No-Spoilers Book Preview
This engaging novel – based on a Colorado resident’s memories and meticulously researched – deftly moves from a fish-out-of-water story to a suspenseful and realistic account of what happened on December 7, 1941.
Thirteen-year-old Rose Williams has trouble fitting in. Every time her family moves to a new navy base, she wishes she could be more like her fearless brother, Les, and not her usual shy and practical self.
On the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, Rose hears the roar of low-flying planes. From her front yard she watches as Japanese aircraft attack the U.S. Ships and naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. White her dad rushes into battle, Rose and her mother take cover. Les is nowhere to be found.
The fifth book in the Home-Front Heroes series, War On A Sunday Morning gives readers a detailed, gripping account at what it was like to see and live through the attack on Pearl Harbor. The novel touches on everything from Hawaiians’ attitude toward “haole” (white) newcomers as well as civilian and military attitudes toward Japanese Americans.
Introverts will easily identify with Rose’s shy personality (it takes her a while to make friends) and artistic talents (she sketches for pleasure and to work out her emotions during the attack), and extroverts will relate to the buoyant energy of her mischievous brother, Les.
This is the first Pearl Harbor-World War II book from a girl’s point of view, and it brings history alive for adults as well as middle-grade readers. I especially liked learning about Rose’s neighbors and new friends in this multicultural community. Tippy, a stray dog, lends humor and lighthearted moments to balance the serious themes of unconscious bias, prejudice, racism, and war.
Be sure to read the last few pages to learn more about the real Rose Williams.
From Chapter 4
…the distinct rumble of planes approaching. Hickam airfield is right next door to our housing unit, and planes are often in the air above our house. It’s a little odd, though, for our pilots to be practicing maneuvers so early on a Sunday morning. I shield my eyes with my hands as the first planes pass over with a low roar. They are headed for the harbor and flying so low I can see the head of the pilot, his goggles up on his forehead. Instinctively I wave, but he does not wave back. And then I notice a white scarf around his neck, and as the plane passes, I observe something else. There are red painted balls on the underside of his wings. And slowly it dawns on me…those are not red balls. They are the Rising Sun. The insignia of Japan. These are enemy planes!
Then from all around I hear deafening explosions and what sounds like firecrackers going off, and then the rattle of machine gun fire.
Teresa R. Funke writes for children and adults. Most of her books and short stories are based on real people and actual events, and many are set in World War II. “I wanted to put my readers in the middle of the action by setting my story in Hawaii,” she said about her latest novel, “so they could see what it would’ve been like to live through one of the most important events in our nation’s history.”
Teresa is also a popular speaker and writers’ coach. Watch free writing videos on her website or YouTube channel. Visit her at www.TeresaFunke.com to submit your own family’s stories, or to invite Teresa to speak at your school in person or via video conference.
Katherine Valdez writes award-winning microfiction as KatValdezWriter at Zathom.com.
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