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WOW… this book opened my eyes. I knew the horrors that the Germans visited on the Jewish people. As I read about the American treatment of the Japanese post-Pearl Harbour filled me with such sadness. This Light Between Us also tells, through letters, of a friendship that crossed oceans.
What I am Reviewing
This Light Between Us is written by Andrew Fukuda. An unlikely friendship spills out of 384 pages in this hardcover tome. I received a ARC copy and am reviewing on behalf of Raincoast books. A young adult novel it is both emotionally compelling as well as steeped in history. Countries at odds with each other, fighting a brutal enemy and yet…Deeper thoughts. Line drawings occasionally pop up, but mostly it is story with letters interspersed. Published by Torteen Books
In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Levy of Paris, France – a girl . ….From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.
The Details for This Light Between Us
This is an excellent piece of historical fiction, a great look both sides of a World War 2. I wrote on my instagram page that I had never really thought before of what the Japanese internment would have meant to the children. These AMERICAN born Japanese children and teenagers to be taken away to those internment camps as if they had done something wrong. Can you imagine the anger and hurt that would have created?
Since I received an ARC copy of this book a lot of the graphics that will be included I couldn’t see. Overall I’d say there was one sketch per every six to eight chapters. They are all simple line drawings, much like you’d see from a beginning cartoonist which is what Alex is. You can well imagine him drawing them to amuse Charlie.
I deliberately didn’t read all the way to the end, that way I wouldn’t be tempted to give the ending away. But I’m captivated, it’s a really good read showing both sides so well.
I was planning on finishing it and handing it over to my lad. My plans changed when I was telling him what I was reading and he was curious ergo we’re now reading it together. WW2 is what he’s studying for history this year. This will give him another perspective on the war I don’t see talked about much.
I fell in love with the characters and found myself rooting for them against the odds they were facing. I hope my lad will see the fear and prejudice, understand the different ways of reacting against it, see the understanding of why people didn’t fight back, and the parallels in this war. It’s not always an easy read, but it is an enlightening one. I only hope This Light Between Us is not heart-breaking at the end.