UNDER THE BLOOD-RED SUN by Graham Salisbury
Kirkus Star


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Salisbury (Blue Skin of the Sea, 1992) traces the life of Tomikazu Nakaji, a Japanese-American boy in Hawaii, from just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor to immediately following it. The change is, of course, dramatic -- from a carefree, if poor, 12-year-old schoolboy, Tomi becomes an enemy in the eyes of his neighbors. His gentle, fisherman father is imprisoned, his boat sunk. Tomi's grandfather, a harmless old man, is taken away. Alone with his mother and five-year-old sister, Tomi must become the man of the family, despite his own fear. In addition to his daily worries, he must reconcile the disgrace he suffers from the surprise bombing with the pride he has in his heritage, a pride that he feels more keenly now that his father and grandfather are no longer there to preserve it for him. Although many non-Japanese are cruel to Tomi and his family, the characters who stand out are the ones who are generous and understanding: a Hawaiian friend of Tomi's grandfather, a wealthy haole (white) neighbor, and Tomi's friends of all races, who stick by him through everything and struggle to understand his plight. Salisbury evokes historical time and place effortlessly so that the true message of the story -- the value of friendship -- shines through.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0440411394
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Delacorte