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Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

Pearl Harbor Child cover Pearl Harbor Child: A Child's View of Pearl Harbor-- from Attack to Peace

by Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson

Published by Woodson House


Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

When your children start asking questions about what Pearl Harbor is and what it means, how do you answer? This book is a useful source for answering those questions and giving young people a better understanding of the impact and significance of those events.

The author was a young girl living in Pearl City on that fateful day, December 7, 1941. As such, she was a first-hand witness to the bombings, a child suddenly thrust into the adult world of war.

However, the narrative does not stop there. The author continues with the story of her experiences in the war itself. She tells us how the war effort affected her on a personal level, from the blackouts and curfews to rationing and scrap drives. Although she writes as a grown woman looking back on those days, she has recaptured the essence of the child she was. The language she uses is the language her child self might have used to describe those events, albeit perhaps a bit more well organized than a child of such tender years could have managed.

At the end of the book there is an additional bonus -- firsthand accounts by several US servicemen who also lived through the attack. Parents and teachers may wish to use this as a starting point for a discussion on how using a variety of accounts helps us get a clearer picture of a large event.

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Review posted March 27, 2001

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