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A Place to Belong Hardcover – May 14, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 108 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-World War II has ended and 12-year-old Hanako, her five-year old brother Akira, and their American-born parents have spent the past four years imprisoned in a series of internment camps. Hana's parents accept an offer from the U.S. government to renounce their American citizenship and expatriate to Japan. Their plan is to live with Hanako's father's parents, poor tenant farmers outside the city of Hiroshima. Hanako is hopeful for her family's new chance in Japan and immediately loves her Jiichan and Baachan but is faced with the realities of life in an unfamiliar, war-blighted country. Resources are scarce; as her family toils endlessly to keep food in the house, Hanako is torn between providing for her family and sharing what little she has with the people she encounters around Hiroshima. In her trademark style, Kadohata unfurls the complex web of the girl's inner thoughts in a concise yet cutting third-person narrative. Hanako attempts to discern what it means to be good and how to belong in a place where one is not truly welcome. An afterword gives further details on the history of internment and expatriate Americans in Japan. ­VERDICT A first purchase for collections needing complex and emotionally impactful historical fiction.-Darla Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"This is a book to sink deep into." Author: Horn Book Magazine, starred review

he New York Times Book Review: "...it's Hanako herself -- warm, thoughtful and deeply affectionate -- who sets the tone for this transcendent story of love and family. [Hanako and her family] pass through the bombed city to live in a village of tenant farmers, so poor that a single potato is precious and Hanako cannot afford to help the scarred boy she tries to befriend. These are devastating circumstances, but Kadohata explains the history behind them in simple, direct prose, perfectly calibrated for younger readers.  Still, her greatest achievement is in never losing sight of the child at the center of her story...The book is filled with unexpected joys, and the most sustaining are the connections Hanako feels with her family."

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books; Illustrated edition (May 14, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1481446649
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1481446648
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 14 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 690L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 5 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.13 x 1.2 x 7.75 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 108 ratings

About the author

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As a child, Cynthia Kadohata’s biggest life goal was not to be a writer. It was to own a dog. Since then, she has had six rescue dogs as her best friends. And, she has been extremely fortunate to have mostly worked as a writer during her adult life. She is the author of ten children’s books, including Kira-Kira, winner of the Newbery Medal; The Thing About Luck, winner of the National Book Award; Weedflower, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award; Cracker, winner of six state awards as voted on by kids; A Place to Belong, longlisted for the National Book Award; and the upcoming Saucy, about a piglet like millions of others, yet also TOTALLY herself.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
108 global ratings
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