Gr ---Lowry recounts her memories of being a child in Hawaii and her experience of moving to Tokyo when she was 11. Her personal experiences serve as the narrative foundation that eulogizes the many lives lost in two of World War II's tragic events: the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. This series of beautiful, moving, and sometimes horrifying poems gives a voice to the young men on the USS Arizona and offers an equally moving tribute to the survivors of Hiroshima. A brief introduction explains the author's presence in Hawaii and recounts the bombing of Pearl Harbor, followed by the poems of survivors as well as those who died. The poems are touching but also very specific and sometimes graphic. One discusses the captain of the Arizona and how his ring from the Naval Academy was found melted and fused to a mast of the ship. Poems about those who experienced Hiroshima are equally graphic but certainly just as compelling. The second half of the book provides a brief explanation about the bombing of Hiroshima followed by the poems. The final section depicts Lowry's experiences living in Tokyo. The author shares her hope for the future and stresses the interconnectedness of humanity. VERDICT While not an essential purchase, Lowry offers a unique view of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima in an unusual format that could be useful for the classroom. Teachers looking for different approaches to history could use this title to highlight the differences and similarities that perspective brings to history.--Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York CityCopyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
As a child, two-time Newbery Medalist Lowry lived in Hawaii and Japan, where her father was deployed during and after WWII. Lowry uses that personal lens to view two horrific acts of war: the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan and the atomic destruction of Hiroshima by the U.S. In a slim volume, a variety of poetic forms convey details about people whose lives were lost or forever changed: 37 sets of brothers were aboard the USS Arizona, where 1,177 people died; a four-year-old Japanese boy in Hiroshima was buried with his beloved red tricycle. The book's structure makes the events feel like equivalent tragedies, which may trouble some readers, since both were acts of war, but the U.S. bombed noncombatants. A third section details Lowry's experiences living in postwar Japan; some remembrances lighten the otherwise somber mood, including one surprise about Lowry's childhood encounter with a boy who would also go on to become a luminary in children's literature. Part memoir, part history, this is a powerful reminder that damage done will be remembered for many decades to come. Black-and-white illustrations by Pak have the feeling of vintage photographs. Ages 10-12. Author's agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Apr.)■Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.