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A Place to Belong

Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 11-13
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

A Japanese-American family, reeling from their ill treatment in the Japanese internment camps, gives up their American citizenship to move back to Hiroshima, unaware of the devastation wreaked by the atomic bomb in this piercing look at the aftermath of World War II by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata.

World War II is finally over, and 12-year-old Hanako and her family are at last freed from the Japanese-American internment camp where they were forced to spend the last four years. Though they had nothing to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or the war at all, they’d still been forced to live behind a barbed-wire fence like prisoners, simply because they were Japanese. Feeling betrayed and unwanted, Hanako’s parents decide to give up their American citizenship and sail across the Pacific to Japan, Hiroshima specifically, where her grandparents live. Perhaps there they would find that now-missing feeling of home. 

But postwar Hiroshima is not the cherry blossom dream for which Hanako had hoped. The city has been decimated by an atomic bomb, and the repercussions still smolder. Countless orphans beg door to door, hundreds of thousands of people are starving, and American Hanako now reels in shock at what her family, and the people of Hiroshima, face. Despite everything her family begins to do to help staunch the suffering they see around them, Hanako feels more in limbo, more unwanted, than ever before, because here she is American, and the Americans had dropped the bomb in the first place. 

In the ashes of a war-torn world, she must forge her own identity, a bridge between the hyphen between her cultures, in order to find her heart’s true home as a Japanese American.

©2019 Cynthia Kadohata (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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Delightful story, amazing narration

I’m so glad I took a gamble on this book.

It was a wonderful and tragic story with the most complex characters. The narrator did a wonderful job bring the story and characters to life. The children sounded so adorable.

I felt like I was a part of this wonderful family while I was listening to this book. I felt both their love and heartache.

I enjoyed every second of this audiobook. Thank you to the author and narrator.