A place to belong

Cynthia Kadohata

Book - 2019

Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

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Bookmobile Children's Show me where

jFICTION/Kadohata, Cynthia
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Children's Room Show me where

jFICTION/Kadohata Cynthia
1 / 2 copies available
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Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Published
New York : Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Pubishing Division [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Caitlyn Dlouhy book."
Physical Description
405 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781481446648
1481446649
Main Author
Cynthia Kadohata (author)
Other Authors
Julia Kuo (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Hanako has experienced much in her 12 years. Her father owned a restaurant, but when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she and her family, like more than 100,000 Nikkei, were put into internment camps. That life was difficult, yet there were familiarities as well. Now, she and her parents and little brother, Akira, are on a boat to Japan to live with her grandparents on a tenant farm near Hiroshima. In a story that is both beautifully crafted yet utterly true to a child's innermost thoughts and feelings, Kadohata brings Hanako to a war-ravaged country, where being hungry is a fact of life and possibilities seem small. And yet: here there are grandparents who adore her and teach her new ways; it's a place where she learns how to balance tenderness and selfishness; and as she absorbs her new surroundings, Hanako becomes wedded to her heritage, discovering what families do, in ways big and small, to make one another safe and happy. As she has shown in her previous books, including the Newbery Medal–winning Kira-Kira (2004), Kadohata is superb at writing relationships, and here each unfolds like a flower. Mostly, the relationships here are intergenerational, but Hanako also meets a boy scarred from the Hiroshima bomb. The sting and purity of their interactions, as well as the history interwoven there and throughout the novel, make an indelible impression. Another gift from Kadohata to her readers. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

With trademark faith in her protagonist's resilience, Kadohata (Checked) depicts an ugly chapter of history through the eyes of 12-year-old Hanako, whose parents were coerced into renouncing their American citizenship in a U.S. internment camp during WWII. After their release, they emigrate to her father's family farm outside Hiroshima. Stepping off the train, Hanako immediately encounters bedraggled soldiers and people who barely survived the U.S. bombing, and she is embraced by her warm, good-humored grandparents. The push-pull between humanity's best and worst and between acceptance and resistance are at the heart of this powerful and joyful work. Hanako's philosophical awakening goes much deeper than the caught-between-cultures dilemma that the title implies. The girl forms her moral compass in an environment fraught with desperate decisions (should she give food to the bomb-scarred beggar boy or to her own little brother?), but in Kadohata's confident hands, the drama is threaded with light, like the kintsukuroi—broken pottery mended with gold seams—that Hanako's grandfather shows her. Kadohata's plainspoken storytelling, in which small things, such as mochi cakes, inspire rapture, and moving halfway around the world is taken more or less in stride, will resonate with adults as well as young readers. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–14. (May) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5 Up—World War II has ended and 12-year-old Hanako, her five-year old brother Akira, and their American-born parents have spent the past four years imprisoned in a series of internment camps. Hana's parents accept an offer from the U.S. government to renounce their American citizenship and expatriate to Japan. Their plan is to live with Hanako's father's parents, poor tenant farmers outside the city of Hiroshima. Hanako is hopeful for her family's new chance in Japan and immediately loves her Jiichan and Baachan but is faced with the realities of life in an unfamiliar, war-blighted country. Resources are scarce; as her family toils endlessly to keep food in the house, Hanako is torn between providing for her family and sharing what little she has with the people she encounters around Hiroshima. In her trademark style, Kadohata unfurls the complex web of the girl's inner thoughts in a concise yet cutting third-person narrative. Hanako attempts to discern what it means to be good and how to belong in a place where one is not truly welcome. An afterword gives further details on the history of internment and expatriate Americans in Japan. VERDICT A first purchase for collections needing complex and emotionally impactful historical fiction.—Darla Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Reeling from the treatment they endured in the internment camps of World War II America, a Japanese-American family renounces their American citizenship to move back to Hiroshima, unaware of the devastation inflicted by the atomic bomb. By the Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira. 75,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019A Japanese-American family, reeling from their ill treatment in the Japanese internment camps, gives up their American citizenship to move back to Hiroshima, unaware of the devastation wreaked by the atomic bomb in this piercing look at the aftermath of World War II by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata.World War II has ended, but while America has won the war, twelve-year-old Hanako feels lost. To her, the world, and her world, seems irrevocably broken.America, the only home she's ever known, imprisoned then rejected her and her family'and thousands of other innocent Americans'because of their Japanese heritage, because Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.Japan, the country they've been forced to move to, the country they hope will be the family's saving grace, where they were supposed to start new and better lives, is in shambles because America dropped bombs of their own'one on Hiroshima unlike any other in history. And Hanako's grandparents live in a small village just outside the ravaged city.The country is starving, the black markets run rampant, and countless orphans beg for food on the streets, but how can Hanako help them when there is not even enough food for her own brother?Hanako feels she could crack under the pressure, but just because something is broken doesn't mean it can't be fixed. Cracks can make room for gold, her grandfather explains when he tells her about the tradition of kintsukuroi'fixing broken objects with gold lacquer, making them stronger and more beautiful than ever. As she struggles to adjust to find her place in a new world, Hanako will find that the gold can come in many forms, and family may be hers.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019A Japanese-American family, reeling from their ill treatment in the Japanese internment camps, gives up their American citizenship to move back to Hiroshima, unaware of the devastation wreaked by the atomic bomb in this piercing look at the aftermath of World War II by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata.World War II has ended, but while America has won the war, twelve-year-old Hanako feels lost. To her, the world, and her world, seems irrevocably broken.America, the only home she’s ever known, imprisoned then rejected her and her family—and thousands of other innocent Americans—because of their Japanese heritage, because Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.Japan, the country they’ve been forced to move to, the country they hope will be the family’s saving grace, where they were supposed to start new and better lives, is in shambles because America dropped bombs of their own—one on Hiroshima unlike any other in history. And Hanako’s grandparents live in a small village just outside the ravaged city.The country is starving, the black markets run rampant, and countless orphans beg for food on the streets, but how can Hanako help them when there is not even enough food for her own brother?Hanako feels she could crack under the pressure, but just because something is broken doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. Cracks can make room for gold, her grandfather explains when he tells her about the tradition of kintsukuroi—fixing broken objects with gold lacquer, making them stronger and more beautiful than ever. As she struggles to adjust to find her place in a new world, Hanako will find that the gold can come in many forms, and family may be hers.