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HEROES by Ken Mochizuki


by Ken Mochizuki & illustrated by Dom Lee

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-880000-16-4
Publisher: Lee & Low

 Set in the 1960s, this is the story of Donnie Okada, a young Japanese-American boy, who always has to play the enemy in war games with his friends because he ``looks like them.'' His friends show off WW II medals from their fathers, but don't believe Donnie when he says his father and uncle served in the U.S. Army in Europe and Korea. Donnie's father and uncle won't come through with proof, saying only that ``real heroes don't brag.'' One day, however, after Donnie is chased home with toy guns, the two men show up at his school dressed in their uniforms and covered with medals. This book evocatively recreates a time when the war was still fresh in the minds of young parents, and ably shows how subtly prejudice was passed on to their children. But Heroes is also a tribute to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Japanese- American regiment, and serves as a reminder of their important contribution. (Picture book. 4-9)