Friday, December 16, 2016

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky

In 1942 twelve year old Tomi Itano and her family work on their strawberry farm in California. She loves the way the red berries look against the white clouds and blue sky because it reminds her of the flag. She is a second generation Japanese American and couldn’t be more proud to be an American. When Tomi walks to town with her younger brother she is surprised to see a sign in a window proclaiming that Japanese are not allowed. She and her brothers were born in America, and they don’t even speak Japanese. Her father is suspected of being a spy and is taken away in handcuffs, and the fear in her heart becomes very real. Soon Tomi’s mother is selling all their belongings except a few things they will take with them when the government relocates them. Where are they going? They aren’t sure, but they eventually end up in an internment camp with other Japanese families they don’t know in Colorado. Tomi works to have a good attitude and helps her mom make their new home feel a little better. As time stretches on and the family is forced to live in poor conditions apart from the rest of the country, it's harder to be positive. Tomi is confused by the way they're treated and becomes bitter. Will Tomi see her father again? How long with the Itanos and other families need to stay in the internment camp? Will things ever get better? You’ll have to read this book to find out how things turn out for Tomi and her family.

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas is a wonderful historical fiction book about a family who will tug at your heart. I could relate to Tomi and I felt sad for her when her life changed. I can’t imagine having to go through something like that, and not knowing if her life would ever go back to normal must have been terrifying. I would recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up who enjoy learning about history. I think a lot of people know about World War II, but so many kids, and I am sure some adults, do not know much about internment camps. We get to see what life was like for a typical family who was forced out of their home and had to live under government supervision. I found myself hoping that good things would come their way and was impressed with their perseverance. We can all learn a lot from history and it is a reminder not to judge people or treat them differently because of their background. I look forward to reading more books about this time in history.

Has anyone else read Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky? Or have you read another book by Sandra Dallas? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading! ~L

40 comments:

  1. This sounds like a good one; will have to read it. That time period of WW2 is fascinating to me!

    betty

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    1. Betty- It is a great read! I hope you enjoy it! :) ~L

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  2. I would definetely read it. The story sounds interesting even tho I'm not really a great fan of historical fiction.
    Hugs!:)

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    1. ToTylkoJa- The characters really bring the story to life and I think you will enjoy it! :) ~L

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  3. Internment camps dislocated so many lives.
    This sounds like a wonderful way to tell a largely untold story.

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    1. EC- I couldn't agree with you more! :) ~L

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  4. You have me with "red berries" my favorite !!
    and this sounds like a good one !!

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    1. Gloria- With all the cooking you do, I can see why the berries grabbed you. :) ~L

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  5. No, I am not familiar with this author.... Thanks so much for sharing!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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    1. Michael- Glad to introduce you to Sandra! Happy Holidays to you too! :) ~L

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  6. Not familiar with the book or the author, but I think I will become familiar. You make this sound very compelling. My favorite book about internment camps is A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice. It's quite wonderful. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Rosi- I read this one and A Diamond in the Desert back to back. They are told in different styles, but give readers a look at life in an internment camp. I think you will really enjoy this one. :) ~L

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  7. This sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing. Valerie

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    1. Valerie- You are welcome! It is a great read! :) ~L

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  8. Hi DMS - what an interesting tale of history ... and I haven't heard of the author before. I temped and got sent to the Hilton for some typing work ... an American was in with us, then a Japanese came in and the American 'whistled' through his teeth for the whole time the chap was in the room with us. It was unsettling as I'd never experienced anything like that ...

    Interesting remembrance of history ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary- This is a great read and hopefully one that will show people how wrong it is to judge others based on their race or where their family is from. So sad to hear your story. Thanks for sharing! :) ~L

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  9. I've not read any books by her but this one touches at a period near and dear to my heart so thanks for alerting me to it!

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    1. Jeanie- I think this was my first book by her too- but I look forward to reading more. A book you will definitely enjoy. :) ~L

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  10. Sounds like a great one that touches on what it must have been like in Internment camp.

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    1. Pat- I thought it was wonderful! :) ~L

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  11. I have been reading about the Internment Camps lately and have visited a few. A dark day in our history, to be sure. This looks like a great novel for introducing the topic!

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    1. Meradeth- I have never visited one, but I can imagine that it would be a powerful trip. Definitely a dark day in our history. :) ~L

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  12. Oh my goodness, it sounds like a box of tissues are advisable whilst reading this.

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    1. Tracy- They would be good to keep on hand. :) ~L

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  13. Sounds like a powerful and fascinating read...

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    1. Optimistic Existentialist- You betcha! :) ~L

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  14. it is so good for kids to read multicultural stories if they;'re not biased, that is

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    1. Dezmond- Definitely important to read multicultural stories. :) ~L

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  15. I know this is a different novel, but reading about it made me think about Esperanza Rising. I especially loved this novel, and it also sounds like this one is making a political commentary as well as discussing social class too. I love the title and this sounds like one I will be trying out. Great review!

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    1. Olivia-Savannah- I loved Esperanza Rising and can see how this book made you think of it. Both families have to undergo a major change and the father is not in the picture. I hope you give it a try because I think you will really enjoy it and the themes. :) ~L

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  16. I think everyone should read this book... no on race/religion should end up as outcasts... and treated so poorly. With everything that is going on in this world, it hurts my heart to know that anyone could be treated like this... it sounds like a very good book xox

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    1. Launna- I agree with you that everyone would benefit from reading this book. It really sheds light on how silly and wrong it is to judge people based on race or religion. It is a great read! :) ~L

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  17. Happy Holidays, Stephanie and Jess.

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    1. Happy Holidays, Sandra! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  18. Those were sad and dark times in our history. I haven't read the book, but it sounds like a great one. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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    1. Beverly- Definitely a sad and dark time in history! If you get to read it, I think you will enjoy it! ~L

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  19. Sounds interesting, I love historical fiction!

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    1. Marcia- It is a great read! :) ~L

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  20. I never like reading historical fiction like this. Makes me ashamed of humanity.

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    1. Adriana- It definitely made me feel ashamed and I hope that everyone who reads it will realize that things like internment camps are not at all okay! :) ~L

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