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Under the Blood Red Sun (Adlib) [Paperback]

Graham Salisbury


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Book Description

1 Jan 1900 Adlib
Tomi, whose parents are Japanese, was born in Hawaii. World War II seems far away for Tomi and his friends even though Pearl Harbour is full of warships. But then it is attacked by the Japanese, his father is interned, and Tomi soon realizes how terrifying it is to be Japanese in America.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  99 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Definite Realistic Read 12 Feb 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A good book that I recently read is Under the Blood Red Sun. It is a realistic historical fiction book by Graham Salisbury. It takes place on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, before, during, and after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

The story is told from the point-of-view of Tomikazu (Tomi), an innocent Japanese-American boy living near Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. Then Pearl Harbor is bombed. Tomi must deal with racism, bullies, and cruelty.

Tomikazu is a friendly eighth-grade boy who likes to play baseball, and has consequently formed his own team, The Rats. He is loyal to his friends and will even face the crazy school bully, Keet Wilson, for them.

Billy and The rats are Tomi's best friends, being eighth grade and avid fans of baseball like he is. Billy is the friend that Tomi hangs out with the most. He is The Rat's star pitcher and is kind of shy.

From the very beginning, even before Pearl Harbor was bombed, Keet Wilson, the local bully, is a problem. He is a spoiled brat who can take down even Billy's older brother, Jake. His extremely strict father is Tomi's family's landlord, so they cannot do anything to harm him. However, after the bombing, Keet takes being mean to a whole new level. Keet reports Tomi's father and grandfather to the police, falsely accusing them of being Japanese agents. He also tells the police anything Tomi's family does, exaggerating it so it sounds like they are Japanese supporters. He kills Tomi's father's prize racing pigeons, saying that they are messenger pigeons. He also breaks Tomi's family's clothesline and spoils their water supply.

The book starts out several days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It encompasses some of The Rat's baseball games, and their friendship with another team. Then Pearl Harbor is bombed. Tomi's peaceful life erupts into chaos. Everyone is suspicious of all the Japanese, and there are several lynch mobs. His father is shot in the leg by an American aircraft and taken away when coming back from a harmless fishing trip. Many Japanese are being taken the mainland internment camps, which are places that the U.S. government built so Japanese-Americans would not spy. But what will happen to Tomi's family as the only peaceful world they had ever known is crumbling around them?

The largest theme in the book is teamwork. Tomikazu's baseball team sticks together through Pearl Harbor, other baseball games, and bullies. It is a theme that makes you think teams can pull through anything, which they usually can. Another theme is racism. Tomi struggles through the racism directed at Japanese-Americans by white Americans who feared that they were spies following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I would recommend this book to anyone ages 11-14. It is a very good book, and deservedly won the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. It is very accurate for that timeframe, and it teaches in an entertaining way. It accurately describes the fear and racism following Pearl Harbor and gives glimpses of life in the internment camps. This book is suited for anyone who wants a realistic historical fiction or a tale with courage and bravery. The author writes this book seriously, staying on topic with very few humorous jokes, although it gives me an almost perfect mindset of where it takes place. It describes almost everything, from the dew on the leaves to the dust on the baseball diamond.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skeptical at first 18 Sep 2000
By Brittany Karns - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this in 5th grade for Battle of the Books. For some reason I was convinced that it was going to be the worst one, and I put it off to read last, but after I read it, I was charmed. This was my favorite book, tied with only one other. This historical fiction is a work or art. It depicts the bombing at Pearl Harbor well, showing how it changed so many lives. My copy is bent from over reading. No one that has taken my advice to read it has been dissapointed. The predjudice against the Japanese-Americans sparked by that bombing was really something that changed America. The main character, Tomi, has to struggle through family problems, as well as broken of friendships and tries to help hold onto any little bit of family herritage left. The rewards of reading this book are large, and I really appreciated it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the Blood Red Sun a review by Ben 31 Dec 2003
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Under The Blood Red Sun
Have you ever wanted to read a book with lots of adventure, scary moments, and puzzling events? Well, then I guess Under The Blood Red Sun, by Graham Salisbury, is the right book for you. The protagonist of the story, Tomikazu, faces many challenges, including being discriminated for being Japanese. His family is also Japanese, and they also face many challenges. Will Tomikazu and his friends, the Rats, be able to help the town fight back against the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor? Find out as you read this fantastic book!
An event in this novel that I really fancied was when Tomi, Billy. Papa, and Sanji
went fishing in the beautiful and gleaming ocean. When everyone boarded the boat, Billy felt kind of nervous because he had never been on a boat before. However, when the boat arrived at their fishing spot, Billy felt pride instead of nervousness. After that, everyone went fishing, and their fishing poles were huge! Tomi, Papa, and Sanji were catching a lot of fish, but Billy hadn't caught any. Then, all of a sudden, Billy got a gigantic and powerful bite on his line, almost pulling his pole into the water. Will Billy ever catch the monstrous fish at the bottom of the ocean?
Another event in the novel that I thought was really neat was when Tomi, Billy and the Rats played the Caaco Boys. The baseball game started out as a tie, 1-1 to be exact. Towards the end of the game, however, the Rats pulled ahead, making the game 3-1. After that, the Caaco Boys tied t11e game, and their star player hurt one of the Rats players. Who will win the continuous fight for being the team that wins?
The last event in the story that explains the title is when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. The event starts out as Billy and Tomi are playing baseball at Diamond Grass, a sparkling place in the morning. Billy sees rising smoke from Pearl Harbor, and he quickly tells Tomi to get to the tall banyan tree. On top of the tree, the two of them see Pearl Harbor being circled by Japanese fighter planes, with blood-red suns painted on the plane's fuselage. Pearl Harbors' ships are ablaze and the smoke could be seen for miles to stretch. Thus, how the story got its name, for that day many people lost their lives from the Japanese bombing and destroying many ships in Pearl Harbor .
The book, Under The Blood Red Sun, by Graham Salisbury, was really good. This book has a lot of adventure and dangers, and it told me that Japanese people were discriminated because Japanese people had bombed Pearl Harbor. I hope you read this fantastic book and find out about all of the "Secretive events!"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Under the Blood Red Sun 25 Feb 2002
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is definately one of the best World War ll books I have ever read. I do not really like books about history or war but I kind of liked this one. Under the Blood Red Sun is about Tomikazu, a 8th grade Japanese boy, and his Japanese family who live in a small house about the size of a large shed. Tomi's mother works as a maid for their neighbors who live in a mansion-like house. Tomi's father works as a fisherman. They all live in Hawaii next to Pearl Harbor. The only thing Tomi and his best friend Billy can think about is Baseball. When Pearl Harbor is attacked and Tomi's father is sent to Sand Island, his baseball team, the Rats, stick up for Tomi as people attack him and make fun him for being Japanese. Even Tomi's grandpa is taken to Sand Island. Tomi may have to get a job to support his family. Will Tomi be able to survive World War ll. You'll have to read the book to find out!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japan vs. U.S.A. 15 Nov 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
BOOM!! KABOOM!! KABOOSH!!!!! Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Soon the U.S. Army declared war on Japan. This is when the action started. Tomi and his family are Japanese. During this time, Japanese people had to be careful because suddenly the U.S. Army stated arresting Japanese men. Suddenly, Tomi received a letter that said that while he was at work, his dad got arrested. A few days later, a couple of soldiers come to his house and arrested his grandpa. That left Tomi, by himself, the man of the house. Tomi now needs to take care of his little sister, Kimi, who is really scared of the bombs, and his mother who works with Keet's mom. Tomi needs to protect them and needs to be careful of Keet because if Keet sees something about Japan, he is going to tell his father. If his father finds out, Tomi and his family can lose their house. In this book, Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury, you will learn about this Japanese kid who takes care of his family during World War II.

Tomi is the main character. His life changes a lot when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He needs to face a lot of difficulties because he is Japanese. In that time people hated Japanese people because they thought all of them were part of the bombing. So they started to say, "Go back to Japan and never come back." Billy, Rico, and Moses are Tomi's best friends. They all help Tomi with some of his difficulties with other people who hate Japanese. In the book, they have a close friendship and call themselves "The Rats." Keet use to be Tomi's best friend, but when the war started between U.S.A and Japan, they weren't friends anymore. Keet's father was trying to get rid of all the Japanese in his town. So Keet spies on Tomi's family. Tomi needs to be careful because if Keet sees something of his heritage, he will tell his father and Tomi's family will get kicked out of the town they live in.

I recommend this book for people who like baseball, wars, and stories about friendship. When I first started reading this book, I liked it. It started with some action and some dialogue. For example, Tomi and Billy were playing baseball. When they got back to Tomi's house, Tomi's grandfather had the Japanese flag and showed it to the whole world. This ended with an argument and they were all chasing each other.

Before I started reading it, I thought this book was going to be boring, but then the action made me read this book completely! If you read this book, you will love it! This book made it feel as if I was part of this book. For example, all the action got me really excited and then I was so curios about was going to happen next that I couldn't stop reading. This book was exciting because the action comes right after another. You will love this book because it is filled with action. The action of this book felt like if it was real life. If you read this book, you will love it as much as I loved it.

From this book I learned that the U.S. involvement in World War II was started by the Japanese because they attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S. started to arrest Japanese people. Also during that time the U.S. people started to hate Japanese people because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

So if you enjoy reading books about war and baseball, I suggest you read Under the Blood Red Sun.
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