Thursday, September 23, 2010

Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook by Beverly Patt

best friends I love everything about this book.  The layout, illustrations and handwritten text really make you feel like you’re reading someone’s scrapbook, and the characters and story are so engaging that once I started reading I couldn’t put it down.  Louise Margaret Krueger, age 14, vows to keep a scrapbook to share with her best friend, Dottie Masuoka, also 14, when Dottie and her family are allowed to return home after being interned with all the other Japanese-Americans during WW II.  The scrapbook begins on April 24, 1942, and continues until January 10, 1943.  Included are letters to Dottie from Louise, Louise’s letters to Dottie, and memorabilia that Louise has taped into the scrapbook, things like a newspaper clipping about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the incident that led to the “evacuation” of Japanese-Americans to camps, the handbill instructing all persons of Japanese ancestry to report for evacuation, and the note that someone threw through the Kruegers front window “Go back to Germany Nazis.”   The book really gives a good picture of the history of the time period, and Louise’s affection for her friend and contempt for the cowardly way her family is treated make the book a wonderful read.  Review by Stacy Church

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