Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Operation: Happy

Operation: Happy (Zonderkidz, 2024) by Jenni L. Walsh is one you won’t want to miss! (It’s coming out next April.*) Told in two points of view, it almost had me tearing up on the first page. It’s such a compelling and tense-making read, I hope it wins awards.

Jody wants a dog more than anything. Something to help going to bed feel the same no matter where she is. (Her dad’s a Marine and the family moves around a lot.)

Happy, a mixed German shepherd/collie/husky, is losing his eyesight and his handler is retiring, so he has a new job. Instead of being a military guard job, he’ll just need to make a girl happy.

But now it’s 1940 and the family has been ordered to Hawaii and Mom doesn’t want to go. She’s had a dream about “The Island.” And then they can see the battleships from their new house on Ford Island. Mom won’t even look at them, which makes Jody really nervous.

The story is inspired by a real Pearl Harbor survivor.

Jenni L. Walsh writes historical for children and adults. Read about her here and check out all her books here. I’m definitely reading more of her writing!

*I was privileged to read an advanced reader copy from the Publisher.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Fences Between Us

diary.jpgThe Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 (Scholastic, 2010) by Kirby Larson is a very good book written in diary style. The story deals with a lot of issues of the war, but especially the incarceration of the Japanese.
Here’s an intro to the story: Piper lives with her dad and sister in Seattle. Her brother Hank has enlisted in the Navy. Then the attack on Pearl Harbor happens. It’s a while before they know he is okay and then the members of the Japanese Baptist church start getting arrested. Margie gets married and when Piper’s dad decides to go to Eden, Idaho in fall of 1942 where his congregation has gone to Camp Minidoka, Piper has to go along. She ends up going to school in the camp and experiencing a lot of what the Japanese have to put up with except she gets to go home at night.
Kirby is the Newbery honor winner for Hattie Big Sky. Read about her other books on her website.