My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thank you, NetGalley and Scholastic, for this free book to review!
Although Mitsi Kashino and her family are swept up in the wave of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mitsi never expects to lose her home -- or her beloved dog, Dash. But, as World War II rages and people of Japanese descent are forced into incarceration camps, Mitsi is separated from Dash, her classmates, and life as she knows it. The camp is a crowded and unfamiliar place, whose dusty floors, seemingly endless lines, and barbed wire fences begin to unravel the strong Kashino family ties. With the help of a friendly neighbor back home, Mitsi remains connected to Dash in spite of the hard times, holding on to the hope that the war will end soon and life will return to normal. Though they've lost their home, will the Kashino family also lose their sense of family? And will Mitsi and Dash ever be reunited?What I loved:
1. Misti. She really is a likable protagonist. Often in animal-driven novels, the main character is over dramatic and lame, but not Mitsi. She's a sweet child who's separated from her dog/only friend.
2. The story begins after the bombing, when Mitsi comes back to school after Christmas break. In the other books I've read about the Japanese incarceration the characters just skipped school. Dash shows what happened to those who kept going.
3. The writing style. I could feel Mitsi's emotions despite having zero relatablity to her.
Things that were meh:
1. Why did Mitsi feel like her family was falling apart? It's not the end of the world if your brother and grandma make new friends. When your brother begins stealing things, sure, but before that? It shouldn't have been a big deal.
2. The time transitions were confusing. I couldn't tell if a scene was happening a minute, a day, or weeks after the previous one.
3. What happened to the Japanese men who were separated from their families? Was it so horrible that it can't be explained in a children's book?
Would I read other books by Kirby Larson? Possibly. I'd buy this book for a tween girl who loves dogs, although for myself, I'd probably order other Kirby Larson books from the library.
Adult Content: A
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