|Red berries, white clouds, blue sky|
Author: Dallas, Sandra
After Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese, twelve-year-old Tomi and her Japanese-American family are split up and forced to leave their California home to live in internment camps in New Mexico and Colorado.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 173571
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 64873
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/14)
School Library Journal (09/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2014 Dallas revisits the setting of her best-selling adult novel Tallgrass (2007) in this fictionalized view of U.S. internment camps during WWII. Twelve-year-old Tomi is as American as the strawberries that grow behind her California home, even though both of her parents were born in Japan. When the U.S. declares war against Japan in 1941, she is suddenly perceived as a traitor in her own country. First Pop is taken away. Then Tomi, her mother, and her brother are forced to leave home, assigned to live in a horse stall at a racetrack before moving to an internment camp, Tallgrass, near Ellis, Colorado. At first the camp residents keep their distance from one another. But, like Opal in Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie (2000), Tomi begins making peace with her situation through friendships with others. She and her new friend Ruth scheme up ways to create a sense of community in Tallgrass. The result is a realistic portrayal of the internment camps, brightened by the determination of one girl to remain true to her optimistic spirit. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Tomi is a 12-year-old American citizen of Japanese descent living in California during World War II. Her life is turned upside down after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. "No Japs Allowed" signs hang in shop windows and she is excluded from events as a result of her heritage. Ultimately, Tomi and her family are sent to an internment camp called Tallgrass (based on Amache, an internment camp in Colorado). Tomi does not understand why she should be relocated; she was born in America; she is an American. She has never been to Japan and does not even speak Japanese. Rather than feel defeated, she finds strength in dire circumstances. Tomi makes it her mission to improve the lives of those around her and give them happiness. Dallas makes an important time in American history accessible to middle grade readers with this novel that illuminates a time of discrimination while promoting a message of perseverance and tolerance.—Tiffany Davis, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.