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Author: Hughes, Dean
Forced into an internment camp at the start of World War II, eighteen-year-old Yuki enlists in the Army to fight for the Allies as a member of the "Four-Four-Two," a segregated Japanese American regiment.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 185637
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 69837
School Library Journal (00/10/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2016 Gr 7 Up—Yuki Nakahara is American. He was born in California, wears jeans, and has never even visited another country—but at the start of World War II he becomes aware that other Americans see him as a foreign enemy. His family is one of the thousands of Japanese American citizens arrested and forcibly transferred to internment camps in the rural desert. Although depressed about their situation, Yuki and friend Shig decide to join the army to fight for their country and to prove once and for all that they are loyal to the United States. As the war wages on, however, Yuki realizes that he must respect himself and where he came from, and that neither war nor changing others' minds is as easy as he had imagined. Although this is a work of historical fiction, the author's thorough research about the boys of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team and his meticulous descriptions of battle scenes bring the story to life without boring readers familiar or unfamiliar with the military lifestyle. The strong emotions evoked by the vivid details of battle and the other realities of war make this work sometimes difficult to read, but the excitement and compassion will keep even the most hesitant readers turning the pages. Those who follow the news will find connections between Yuki's plight and current events. VERDICT A solid purchase for collections looking to entice reluctant readers and those where historical fiction or war novels are popular.—DeHanza Kwong, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2016 *Starred Review* In December 1941, FBI agents arrest Yuki Nakahara’s father without cause. By 1943, 18-year-old Yuki and his family have been “relocated” from California to an internment camp in Utah. Despite this, Yuki enlists in the U.S. Army with his best friend, Shig, and they join the Second Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (which comprises only Japanese Americans, as whites refuse to fight alongside them). Yuki initially boasts about becoming a war hero, but is sobered as he sees friends killed by German artillery. After months of relentless battle, Yuki and Shig’s comrades-in-arms suffer countless casualties and gain a reputation as “the Purple Heart Battalion.” Finally, because generals view the nisei soldiers as expendable, Yuki’s battalion is sent on an almost impossible mission to rescue white American soldiers surrounded by German forces. Hughes’ writing effectively evokes the horrors of war and the internal conflict of young men fighting for a country that has treated them unjustly. The challenges of Yuki’s reentry into the States are also well conveyed: the guilt of survival, the difficulty of communicating the war experience to civilians, and the continued widespread racism. Though a couple of conversations seem stilted for the sake of exposition, in general the dialogue reads naturally (even the pidgin English spoken by Hawaiian soldiers is decent). This is historical fiction at its finest—immersive and inspirational. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.