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On the Horizon Audio CD – Audiobook, April 7, 2020
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Excellent supplement and companion to the author's "Number the Stars"; both based in historical reality. This book focuses on the human consequence of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.
This unusual work by Lois Lowry, combines effectively her reminiscences of Hawaii just before Pearl Harbor and her living in postwar Japan as a young girl. Both of these experiences, seasoned by a lifetime of added experiences, have combined to create a poetic retrospective on the tragedy of war and how its catastrophic effects can change human nature for good.
The author's storytelling skills and poetic vignettes are both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Supported with high-quality line artwork, each story element creates an individual experience, memorable and specific, but when combined with the other pieces becomes a complete story filled with deep emotions.
This short read takes less than an hour, but it is worth reading many times. Rather than focusing on the ceremonial elements and historical facts of the Pacific War, this book pays homage to so many unnamed victims of war by focusing on a few personal experiences of participants and their survivors.
Images created from reading these few pages will change how you think and feel about people, life, and war. Striking especially to me was the author's focus on the 8:15 AM similarity between Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, although nearly 4 years apart.
This is a book to read and contemplate slowly, while worthy of sharing and treasuring.
Well done! This is a meaningful homage to the best in humanity that arises from the results of war.
This is a very short, but very poignant ode to Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima through the eyes of two small children (a young Lois Lowry being one of them). It's written almost entirely in verses and haiku's, but that makes it even more moving.
We are currently stationed in Hawaii with the Navy. My husband works in Pearl Harbor and reading this book now, while in this place, was special. This is a beautiful book, and I know I'll go back to it again before we leave here, and I will think of it every time I drive past the USS Arizona Memorial.
From a Hawaiian beach front to a school playground in Tokyo, Lowry brings readers through her reflections on WWII and the role it played not only within the world, but her childhood. More specifically, we are treated to Lowry's fateful re-connection with a figure from the past and their shared memories of this era. As I turned the final page in this story, I had full body chills. Not to mention Lowry writes this tale so eloquently in verse, adding a poetic touch to this project.
There is much to be learned from Lowry's ON THE HORIZON, now more than ever. A perfect read for quarantine.
It was also very moving to read how American and Japanese children felt in Japan after the bombing of Hiroshima. Kids just want to play with each other and be friends. Unfortunately, as adults, we prevent that from happening by teaching them discrimination from an early age.
The eeriest part of the book is reading about the hospital ships, Mercy and Comfort being used after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. These are two ships the United States is currently using during the pandemic of the Coronavirus. They are ships of pain and heartache once again helping our nation in our time of need.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.