Book: On the Horizon (2020)
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: MG, Non-Fiction/WWII
Rating: 5 stars
Basic plot: A memoir of sorts, this book focuses on two major events during World War II: The bombings of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Lois Lowry takes her experiences as a young child living in Hawaii, and later Japan, and mingles them with the stories of people who lived (and died) during these pivotal events.
1) As a history buff, I love anything with a connection to history. Most books that focus on World War II tend to discuss the European theatre. This book focuses on the Pacific theatre.
2) The poetry (sometimes blank verse, sometimes rhyme) give this book the quality of introspection. I do think the style ramps up the emotion of the devastation that these two dates in history bring. I’m not always a fan of books written in verse, but this one works very nicely in this format.
3) I like that the book dives into the lives of the ordinary people who died during these events. It makes it that much more personal. That these people were real. The dates (December 7, 1941, and August 6, 1945) aren’t just some historical dates in some dry textbook.
4) I loved the emphasis on healing from the hurts and atrocities of war and hatred. I loved the part about the misunderstanding she has in Japan about the woman who reaches out to touch her hair. What did the woman really say? Did she mean hate or was it really pretty? I love Lowry’s conclusion.
5) The Author’s Note at the end pulls everything together… The two kids—one American and one Japanese—who grow up and connect many years later. And they know their connection is real because of the green bicycle.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) I have nothing to put here. This book was beautiful.
My rating is 5 Stars (out of 5) – I loved this short, poignant look at these two major events during World War II. This book was, in many ways, haunting. But I also love how it focuses on healing from big hurts on both sides of the War. I would recommend to anybody interested in World War II. Note: This is definitely not just for kids. I also think this would make for great classroom discussion.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…