A Diamond in the Desert

A Diamond in the Desert

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2035   0
Write Review
A Diamond in the Desert
Age Range
9+
Release Date
February 16, 2012
ISBN
978-0670012923
Buy This Book
      
For Tetsu, baseball is so much more than just a game.

On December 6, 1941, Tetsu is a twelve-year-old California boy who loves baseball. On December 7, 1941, everything changes. The bombing of Pearl Harbor means Tetsu's Japanese-American family will be relocated to an internment camp.

Gila River camp isn't technically a prison, but with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no time frame for leaving, it might as well be. So when someone has the idea of building a baseball diamond and starting a team, Tetsu is overjoyed. But then his sister gets dangerously sick, forcing him to choose between his family and his love of the game. This is an impeccably researched, lyrical story about baseball, honor, and a turbulent period in U.S. history.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
(Updated: March 10, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

This is How You Write Historical Fiction

More often than not I hear kids and grownups of all ages say they don’t like to read historical fiction. It feels too much like learning, they say with disgust, and when they read, they read for enjoyment, not to learn. Well I think I’ve found the answer to these historical fiction naysayers in Kathryn Fitzmaurice’s “A Diamond in the Desert.”

“A Diamond in the Desert” follows Japanese-American Tetsu, a twelve-year-old boy who was forced with his family to live in the Gila River internment camp during World War II. From that one sentence synopsis, it’s clear that “Diamond” is a work of historical fiction, but as you read about Tetsu’s experiences in this desolate desert camp, the story feels more dystopian. The barracks that Tetsu and other Japanese-Americans have to live in, the unending presence of dust seeping into each and every crevice possible, not just in buildings but on human bodies, and the weakened morale of all the camp’s inhabitants make it seem as if some massive apocalyptic event has occurred and the residents of Gila River are the only survivors trying to find a way to hold on to hope. Even though it’s made clear all along that this is mid-twentieth century America, it’s mind blowing at the end of the book to actually think that the U.S. government forced people to live in these conditions for years. It’s at that moment when you realize you’ve read historical fiction, and have actually learned a lesson about American history. This dystopian guise for historical fiction is perfect for Middle Grade readers, especially boys, who drag their feet when they think they’re being forced to learn.

Helping that connection with boys even further is the emphasis on baseball, Tetsu’s passion and the only thing that keeps him going when he and some neighbors decide to build a baseball diamond just outside of camp. Fitzmaurice’s description of the exhilaration Tetsu feels while playing baseball makes readers connect with the sport, regardless of whether or not you’re like me and have zero hand-eye coordination or can’t throw a ball worth a darn! I felt like I was standing on this makeshift baseball diamond myself, feeling the heat of the desert sun beat down on my back as I stood at home plate ready to bat. Baseball becomes not just the camp residents’ only hope for the day when they would all finally be released, but the readers’ as well, becoming a part of every single game Tetsu and his teammates play as camp life drags on.

I’m outrageously impressed with how different all of Fitzmaurice’s books are, yet how they each leave me feeling inspired and ready to take on life. “A Diamond in the Desert” is no exception, and is a diamond in its own right.

Good Points
Historical fiction that reads like a dystopian novel.
Very relatable male protagonist for reluctant boy readers.
Baseball scenes that get you into the sport even if you have no history with it.
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

Current Giveaways

 

   

   

   

  

   

   

    

  

   

 

Latest Book Listings Added

Every Exquisite Thing
Nanette O'Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Emma and Julia Love Ballet
Emma is little. Julia is big. They both love...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Blobfish Book
Perfect for fans of Battle Bunny and Z Is for...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
The long path to the throne has only just begun...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ask Me How I Got Here
Addie has always known what she was running toward. In...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Time We Were Us
A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Way Back To You
In this witty, heart-tugging novel, two teens take a spontaneous...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Happens Now
"I know what it is to want something so badly,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
All I Need
The last night of summer is only the beginning. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Occasional Diamond Thief
What if you learned your father was a thief?...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Salarian Desert Game
What if someone you love gambled on her life? ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Truth About Forever
A long, hot summer... That's what Macy...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
“The mother I knew would never do those things. ...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frannie and Tru
When Frannie Little eavesdrops on her parents fighting she discovers...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)