The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 (Dear America Series)

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Overview


Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings us the first new Dear America diary in years, taking readers through the attack on Pearl Harbor, the start of World War II, and the Japanese incarceration.

With this sweeping tale of life on the World War II homefront, Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings her incredible talent to the Dear America series. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, America is finally unable to ignore the wars raging in Europe and Asia any longer. And one girl's ...

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Dear America: The Fences Between Us

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Overview


Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings us the first new Dear America diary in years, taking readers through the attack on Pearl Harbor, the start of World War II, and the Japanese incarceration.

With this sweeping tale of life on the World War II homefront, Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings her incredible talent to the Dear America series. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, America is finally unable to ignore the wars raging in Europe and Asia any longer. And one girl's entire life is about to change when everything she knows is turned on its head. After the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, where her brother, a navy sailor, is stationed, Piper Davis begins chronicling her compelling journey through one of history's most tragic and unforgettable eras.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
The incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II was the result of fear and uncertainty. Most Japanese-Americans were peaceful citizens who were as patriotic as any other Americans. Told from Piper Davis' point of view, Larson presents the story of one Baptist minister's desire to protect the Japanese-Americans living in his parish in Seattle, Washington. Written in the form of diary entries, Piper tells how her father works to defend the Japanese-Americans before they are sent to the camps, and how he strives to provide aid to them after they are incarcerated. While the novel is fiction, the story is based on a real Baptist minister who fought to keep his parishioners safe and cared for. Piper herself is an average white American girl; while it is important that the story of the Japanese who were incarcerated in camps during World War II be told, the story, as told from the viewpoint of a child who could come and go as she pleased, misses the mark in retelling this dark chapter from America's past. The novel is part of the "Dear America" series. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
VOYA - Ann Reddy
The Dear America series continues with the World War II diary of Piper Davis. Her father, a pastor in Seattle, Washington, serves a Japanese American community. When her older brother is stationed on the USS Arizona, Piper's caretaker, Mrs. Harada, gives her a diary to help her cope. Piper fills the pages with typical teenage worries about not wearing lipstick and boy troubles, until the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. The entries become serious as she watches her Japanese friends and classmates' fathers being beaten and sent to Fort Missoula. She begins to understand the situation when all "alien and non-alien persons of Japanese ancestry" must leave Bainbridge Island. Larson does an excellent job recreating the tension Piper feels. Her patriotism and loyalty to her brother, who survived the bombings, creates a fear of the enemy that is juxtaposed with her complete indignation at the incarceration and mistreatment of her Japanese neighbors. When her father decides to follow his parishioners to Camp Minodaka, Idaho, the severity of the treatment shows up on her front door as she and her father are harassed into moving out of their house. Such details as gas rationing, censored letters from her brother, and WWII slang also contribute to this book's appeal. The diary format forces the narrative into some unrealistic situations, but the formulaic structure provides a comfort level for readers familiar with the series. Teachers and students wanting to bring history alive will enjoy this well-researched novel. Reviewer: Ann Reddy
Kirkus Reviews
Piper Davis is 13 in the fall of 1941 when she begins her diary. Her older brother has just been stationed in Hawaii—far, his family thought, from the fighting in Europe. Piper's community in Seattle is a seemingly tight-knit one, and her father is minister to the Japanese Baptist congregation. The quick escalation of events after Pearl Harbor, the worries about her brother, the incarceration and relocation of friends and neighbors—all are chronicled with care and detail. Piper's voice is believably that of a young girl in the war years, and though the narrative is somewhat episodic, it has plenty of emotional resonance. The appalling removal of immigrant and American-born Japanese from their homes and the discomfort, sorrow, grit and struggle in Camp Minidoka in Idaho are detailed through Piper's visits with her father, who is appointed to its church. An epilogue brings the story into the present for several of the characters. This auspicious relaunch of the Dear America series includes an historical note, archival images, web resources, a recipe, Roosevelt's "day that will live in infamy" speech—and the author's name on the cover. (Historical fiction. 9-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Piper Davis, the 13-year-old daughter of a pastor for a Japanese Baptist church, shares her diary as she goes from worrying about when her father will let her date and wear lipstick to agonzing about her older brother who was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the Arizona when it was attacked on December 7, 1941. With Elaina Erika Davis's poignant pacing and clearly voiced characterizations, listeners will feel the emotional torments and celebrations that Piper experiences in this historical novel by Kirby Larson (Scholastic, 2010). Each event that Piper and her family must face—from her sister needing to find a job and ultimately marrying her boyfriend before he gets deployed to the food and materials rationing they must endure—is clearly conveyed through her diary entries and Davis's narration. Listeners will hold their breath along with Piper as she awaits the fate of her brother and his friends. Among the most powerfully expressed emotions are those that Piper feels as she tries to understand what is happening to her Japanese friends as a result of newly imposed government regulations. The scenes in the Japanese internment camps are heartbreaking, and Piper's confusion, anger, and frustration is palpable. The inclusion of an historical note, web resources, and an audio clip from President Roosevelt's speech about "the day that shall live in infamy" make this powerful audiobook even more robust.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545224185
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Dear America Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 251,728
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Kirby Larson is the acclaimed author of the 2007 Newbery Honor book HATTIE BIG SKY as well as DEAR AMERICA: THE FENCES BETWEEN US. She has also written a number of picture books, including the award-winning THE MAGIC KERCHIEF; TWO BOBBIES: A TRUE STORY OF HURRICANE KATRINA, FRIENDSHIP, AND SURVIVAL; and NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE, AND A MIRACLE. She lives in Washington with her husband.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Must read!!!!!!

    I really liked this book. This was fun to read and full of facts.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Wow!

    I have this book at home it's a realy good book. I lended it to my sister and she thinks it is realy interesting.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Great book

    This book is good for inferences, predictions, connections, high level questions, and visulazations! Read it! By the way, my mom is a fifth grade teacher and she recomends dear americas to her class!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Amazing

    I have been wondering about pearl harbor and this gave me enough to understand.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Amazing

    I love the book. Loved the read. O :-D

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Seattle

    I love this book! I learned a lot about Seattle and this time period. I even looked up Sky Bars! For all you fans of the book, they still exist. Yum! But, the point us, I love reading about thus time period, and this is one of my favorites so far.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Piper Davis

    Best book in the world!! I got sucked into the book and i never wanted to put the book down! This amazing book fortunatly doesnt have a boring beginning!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Hi

    Asome!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Japanese interment camps

    This series has covered the interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II twice. The first diary was by a Japanese-American boy sent to the camps. This one is from the point of view of a girl whose father is pastor of a Japanese-American church. Father and daughter follow when his congregation is moved to a camp shortly after Pearl Harbor is attacked Dec 7, 1941. She is not a detainee but sees the life they are living as a friend and witness. Very good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    I love it!

    Really good. It shows the how life was then. Piper is really cool. Lot of interesting stuff and love!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    Love it

    I read this when I was younger, and it was the first Dear America book I read because my librarian recommended it to me because I loved the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder so much and kept rereading. I fell in love with all the books. I loved this and continue to to this day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Great read!

    I absolutely loved this book! I really liked how the author tells about what happened to the Japanese during World War II. She incorporated the history part very well. I never ever knew anything like this happened in the United States. It is so sad history books do not cover this topic (probably because they are embarassed it even occured) and so that is one of the many reasons i loved this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Heartwarming

    This is a great book i looooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeddddddddddd
    Loved this book it is a must read

    It gets 10000000000000000000 times188975447875478876

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Lots of history

    I luv this book. To good to be true. I like that the book had so much history. If you read the epilogue you find out that Hankk married Betty Sato and Jim dies in France.I also like that it ls true . You will just addore the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Best dear america book ever!!!!!!

    I love it .I couldn't put it down. You grow to love all of the characters and you might cry at the bittersweet ending

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Anonymous

    I'd never really understood what happened at Pearl Harbor. After reading this book I understood a lot better. It is a very good book. I recomend it. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    Nice app

    I love this one. Its cool

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Excellent book

    Loved it! This book is so good! I highly recommend it. It was sad and informative.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    The best book l have ever read!

    My friend sugested that i should read it, and i did, 3 times. I never get tired of reading it. Ever time i read it i felt like i was in the book! So i sugest you do read this book that your thinking about getting maybe you might end up reading it 2 times!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Great book

    I love this book it is surprisingly educational, and just a great book in general. I suggest you get this book.
    FIVE STARS

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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