Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Diamond in the Desert

A Diamond in the Desert
By Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Viking Children's Books, 2012. 258 pages. Historical fiction.

A Diamond in the Desert (based on true events) focuses on an often-neglected but important part of American WWII history. In this novel, young Japanese boy Tetsu and his family are sent to a "relocation" camp in Arizona after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This was done in paranoid hopes of limiting the Japanese threat to Americans on the mainland. It was not an easy time for the families who were sent to the middle of nowhere to live in desert barracks. Tetsu misses his life back home. He was a baseball player before camp, and is thrilled when some of the other boys decide to pull a team together and even build a baseball diamond in the desert sand. The internment camps are a blemish on American history, but Kathryn Fitzmaurice eloquently tells the story in a hopeful way while not glossing over the real tragedy of the times. She does a thoughtful job of portraying the camps and the prisoner families- excellently contrasted with the joy of Tetsu's new-found friendships and baseball adventures. A great book for boys looking for sports stories or historical fiction!

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