Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion

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Overview


Few know the story of the Japanese invasion of Alaska during World War II--until now.

GHOSTS IN THE FOG is the first narrative nonfiction book for young adults to tell the riveting story of how the Japanese invaded and occupied the Aleutian Islands in Alaska during World War II. This fascinating little-known piece of American history is told from the point of view of the American civilians who were captured and taken prisoner, along with the American and Japanese soldiers who ...

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Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion

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Overview


Few know the story of the Japanese invasion of Alaska during World War II--until now.

GHOSTS IN THE FOG is the first narrative nonfiction book for young adults to tell the riveting story of how the Japanese invaded and occupied the Aleutian Islands in Alaska during World War II. This fascinating little-known piece of American history is told from the point of view of the American civilians who were captured and taken prisoner, along with the American and Japanese soldiers who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of hand-to-hand combat during the war. Complete with more than 80 photographs throughout and first person accounts of this extraordinary event, GHOSTS IN THE FOG is sure to become a must-read for anyone interested in World War II and a perfect tie-in for the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands in June 1942 remains an obscure fact of World War II. Here is the story of the invasion, occupation, plans, and battles. Seiple uses reports and interviews to retell this fascinating story. Her descriptions help the reader understand the roles of geography and weather in this campaign. She provides background, and recounts the prejudice faced by the Aleuts upon their return to Alaska after the end of the war. The story of Dr. Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi would make a fine introduction to a classroom discussion on the impact of war on individuals. The narrative gets a bit bogged down in names, dates, and events. The author occasionally steps back in time which causes a little confusion in the chronology. As the first nonfiction title for young people on this piece of World War II history, it sheds light on the only North American land battle. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
VOYA - Taryn Bush
The story of the Japanese invasion of Alaska in June 1942 is a piece of United States history that has been virtually forgotten. Ghosts in the Fog is the first book for young readers to address this important piece of World War II history. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese occupied the Aleutian Islands. The United States launched a counterattack, but the harsh weather and terrain posed difficulties. Black-and-white photographs and first-person accounts help readers make personal connections with historical events and understand what the brave soldiers endured. "We thought we were going into the jaws of death," explained Robert W. Parker, who was part of a mission to determine if the Japanese had moved to the southern side of the island of Kiska. "None of us was sure whether we'd ever climb back up those hills," Parker continued. The battle finally ended in the summer of 1943, but by then 1,000 men had died. Ghosts in the Fog also tells the story of the Native Alaskans who were evacuated and placed in relocation camps that were overcrowded and unsanitary. This is a well-researched and incredibly detailed narrative nonfiction book that honors the memory of those who lost their lives during the Japanese invasion. It would be a useful addition to school libraries to support the history curriculum. With the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor approaching, there is sure to be a renewed interest in World War II history among students. Reviewer: Taryn Bush
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Though a plethora of World War II titles exists, very little has been written about the invasion and occupation of Alaska by Japanese forces in June 1942. At first denied by the U.S. Navy, and then kept in a cloud of secrecy to avoid embarrassment and panic, details of "one of the bloodiest and deadliest hand-to-hand combat battles" between the U.S. and Japan in sealed documents for decades to come. This title shows how the country was unprepared for an invasion, how the "Ghost Warriors" of Japan gained territory, and how American soldiers fought to reclaim the westernmost section of Alaska. The well-written text reads easily, focusing on various individuals and military units and the feats they performed. The cooperation of the native Aleuts is well documented. Sadly, so is their callous treatment at the hands of the U.S. government (e.g., removal from their lands under the pretext of evacuation, substandard living conditions, and many years of waiting for reparation). The text is liberally illustrated with black-and-white images. The quality is not exceptional, as most were likely taken with a vintage personal box camera. They are, however, unique.—Eldon Younce, Anthony Public Library, KS
Kirkus Reviews

A little-known story from World War II shows the unique role played by a small group of military personal and native civilians in a remote region of the county.

The role of Alaska in World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor is not often told. "Decades after World War II, the U. S. government kept the documents about the Japanese invasion of Alaska classified, and the Americans who were there when it happened didn't want to talk about it." The Pearl Harbor attack left the western coast vulnerable, and the decision-making concerning defense of the Alaska's Aleutian Islands revealed many military, geographic and social issues. Problems included unpredictable foggy weather at a time of limited satellite technology and what to do about the Aleutian islanders, who had never been away from their isolated homes. The story illuminates the cultural differences between the American and Japanese cultures at that time as well as the reluctance of the U.S. government to treat the native Alaskans as full citizens. The narrative is full of details, and there are times when it is difficult to follow all the threads. Fortunately, the text is supported by many photographs of those involved. Maps, including a strategic military map, increase the level of specificity.

An enlightening account full of compelling stories of survival and perseverance. Pair this with Karen Hesse's fictional account, Aleutian Sparrow (2003).(sources, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545296540
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 205,511
  • Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Samantha Seiple has worked as a competitive intelligence specialist for a Fortune 100 company, professionally as a librarian, is an experienced researcher, and former production editor and copy editor, in addition to being an author. Her education includes a master's degree in library and information science and a bachelor's degree with a double major in English and journalism. She currently resides in San Diego where she is a freelance writer.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2011

    Highly recommend - Wonderful book - a history I never knew

    We have been reading this book as a family. We got it at the book fair at school for our 8 year old son. He loves WWII history. My husband and I have been reading it with him, but, I have to say that it is so well written and such an interesting history that I would read it all on my own. Our daughter who is 10 has heard bits and pieces of the story along the way. She told me the other day that she can't wait until her brother is finished so she can read it on her own since is sounds like such an interesting story. While, she an avid reader she usually like the fantasy books, so it certainly says something that she captivated by a WWII history book. Definitely a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    my 10 yr old loved it. read after the 'The Boy Who Dared'. toget

    my 10 yr old loved it. read after the 'The Boy Who Dared'. together were both good for advanced young readers.
    he's now quite interested in WWII - knew little about it before

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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