In A Flash
In 1940, when Simona is eight and her sister, Carolina, is five, their father becomes the cook to the Italian ambassador to Japan, and the family leaves Italy for Tokyo. The girls learn perfect Japanese, make friends, and begin to love life in their new home. But soon Japan is engaged in a world war. In 1943, when all Italians in Japan are confined to internment camps as enemy aliens, Papà and the girls are forced to part, and Simona and Carolina embark on a dramatic journey. Anyone who aids them could be arrested for treason. All the sisters have is each other: their wits, courage, and resilience, and the hope that they will find people who see them not as the enemy, but simply as children trying to survive.
In this gripping, deeply moving story, Donna Jo Napoli gives readers an unforgettable and authentic new perspective on World War II.
I didn't know that there were Italian citizens living in Japan during WWII that ended up being forced into internment camps. Caroline and Simona come to Japan with their father when he's offered a job as a cook for the Italian diplomat. Caroline and Simona end up going to a Japanese public school, learn Japanese, and love the country. Then Italy signs an armistice with Allie forces. Quickly they are sent to an internment camp and declared enemies of Japan. Their father is sent to a hidden prisoner camp. The girls learn to survive. First in the camps. Then with a woman who writes forbidden manga. Then they find themselves with a blind woman and help her. Throughout all of this they learn not only survival skills, but harvest the hope of reuniting with their father.
The scenes are vivid and haunting. Especially heartwrenching is the bombing of Hiroshima and the plight of thousands of orphan children. The author doesn't hold back on the horrors of war. Only the story is seen through the eyes of children.
Riveting story of two Italian sisters who survive an internment camp and the horrors of war in Japan during WWII. All the while they're guided by hope to reunite with their father by the power of their love. A total must-read for fans of historicals set during WWII.