Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

After Pearl Harbor, Ruthie's life at school changes: ``war'' has become very real. Her favorite teacher loses her fiancĒ in the Philippines; a new friend of Japanese descent, Mitzi, is threatened by schoolmates and then interned with her family. Ruthie finds it difficult to grasp the changing alliances: former best friend Shirl proves to be a bigoted bully toward Mitzi, while her beloved ... Read full review

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It's 1941 and World War II has just started. Ruth "Ruthie" Fox is best friends with Shirley "Shirl" Steadman. But their friendship gets intense when Shirl and Barbara T. start bullying a Japanese-American girl named Mitsuko "Mitzi" Fujimoto. And Shirl's birthday party is coming up! Ruthie knows that it's wrong to be mean to Mitzi, but Shirl keeps getting mad about it. One day, BOOM! Shirl uninvites Ruthie to her party at the Chinese Tea Garden. The Chinese Tea Garden was originally the Japanese Tea Garden until the war began. Ruthie feels irritated at Mitzi because she wasn't invited to the party. But after seeing Mitzi feeling so frightened to come to school, Ruthie forgives her and they become best friends. Then one day, some boys from school break a window of Joe's Groceries, Mitzi's uncle's store in Japantown. Ruthie's parents believe that the Japanese will be sent to internment camps because they are allegedly spying for Japan. That became true. Ruthie begins writing to Mitzi for the next three years and four months. Mitzi and her family, at first, are at Tanforan Racetrack (now Tanforan Mall in present day). But then they are moved to Arkansas. The war finally ends in 1945 and the Japanese can finally return home. Ruthie and Mitzi agree through letters to meet at the Moon Bridge, their favorite spot, at the Chinese Tea Garden. They finally see each other and have very warm greetings and relax in front of the Moon Bridge. 

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A nice historical book in the time of the World War. I don't remember clearly what happened at the end, although I do remember it was sweet, beautifully written, and a little sad. A marvelous book recommended for everyone.

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