A Place to Belong

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Children , Young Adult , History

A Place to Belong

Title: A Place to Belong
By: Cynthia Kadohata
Published: 2019
Call #: J Kodah, C

So devastating and yet so gorgeous.  This book takes a unique approach to the story of Japanese Internment. The story opens when the World War II is over. Hanako’s parents have agreed to renounce their US Citizenship and  move to Japan to live with her grandparents. Jiichan (grandfather) and Baachan (grandmother) are tenant subsistence farmers near Hiroshima. One of the characters is a boy who was bombed in that city and lost his ear and has a scarred back due to the bomb, a starving street boy. With Hanako, you experience everything a sensitive pre-teen would notice about post war Japan. Kadohata has this “slice of life” narrative style that seems tailor made for this story. This was the book Kadohata was born to write (she’s been working on it for 10 years) and it was just nominated for the National Book Award. Strongly recommended for 5th grade and up to adult. (Read this first before your 3rd or 4th grader attempts it or perhaps read it together.)

“This is a book to sink deep into.”  Horn Book Magazine, starred review




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