Tor Teen (January 7, 2020)
“I remember visiting Manzanar and standing in the windswept plains where over ten thousand internees were once imprisoned, their voices cut off. I remember how much I wanted to write a story that did right by them. Hopefully this book delivers.”—Andrew Fukuda
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In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France—a girl. He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex’s reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic—and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.
From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.
Praise & Reviews
“Fukuda artfully conveys Alex’s inner turmoil and paints visceral combat scenes. …An intriguing premise and fascinating tale.”
“Blending realistic details of life in battle and occupied Paris with Alex’s desperation-fueled visions of Charlie, the book offers a believable hero in shy but determined Alex and introduces new chapters into history that readers may think they know.”
“This readable and informative novel weaves an engaging coming-of-age story with compelling historical context.”
—School Library Connection