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Heroes
     

Heroes

5.0 1
by Ken Mochizuki, Dom Lee
 

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From the author of Baseball Saved Us comes an intergenerational story that describes how a Japanese-American family deals with the painful legacy of war. Set against the backdrop of the 1960s and talk of Vietnam, it offers a universal message of dignity and courage to anyone who feels they are different. Full-color illustrations.

Overview

From the author of Baseball Saved Us comes an intergenerational story that describes how a Japanese-American family deals with the painful legacy of war. Set against the backdrop of the 1960s and talk of Vietnam, it offers a universal message of dignity and courage to anyone who feels they are different. Full-color illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The creators of the estimable Baseball Saved Us move from a WWII setting to the Vietnam-era '60s with this affecting tale of a Japanese American boy. When Donnie plays war with his friends, he must represent the enemy-``because I looked like them.'' He hates always being the bad guy and wishes he could prove that his father and uncle both fought bravely in the U.S. army. They, however, are reluctant to come to his aid: ``You kids should be playing something else besides war,'' says his dad. Once again Mochizuki and Lee adroitly focus kids' attention on a pervasive social problem by giving it an individual face; they make their points in an age-appropriate fashion, neither trivializing the issues nor condescending to their audience. Mochizuki captures his protagonist's hurt, confusion and pride-emotions capably matched by Lee's atmospheric artwork. Produced with the same technique here as in the earlier book-images scratched out of beeswax on paper-his burnished paintings exude the patina of age and the glint of hard-won experience. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The pair who so eloquently introduced children to the Japanese-American interment camps in Baseball Saved Us, tell another tale of prejudice in this book. Donnie's friends insist on playing war and he must always be the enemy because he looks like "them." Donnie knows his uncle and father are not enemies, but are heroes of the Korean War. Unlike other adults, they will not talk about the war and insist that real heroes "just do what they are supposed to do." Donnie's distress provokes a response that shows their wisdom, caring, and commitment to peaceful resolutions. The book has value beyond revealing history and allows children to question what heroism really means.
Hazel Rochman
As they did in "Baseball Saved Us" (1993), Mochizuki and Lee tell a moving picture-book story about a Japanese American child who is treated as the enemy in his own country. The time here is the 1960s; the Vietnam War is on. In the schoolyard war games, Donnie is always made to play the bad guy "because I looked like them." He begs his father and uncle to show the school that they fought in the U.S. Army during World War II. The strong, brown-shaded pictures show the pain of the outsider and his loneliness in the crowd. There's no glorification of war: even in the triumphant scene when the Japanese American soldiers reluctantly come out in their uniforms and medals, they have dignity but no bravado.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781880000168
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 Years

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Heroes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was both touching and an excellent educational experience. Mochizuki writes a story drawing on a difficult part of history for Japanese Americans, yet makes it easy for elementary-school aged children to understand. I highly recommend this book for parents and educators.