Friday, November 6, 2015

Dolls of Hope



Dolls of Hope
by Shirley Parenteau
Candlewick Press, 2015. Fiction 317 p.

Chiyo isn't so sure about her sister's arrange marriage with a wealthy, older man. But when her future brother-in-law arranges for her to have the honor of attending a upper class boarding school, she begins to warm up to him a little. Chiyo has been raised all her life in a poor mountain village--so fitting in with all the important rich girls and their polished manners is rather difficult. When over 12,000 friendship dolls are sent to Japan by  American children, Chiyo is the one person in her school who is given the very important task of taking care of one of them. This, of course, does not sit well with some of her more privileged classmates who feel she is not worthy of the honor. Not only was this a really fun story to read, but it also taught me a great deal about a fascinating, little-known historical event--the exchange of friendship dolls between the USA and Japan back in the 1920's. After finishing this book readers might want to do a little bit of online searching and see some of the many great pictures that were taken of these unique doll ambassadors.This book is a beautiful and simple story that would make a great read aloud.

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