This Light Between Us
This Light Between Us

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Annotation: In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki of Bainbridge Island, Washington, is horrified to discover that his new pen pal, Charlie Levy of Paris, France, is a girl, but in spite of his initial reluctance, their letters continue over the years and they fight for their friendship even as Charlie endures the Nazi occupation and Alex leaves his family in an internment camp and joins the Army.
Catalog Number: #286780
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: TOR Books
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 382 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-19239-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9537-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-19239-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9537-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019041410
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
When Alex Maki of Bainbridge Island, Wash., and Charlie Lévy of Paris, France, are assigned to be pen pals in 1935, Alex is initially disappointed to learn that Charlie is a girl, and neither expects to still be writing in 1941. As they-ve grown closer, the world has darkened: in Paris, discrimination against Charlie-s Jewish family gets worse; after Pearl Harbor, Alex-s Japanese-American family is interned far from their home. In an author-s note, Fukuda (the Hunt Trilogy) says that he was inspired to write the novel after learning that Anne Frank had an American pen pal and that a subcamp of Dachau was liberated by an all-Japanese-American battalion. Drawing on these facts, the author creates a compelling juxtaposition in Charlie-s and Alex-s
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up It is 1935 and Alex Maki is excited to start writing to his new French pen pal, Charlie Lévy, until he finds out Charlie is a girl. But the assignments have already been made, and so Alex and Charlie are stuck with each other. Six years later, they're still writing, though so much has changed. Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor, and suddenly everyone in Alex's close-knit community in Washington State distrusts his Japanese American family, even though he and his brother have never set foot in Japan. Charlie, meanwhile, is still in Paris, but it's a Paris no longer friendly to Jews. Then Alex and his family are taken away to a camp and Charlie stops responding to his letters. While this is a story about Alex and his friendship with Charlie, it transcends the two to tackle larger questions of racism and state-sponsored violence. Though there are numerous novels of World War II, Alex's is a fresh story of the internment of Japanese Americans and the Japanese American experience broadly. While occasionally melodramatic, the novel is grounded in meticulous historical research and deals with both internment and life on the war front. VERDICT Recommended where historical novels are popular; this one adds an important perspective to World War II fiction. Zoë McLaughlin, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Kirkus Reviews (12/1/19)
Publishers Weekly (12/1/19)
School Library Journal (12/1/19)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 90,943
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 14.0 / quiz: 508792 / grade: Middle Grades+
Lexile: 690L
Guided Reading Level: T
Fountas & Pinnell: T

Winner of the American Library Association's Asi an/Pacific American Award for Literature For readers of The Librarian Of Auschwitz , This Light Between Us is a powerfully affecting story of World War II about the unlikeliest of pen pals--a Japanese American boy and a French Jewish girl--as they fight to maintain hope in a time of war. "I remember visiting Manzanar and standing in the windswept plains where over ten thousand internees were once imprisoned, their voices cut off. I remember how much I wanted to write a story that did right by them. Hopefully this book delivers."-- Andrew Fukuda In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he's forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France--a girl . He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex's reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic--and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature. 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.

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