Under the Blood-Red Sun

Written by: Graham Salisbury

This is a realistic-fiction book about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The plot development, I thought, was man vs. society, since everyone mistreats him because he is Japanese. The protagonist is Tomi. Through all of the hardships, he plows through and saves his family. The antagonists in this story are basically everybody. I say this because his entire family is thrown to the dirt for being Japanese as soon as Japan bombs Honolulu (where Pearl Harbor is located). I think that the main character is brave, smart, good-hearted, and determined. The main setting is the area around Tomi's house, as that is where most of the story takes place. The setting is very jungle-like, cramped, dangerous, and fun. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand the basic hardships of the typical Japanese boy during this time.

The Book's Cover

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Characters:
Tomi, Tomi's mother, Tomi's father, Tomi's sister, Tomi's grandfather, Billy, Sanji, Keet, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Wilson, Mr. Davis, and other unimportant characters...

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Tomi is living his normal life: going to school, playing baseball, and doing chores. He and his best friend Billy practice baseball everyday. Billy and Tomi go fishing with Tomi's father and his friend, Sanji. At the time, the different races weren't exactly on good terms with each other. Billy proved the crew wrong by pulling up a line for a few hours just for one fish (it was 100+lbs.). Soon after that, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the rest of Hawaii. During the bombing, Tomi's grandfather went into a field waving a Japanese flag, signalling that they shouldn't bomb. After that, new rules are made; like creating a curfew, and that friendly ships must fly the American flag. Since Tomi's father and Sanji didn't have a radio, they didn't know about the new rules. That day, as they returned, they were shot... Sanji was killed although Tomi's father was only wounded. All of the Japanese men were rounded up and put in camps. Tomi decides to investigate to see where his father is. Later, he finds out that the camp is on a nearby island, he decides that he will swim to it. After making sure that there were no boats, he crossed. After getting on land, he hid in a bush. He eventually got his father's attention, and got him to come over to him. His father told him that he must go, but to tell his mother that he was alright. On his way back, Tomi was caught. Surprisingly, he was let off the hook. As more time passes, the Nakaji family is told that Tomi's father and grandfather are now in the mainland, and most likely never to be seen again. That is where the story ends.

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Something that I noticed about the writing was that the author writes it as if it is viewing by a bystander, because although he tells it in third-person, you only know what the actual characters know, nothing else. There were no illustrations. This book reminds me about how quickly your life can change. I can connect to the story because I already knew a little bit about the attack on Pearl Harbor, which is what changes the story.

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Report by: James B.

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