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HOUSE OF THE RED FISH by Graham Salisbury


by Graham Salisbury

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: July 25th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73121-3
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

A year-and-a-half after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, fear still grips 14-year-old Tomi Nakaji. His father’s fishing boat was sunk and his partner killed in an unjustified attack. Now the father is in an internment camp, his grandfather has just returned from a camp and Tomi is determined to stand up to Keet Wilson, the local haole (white) bully and raise that boat, a symbol of hope and courage in an embittered time. This sequel to Under the Blood-Red Sun (1994), winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, has one scene at its heart and might have been more effective as a short story. As a novel, however, it has a leisurely pace that allows an exploration of both racism and community, the meanness of Keet Wilson standing in contrast to the rich diversity of cultures in Tomi’s world—Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino, Portuguese. The rousing final scene will have readers cheering. Salisbury’s previous work, Eyes of the Emperor (2005), is a fine companion, portraying the experience of Japanese-Americans in the war itself. (Fiction. 10-14)