EYES OF THE EMPEROR

Salisbury chronicles the true story of Hawaiian soldiers of Japanese descent following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eddy Okubo has an evolving understanding that Japanese Americans are no longer trusted, even if they are serving in the U.S. armed forces. “To them we all look like Hirohito. . . . We got the eyes of the Emperor,” they realize. Eddy and 25 others are sent to Cat Island, Miss., where their humiliation is absolute. They are part of an experiment (based on a racist, erroneous theory that Japanese smell different from Caucasians) to see if army dogs can be trained to scent Japanese soldiers. Through a process of merciless brutalization, the dogs will be trained to hate, hunt and attack “the bait.” Eddy can only face this cruel duty by reconciling it with his vow to wipe out the shame his father felt after Pearl Harbor, and to prove his loyalty and his worthiness to serve. Salisbury’s tone, both unsentimental and unsensational, renders his telling all the more powerfully affecting. Morally and psychologically complex, historically accurate and unforgettably gripping. (author’s note, glossary) (Historical fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2005

ISBN: 0-385-72971-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

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THE BOOK THIEF

When Death tells a story, you pay attention. Liesel Meminger is a young girl growing up outside of Munich in Nazi Germany, and Death tells her story as “an attempt—a flying jump of an attempt—to prove to me that you, and your human existence, are worth it.” When her foster father helps her learn to read and she discovers the power of words, Liesel begins stealing books from Nazi book burnings and the mayor’s wife’s library. As she becomes a better reader, she becomes a writer, writing a book about her life in such a miserable time. Liesel’s experiences move Death to say, “I am haunted by humans.” How could the human race be “so ugly and so glorious” at the same time? This big, expansive novel is a leisurely working out of fate, of seemingly chance encounters and events that ultimately touch, like dominoes as they collide. The writing is elegant, philosophical and moving. Even at its length, it’s a work to read slowly and savor. Beautiful and important. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 14, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83100-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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CLOCKWORK ANGEL

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 1

A century before the events of Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy, another everyday heroine gets entangled with demon-slaying Shadowhunters. Sixteen-year-old orphaned Tessa comes to London to join her brother but is imprisoned by the grotesque Dark Sisters. The sisters train the unwilling Tessa in previously unknown shapeshifter abilities, preparing her to be a pawn in some diabolical plan. A timely rescue brings Tessa to the Institute, where a group of misfit Shadowhunters struggles to fight evil. Though details differ, the general flavor of Tessa’s new family will be enjoyably familiar to the earlier trilogy’s fans; the most important is Tessa’s rescuer Will, the gorgeous, sharp-tongued teenager with a mysterious past and a smile like “Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven.” The lush, melodramatic urban fantasy setting of the Shadowhunter world morphs seamlessly into a steampunk Victorian past, and this new series provides the setup for what will surely be a climactic battle against hordes of demonically powered brass clockworks. The tale drags in places, but this crowdpleaser’s tension-filled conclusion ratchets toward a new set of mysteries. (Steampunk. 13-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7586-1

Page Count: 496

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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