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July 08 , 2009

Stars in the Window


STARS IN THE WINDOW is an historical novel written for middle grade readers.When eleven-year-old Jessie meets Mrs. Sakamoto her life is changed.It is 1943 and the U.S. is at war with Japan.Jessie’s Dad is an officer on a ship in the Pacific.When Mom hires Mrs. Sakamoto to help in the family flower shop, Jessie finds a warm friend who teaches her about chopsticks, Ikebana flower arranging, and origami. Mrs. Sakamoto had been released from Amache, a Japanese internment camp, and Jessie struggles to understand the difference between an enemy and her Japanese-American friend.The story depicts life on the U.S. home front during WW II, with rationing, blackouts, and victory gardens.The reader will also relate the story to present day issues: prejudice and response to cultural and racial diversity, fear of those who are national enemies, and a pre-adolescent culture that involves snubbing and cliques.Imbedded in the story are parallels with today in conservation and recycling, suspicion of Muslims, and need to understand and relate to members of a culture different from mainstream America.

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