Kirkus Reviews QR Code


A World War II Scrapbook

by Beverly Patt & illustrated by Shula Klinger

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5577-6
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

On April 24, 1942, when Dottie Masouka’s Japanese-American family lose their rights as American citizens and are removed to an internment camp in Puyallup, Wash., her best friend Louise Krueger starts working on a scrapbook to share with Dottie. Interspersed with her journal account are Dottie’s letters to Louise as well as correspondence from Louise’s soldier brother and sailor pen pal, newspaper clippings, drawings and pasted-in realia. Each page is antiqued and yellowed, making the whole nine-month record jibe with Patt’s use of ’40s slang. The youthful voices ring realistically with 14-year-old righteous indignation. Dottie’s sketches and optimism reveal her determination to be strong and help her family get by while living in dust-coated stalls and being watched by gun-toting soldiers. Louise is fearful that families with German names like hers will be taken away as well. Their account of wartime terror is made more poignant by their resolution to make their lives beautiful and meaningful. The faux-diary format is sure to appeal. (Fiction. 9-12)