“Salisbury paints the tropical setting with vivid details. He writes with balance of the ways in which war touches people, creating characters with fully realized motivations. It is not necessary to have read the first book, as the author seamlessly brings his audience up to date.”–School Library Journal
“Many readers, even those who don’t enjoy historical fiction, will like the portrayal of the work and the male camaraderie.”–Booklist
House of the Red Fish by Graham Salisbury continues the story of 13-year-old Tomi Nagaki, the son of Japanese immigrants living in Hawaii, begun in Under the Blood-Red Sun. The narrative picks up more than a year after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the arrest of Tomi's father and grandfather. Here the teen grapples with anti-Japanese-American attitudes as he attempts to rescue his father's fishing boat, sunk in the canal by the army's attack. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Tomi Nakaji is a Japanese American boy who lived in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. After the attack Tomi's father's fishing boat was sunk by the U.S. Army, and Papa and Grandpa Joji were arrested with other Japanese men on the island. This story takes place a year and a half later. Fourteen-year-old Tomi and his family miss Papa and Joji very much. They live in fear of other bombings and of persecution from those who hate Japanese Americans. Tomi finds hope in trying to raise Papa's fishing boat from the canal where it rests. Tomi recruits the strength and brains of his friends. As Tomi and his friends work towards their goal, enemies try to stop them but others are inspired by their efforts. In the end a large community of people help raise Papa's boat. This is a great book about finding hope in the face of adversity. 2006, Random House, and Ages 12 up.
In this sequel to Salisbury's prize-winning historical novel Under the Blood-Red Sun, Tomi is still contending with prejudice against Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The story is set in Honolulu in 1943; 9th-grader Tomi's father and grandfather have been taken off to US Army prison camps, and his mother is working as a housekeeper. Would-be vigilante types roam the streets, enforcing curfews and looking for any excuse to harass Japanese Americans, but Tomi is unlucky enough to have an enemy right on his doorstep: Keet Wilson, the son of the family his mother works for, who is determined to make life difficult for him. Happily, Tomi has some loyal friends on his side, and when he decides to try to raise and restore his father's sunken fishing boat they rally to help him, despite threats from Keet and his gang of bullies. Even Tomi's cantankerous grandfather, released from prison camp because of a stroke, comes to his aid. Salisbury, who grew up in Hawaii, makes the culture, including the pidgin English, and the male comradeship, with insults masking affection, come alive, as Tomi learns the value of friendship and of fighting for what you love. KLIATT Codes: JRecommended for junior high school students. 2006, Random House, Wendy Lamb, 304p., and Ages 12 to 15.
Ninth grader Tomi Nakaji is growing up in Hawaii during an especially difficult era for Americans of Japanese descent. A year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tomi, his mother, and his little sister are living in the servant's cottage behind the home of a wealthy family that employs his mother as a housekeeper. His father and grandfather have been arrested because of their Japanese heritage, and the family has no idea whether they are still alive. Tomi has the steady friendship of a white boy named Billy. Between the two of them, they hatch a plot to raise Tomi's father's fishing boat, now submerged in the canal as a result of military bombing. It seems an impossible task, especially when complicated by the vicious persecution of Keet, the bully son of the family who employs Tomi's mother. As always, it is a genuine pleasure to read Salisbury's writing. There is plenty of local color and history to enliven the compelling narrative, but it is comfortably woven into the text of the story rather than expounded. The characters of the boys are believable; Tomi, Billy, and their friends continually spar with each other, even as they form a tight band of friendship. Some of the later exploits in the book stretch credulity, such as the role of Tomi's grandfather in saving the boat-raising project. But the triumph of courage and honor leave the reader well satisfied. It is a book to recommend with confidence, particularly to boys looking for historical adventure. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, WendyLamb Books/Random House, 160p., and PLB Ages 11 to 18.
Gr 6-9-This sequel to Under the Blood-Red Sun (Delacorte, 1994) continues the story of Tomi Nakaji, a Japanese American living on the island of Oahu. It's 1943 and Tomi, now 13, is forced into the role of the man of the house. His father has been arrested and imprisoned; his grandfather has also been taken away. All people of Japanese descent are suspect in the virulent racism of the times. Vigilantes stalk the streets, enforcing a curfew. Tomi decides to keep hope and faith alive that his father will return by raising Papa's fishing boat, the Taiyo Maru, a sampan that was sunk by the army. His former friend, Keet Wilson, has become his nemesis, bullying, stealing from, and terrorizing Tomi. Other haoles, or white people, however, become allies in his ultimately successful struggle to raise the boat and look toward a better future. The nearly impossible task is accomplished largely through Tomi's determination and perseverance and his ingenious approaches to the problem. Salisbury paints the tropical setting with vivid details. He writes with balance of the ways in which war touches people, creating characters with fully realized motivations. It is not necessary to have read the first book, as the author seamlessly brings his audience up to date. Give this to readers who enjoyed Rodman Philbrick's The Young Man and the Sea (Scholastic, 2004), another story with an ocean setting and a fiercely determined boy's coming of age.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A year-and-a-half after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, fear still grips 14-year-old Tomi Nakaji. His father's fishing boat was sunk and his partner killed in an unjustified attack. Now the father is in an internment camp, his grandfather has just returned from a camp and Tomi is determined to stand up to Keet Wilson, the local haole (white) bully and raise that boat, a symbol of hope and courage in an embittered time. This sequel to Under the Blood-Red Sun (1994), winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, has one scene at its heart and might have been more effective as a short story. As a novel, however, it has a leisurely pace that allows an exploration of both racism and community, the meanness of Keet Wilson standing in contrast to the rich diversity of cultures in Tomi's world-Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino, Portuguese. The rousing final scene will have readers cheering. Salisbury's previous work, Eyes of the Emperor (2005), is a fine companion, portraying the experience of Japanese-Americans in the war itself. (Fiction. 10-14)