediately rounded up by the military. Though they’ve done nothing wrong, they are interrogated as German spies and imprisoned, and all the family’s possessions are seized. Within days, Rosie and her brother are abandoned and homeless. A relative begrudgingly takes them in until their beloved aunt (who was also rounded up, but released) comes for them. Even then, the children’s once-idyllic lives are filled with darkness and discrimination as they can only wait — and hope — for their parents’ safe return.”
What I Thought- I loved the accuracy of this book! It was based on true things that had happened to a child named Doris Berg and her family in Hawaii. The writing is captivating, and the reader is soon drawn into commiserating with Rosie and her brother Freddie. Everything about the book just feels so real. The Hawaiian beaches, the reactions of kindergarteners, and the blanket of fear felt by everyone. The reader truly feels they are living it all with Rosie and the Schatzer family. Erwin is a master of tearing emotion out of you but somehow keeping your hopes tied together just enough so that you don’t fall apart. The historical accuracy was a refreshing way to learn about a little known aspect that we don’t really hear about – life on Hawaii after Pearl Harbor for people immigrated from countries that had joined the Axis Powers. There is a lot in here that isn’t found in school textbooks. Erwin does a good job of educating readers without sacrificing the story. While Rosie and Freddie certainly go through a lot of troubles in the book, the thing that kind of threw me off a little was that there wasn’t much that they actually solved for themselves. While I guess that this was an accurate portrayal, it got to be disappointing when adult characters just so happened to stop every issue, even if the kids felt the emotional repercussions. I would have liked to see a bit more problem solving in them as they developed more as characters. The story was still absolutely riveting, and I would recommend it to any WWII buff or person looking for a good story. Looking for more from this author! Cover art is wonderful too!
I give this book four out of five bookworms.
Categories: Age 6-9