Friday, January 01, 2021

On the Horizon by Lois Lowry: My Review


About the Book:

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this stunning work in verse for young readers.

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world. Kenard Pak’s stunning illustrations depict real-life people, places, and events, making for an incredibly vivid return to our collective past.
In turns haunting, heartbreaking, and uplifting, On the Horizon will remind readers of the horrors and heroism in our past, as well as offer hope for our future.

My Comments:

Maybe I don't give fifth through seventh graders enough credit but I can't see most of them liking this book, and they are the age it is aimed at, according to Amazon.  The reading level is right, for the most part, but I don't see the interest being there.  

The book starts in Hawaii with a young Lois Lowry at the beach with her nanny, and seeing the Arizona in the distance.  It then gives some  personal details about the men who lost their lives that day, and some who survived.  It has photos of some artifacts like a survivor's watch.  

It then moves to Japan, to Hiroshima as the bomb was dropped.  Again, it profiles the ordinary people like a four year old boy who died on his red tricycle.  

The prose in haunting, almost poetic at times, but I personally don't see it holding kids' interest.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available.  Grade B. 

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