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Under the Blood-Red Sun

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Overview

Hawaii, December 7, 1941. Tomikazu's world is destroyed when Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese. Tomi's father and grandfather--both born in Japan--are arrested, and Tomi must help his mother and sister survive. It's a terrifying time to be Japanese American. An ALA Notable Book. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. A Booklist Editors' Choice.

Tomikazu Nakaji's biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in ...

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Overview

Hawaii, December 7, 1941. Tomikazu's world is destroyed when Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese. Tomi's father and grandfather--both born in Japan--are arrested, and Tomi must help his mother and sister survive. It's a terrifying time to be Japanese American. An ALA Notable Book. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. A Booklist Editors' Choice.

Tomikazu Nakaji's biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Salisbury Blue Skin of the Sea again invokes a Hawaiian setting for this novel, which chronicles the trials of a Japanese American boy and his immigrant family in 1941. Tomi's fisherman father and housekeeper mother work hard to support Tomi, his younger sister and grandfather in their cramped servants' house. While he embraces everything about being American, including a passion for baseball, Tomi struggles to find some middle ground between his modern life and the nationalism and traditional values his parents and Grandpa try to impart. But as WWII intensifies and Pearl Harbor is bombed, Tomi's family faces racism, violence and hardship at every turn. Tomi's father and grandfather are taken away and incarcerated, leaving Tomi to worry if he can perform honorably as man of the house. Salisbury skillfully describes Tomi's emotional highs and lows, and has a particular knack for realistically portraying the camaraderie and dialogue between boyhood chums. The slow-evolving plot drags in a few spots especially the play-by-play descriptions of baseball games, but readers are rewarded with steadily building dramatic tension in the novel's second half and a satisfyingly open-ended finale. Ages 10-up. Oct.
The ALAN Review - Lisa J. McClure
Tomi, a first-generation Japanese American, spends his day attending school, helping his father with the pigeons, and playing baseball with his eighth-grade friends. But, this is Hawaii and it's 1941. The bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese upends Tomi's life. His father and grandfather along with other Japanese men are imprisoned, and Tomi must protect and provide for his family. Most importantly, Tomi must not "disgrace his family" despite the treatment he and other Japanese immigrants receive as a result of the attack. Fortunately, his friends, the Rats, stand by him and Tomi doesn't have to face the challenges alone. Salisbury's second novel is not only a timeless tale of the loyalty of friends, but it also explores both cross-generational and cross-cultural issues. An easy read, Under the Blood-Red Sun is nevertheless challenging in its content and subject matter. This novel would work well in either an English or a social studies class.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-September, 1941 is a time of increasing confusion for Tomi Nakaji, 13, who lives on the island of Oahu. As if his gruff, stroke-slowed grandfather, who insists on waving his Japanese flag around the yard, isn't enough, he has to contend with Keet Wilson, the bully next door. From a treetop, Tomi and his haole white best friend, Billy, witness in disbelief the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tomi finds the horrors personalized as his father, a poor fisherman, and later his grandfather are arrested and his father's fishing partner is killed. Tomi assumes responsibility for the family honor and katama, or samurai sword. Racial/ethnic tension is subtly portrayed throughout the novel, but escalates following the Japanese attack- Tomi's mother loses her job as a housekeeper and Billy ``disappears'' for awhile, though he returns as a loyal and helpful friend. Tomi faces his fears and becomes assertive enough to stand up to Keet without besmirching his family's honor and risks his life to see his imprisoned father. Character development of major figures is good, the setting is warmly realized, and the pace of the story moves gently though inexorably forward. While it may be a bit more aimed than pitched, the ending leaves readers confident that the Nakajis will survive.-Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Jr. High School, Iowa City, IA
From the Publisher
Winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

A Booklist Children’s Editor’s Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402523489
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Series: Prisoners of the Empire Series
  • Format: CD
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Graham Salisbury

Graham Salisbury writes from the heart and draws on his own experiences of growing up in Hawaii. His drive to write about the emotional journey that kids must take to become adults in a challenging and complicated world is evident through his work. Says the author: "I've thought a lot about what my job is, or should be, as an author of books for young readers. I don't write to teach, preach, lecture, or criticize, but to explore. . . . And if my stories show [characters] choosing certain life options, and the possible consequences of having chosen those options, then maybe I will have finally done something worthwhile. Wonder of wonders."
 
Salisbury has already done something worthwhile. His first novel, Blue Skin of the Sea, won the PEN/Norma Klein Award, the Bank Street Child Study Award, and the Parents' Choice Book Award, and was selected as an NCTE Notable Trade book in the Language Arts, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
 
His second novel, Under the Blood-Red Sun has won the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the 1998 Hawaii Nene Award, as well as numerous other honors. This powerful and poignant book is the moving story of a Japanese American boy caught in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
 
Shark Bait is a fast-paced, exciting action story that explores the lure of violence and its consequences for a boy and his friends when a Saturday night tumult stuns a Hawaiian village. To read a letter to educators and hear an excerpt from the book, along with pronunciations of the unusual words and character names from the novel, click here.
 
The most recent novel from Salisbury, Lord of the Deep, enticingly combines the high action of fishing with a narrative that delves into the intricate relationship between a 13-year-old boy and his new stepfather.
 
Born in Hawaii, Graham Salisbury is a descendant of the Thurston and Andrews families, who were among the first missionaries to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands. He grew up on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Later, he graduated from California State University and received an MFA degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. Salisbury has worked as the skipper of a glass-bottomed boat, as a deckhand on a deep-sea fishing boat, as a musician, and also as an elementary school teacher. Today, he lives with his family in Portland, Oregon, where he manages a historic office building.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    this book was great. I've never really been interested in this

    this book was great. I've never really been interested in this subject before, but this book helped me understand the concept of the bombings at Pearl Harbor. Especially since it came from the perspective of a boy my age. 2 thumbs up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Bombing of Pearl Harber.

    I felt like I was with Tomi.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    Entertaining and a part of history

    Under The Blood Red Sun is a great book to read if you enjoy history and the effects of war.The story is about a Japenease American boy and how the bombing of Pearl Harbor changes his life. The book shows how fear can cause predjudices toward inocent people. I am not normally into historical novels, but this one kept my attention. I highly recommend reading this book to find out more about Pearl Harbor.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Awsome! :)

    This book is the best book that ever read! I really hope that Graham salisbury makes more books about tomi and billy and even keet. Keep up the work because i will be on a watch out for your books ;)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2001

    Great, exciting book!

    I really liked this book! The book shows what a great friendship is like during Pearl Harbor and World War II. I recommend this book to children through the 4th to 7th grade because the book tells what it was like to live during Pearl Harbor. This book was not only liked, but loved by all the people I recommended it to.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 3, 2014

    IS AMAZING

    It's a sad/happy/little kids having fun kind of story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Ripplepond's biography

    Ripplepond // eight moons // warrior // BloodClan // she // light grey and silver ripple like stripes with black star on left ear and sea green eyes // Myntlight/Revenge // Lightpaw (AshClan) // Vapourpaw (AshClan) // downcast and looking for a place to belong // mother was assassinated by Metal on order of her uncle, Striking. Revenge left the kits shortly after and never returned. Her mentour was a former BloodClan warrior, Dragon. // &zeta // Stay the night by Zedd ft. Hailey Williams //

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    SweetSorrow

    Name- *sock in the jaw* SweetSorrow you id<_>iot
    <p> Age- does it matter?! [Young to middle aged warrior. Mostly young-ish]
    <p> Gender- *eye roll* &female !!
    <p> Rank- World Class assasin. A bada<_>ss one too! :D
    <p> Looks- a sheen metal like grey pelt with black around one eye, tail tip, and her whole back right leg is black.
    <p> Personality- she was born a daughtr of Striking, and she for sure got his temper. The slightest thing sets her off, especially if it includes her ma<_>te or family. Othr wide, she is a gentle she cat with cunning skills and a burning loyalty.
    <p> Crush/Ma<_>te- DarkHeart
    <p> Kits- due New Years Eve
    <p> Parents/Family- Mischeif [mom] Striking [dad] CraneStrike [brother] SteelRevenge [brother]
    <p> Other- she personally isn't fond of Aspen for her past with DarkHeart. When Aspen is near her, she immediantly announces to go hunting to prevent temper flares.
    <p> Imposter Siggy- &starf &#987654321 SweetSorrow &#987654321 &starf. Also, ask questiom like who is het grandmother and parents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Loststars hope... chapter 1

    Lostkit stared out into the gloom, it was to dark to see, but she made outbthe shape of a cat moving towards her... "Lostkit!" An exited squek broke in to her dream... "wake up!" Her brother Riverkit meowed. She rose and stretched "what?" She asked him, anoyed he had disturbed her dream. "Were gonna be apprentices today!" He began bouncing around she imediatly perked up "yes!" She squeked happily "Lostkit, Riverkit" came the soft voice of their mother, Silverrose, "Come get somthing to eat!" They looked at eachother and raced for the entrance, knocking into one another. "Silverrose?" Lostkit asked "when will we become apprentices?" Riverkit turned and looked eagerly Silverose smiled "you'll have to wait and see" she meowed. "But you should eat first" came Redfires voice he was Their father... she nodded and chased Riverkit to the freshkill pile, he grabbed a squirrel while she found a juicy blackbird. When they finished eating they played moss ball for a while Lostkit turned to see the Darkclan leader Flamestar walking out of his den "All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather here beneath the high pine" he yowled. "Yay!" Riverkit meowed loudly. Lostkit ran over with Riverkit following. "Today two new apprentices join our rankings" Flamestar began when everyone arrived "Lostkit and Riverkit!" He called them foreward "Riverkit, from this moment on until you recieve your warrior name, you shall be known as Riverpaw. Redfern! You have mentored many apprentices... pass on all you know to Riverpaw" Riverpaw and Redfern touched noses and went and sat together. "Lostkit" he called "Until you recieve your warrior name, you will be Lostpaw, Icesky you were mentored by Shimmercreek, pass all she taught you on to Lostpaw" "LOSTPAW RIVERPAW" the clan chanted...<br><br><br>


    Thanks for reading, sorry I was in a rush... next res next part! Comment please!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Good book the person that wrote the reveiw in front of me is so lucky to live in hawaii

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    its good book!

    Under the Blood Red Sun is a book written my Graham Salisbury, an extraordinary author who wrote many books about life in Hawaii during the 1940¿s. This book is about a 13 year old boy, Tomi, whose life changes after Pearl Harbor is hit by a bomb. Before this, he was just a normal third generation Japanese-American who loved playing baseball with his friends on team Rats.
    One of the reasons that this book was so interesting was because I could relate somewhat to what Tomi was feeling and going through since my grandpa lived during this time, and loves baseball as well. I tried to imagine how my grandpa might be during this time, and he might have been somewhat like Tomi. I also live in Hawaii and liked finding out how it was like before to live here. I liked in this book, Tomi and his friends have to face difficulties and how some kids these days might react the same, or differently as them. Tomi also acted exactly like how kids these days would act too, like when he was busy with sports (baseball) and hanging out with his friends (Rico, Mose and Billy). It¿s interesting to see how kids through the generations don¿t totally change. This makes a good connection to the readers I think, if they are around their teenage years. I like how Tomi demonstrated courage in some parts when his father was in trouble, which made me think about what I would do in that certain situation. It was also a sad book, since Tomi and his family had to go through many hardships like his grandpa getting taken away, but that¿s what made it suspenseful. This book is like a partly true, but partly fiction book. It gives us an idea of what it was like to be a kid back in the 1940s, but it¿s not a completely true story; just a story that could have definitely have been the case for someone back then. That¿s a pretty good thing because you can get creative on what you say and how you write, since it doesn¿t have to be exactly what happened, but still conveys the main idea.
    Overall this was a very fascinating book to read, and if you are a Japanese-American living in Hawaii who is looking for a book that keeps you anticipating, then it¿s a must read!

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Amazing

    This is a grrat book!!!

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    Under The Blood Red-Sun

    THIS IS A VERYGOOD BOOK FOR US HILDRREN TO READ

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    One of My Favorites

    I read this book a few years back and I really enjoyed it. I love books were you get to know the characters really well and this author did a very good job with that. This book had some sad parts but they were written so you could feel the sadness but weren't taken over by it. This book made you feel REAL emotions. Not just those fake emotions you feel with most books because you know that you're supposed to be sad or scared or whatever. I would really recommend this book.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Under the Blood Red Sun Review - Michael C.

    Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury is an instant classic in my opinion. The Characters are absorbing and the storyline is great. Under the Blood Red Sun shows us what the Japanese-Americans experienced during the bombings of Pearl Harbor in World War 2. They treated the Japanese harshly, as described in the book. Tomi is a young Japanese boy who loves baseball. Baseball is one of the things that help him cope with all the fighting and war going on around him. Tomi also has a good friend who stays with him during the entire plot progression. One of the many things that I liked about this book is the birds. The family always kept racing birds in their backyard. The racing birds are released and then come flying back at high speeds. Another thing I liked about this book was the katana. The katana was a samurai sword, kept in the family for generations. This is overall a great book and a good read for anyone.

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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury

    Under the Blood Red Sun is an instant classic in my opinion. The Characters are absorbing and the storyline is great. Under the Blood Red Sun shows us what the Japanese-Americans experienced during the bombings of Pearl Harbor in World War 2. They treated the Japanese harshly, as described in the book. Tomi is a young Japanese boy who loves baseball. Baseball is one of the things that help him cope with all the fighting and war going on around him. Tomi has a friend who stays with him during the entire plot progression. One thing that I liked about this book is the birds. The family always kept racing birds in their backyard. The racing birds are released and then they come flying back at high speeds. One more thing I liked about this book was the katana. The katana was a samurai sword, kept in the family for generations. This is overall a great book and a good read for anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Very good book

    Under the Blood-Red sun<BR/>By Graham Salisbary<BR/><BR/> I recommend this book to anyone who likes historic fiction books because it is based on everything that happened to Japanese families during world war II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tomi the main character and his family live on someone else¿s land and have to do anything for money. His dad is a fisherman and his mom is a maid for the people who own the land, his grandpa takes care of his chickens and sells the eggs to a local store.<BR/> <BR/>While his dad is gone fishing Japanese planes attack Pearl Harbor. The attack goes on through day and night. Any Japanese men were took to camps the next day. Tomi had a hard time after he finds out his dads boat was sunk and that he was shot in the leg and then took to jail. After all this someone saw Tomi¿s grandpa waving the Japanese flag to save them. His grandpa was took away by the FBI.<BR/><BR/>After all this his grandpa finally sends a letter saying he is ok and that his father is in Texas. His grandpa also tells him to take care of the family and that he is the man in the house now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2008

    Under the Blood Red Sun

    Under the Blood-Red Sun is a great book. Graham Salisbury did a great job writing this book and getting the facts right. Under the Blood-Red Sun is a story about a boy named Tomi who was born in Hawaii with parents who are Japanese. Then on December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor occurs and puts America into war against Japan. With this happening, the Americans began to take precautions. On the day of when the Japanese planes had flown over the island Tomi¿s uncle brought a flag out to their baseball field and waved it to them to say to show honor. But people thought otherwise and Tomi¿s family had to hide it when the soldiers came. Graham Salisbury also does well in saying what the American soldiers did to Japanese-American citizens and how they were treated during that time. Under the Blood-Red Sun is a must read book for readers who enjoy stories based on a family¿s point of view.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    Awesome Book!

    I think that Salisbury does a great job of making historical fiction exciting. Reading Under The Blood-Red Sun was so much fun and I greatly recomend this book to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2006

    An amazing book!

    Under the Blood Red Sun is probably one of the best historical fiction books I've ever read. It has a wonderful plot, great characters with strong personalities, and it has touched my heart. I'm Japanese myself, and I really wanted to learn about WWII, so this was the perfect book for me. I can't wait to read Eyes of the Emperor!

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