Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 by Barry Denenberg (A Dear America Book)

Synopsis: Amber Billows and her family move to Oahu in 1941, as her father, a reporter, is transferred there to cover the tensions with Japan. Amber, concerned with making friends and grades, only knows about the tension from the military men her father brings home as part of his job. Then the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and Amber’s life – and everyone else’s – changes.

Review: Without realizing it, Amber does an excellent job of capturing the tension that people in Hawaii felt regarding the possible war with Japan. While Amber doesn’t always understand the reactions of the adults, as an adult reader, I do. This is a testament to the author’s writing. He does an excellent job of capturing the chaos, the shock, the blood, panic, and surprise, how in one morning, paradise became hell. The characters are engaging and well-rounded. In particular, I like Amber’s mother, and understood her actions, as an adult, in ways Amber could not. While the author does not spare the details of the attack or the hospital scenes after, this is acceptable for older elementary age readers. It’s an excellent introduction to Pearl Harbor and what happened after. Worth reading. 

Bookmarks: 4 of 5

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-439-32874-8
Year Published: 2001
Date Finished: 2-16-2017
Pages: 156

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