Historical Fiction for Book Talk Thursday

Pearl Harbor changed our world, especially for Japanese Americans. When Mitsi must leave her dog Dash behind, she learns important lessons about love and friendship.

December 7, 1941 changed our world in so many ways. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, many residents of the United States had to change everything when their lives were turned upside down. The book Dash by Kirby Larson tells a story of a young girl and her dog as they learn to make life the best they can at the moment. (Affiliate links are to help fund book purchases.)

The Story

Mitsi, a Japanese American girl, has just returned to school after the Christmas break to find her friends no longer think she is worthy of being friends. They have deserted her, and for no reason other than she is Japanese. After Pearl Harbor, many Americans felt this way, ostracizing Japanese Americans, even though they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor.

As the winter looms on, Mitsi is faced with the fact that her friends have left her, but her dog Dash loves her unconditionally, just like any dog. She meets her neighbor Mrs. Bowker, who has no one with her and becomes friends. One day Mitsi and her brother see a post saying they will be going to an internment camp and will have to pack up and leave. What will Mitsi do with Dash?

Luckily, Mrs. Bowker is willing to take care of Dash. While Mitsi is away, she and "Dash" write letters back and forth, making life a lot easier for her, even though everything is not the same.

Classroom Application

So many times we learn about World War II from the pages of a textbook, but this historical fiction book based on a true story gives the reader a glimpse into the reality of the war. Students will learn so much more from this story than from any textbook. It is perfect for a read aloud while studying World War II or even to just enjoy and discuss. I believe students would have amazing conversations about the story and what happens in the reality of the situation.

This book can be used in so many different ways and is one that will teach important lessons, even today! As I read, I thought about bullies, starting over, and making the best of what you have. These lessons are all some that students can learn so much about.

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Pearl Harbor changed our world, especially for Japanese Americans. When Mitsi must leave her dog Dash behind, she learns important lessons about love and friendship.

Don't forget to link up the books you have enjoyed this summer!




   

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2 comments

  1. I do a WWII literature study each year with my sixth graders. This sounds like a book to add to my collection. Thanks for sharing it!

    Angela

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    Replies
    1. It will definitely be a great book for them to read and help them understand some of the parts of WWII we don't always talk about.

      Andrea

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