Mitsi Kashino loves her dog, Dash, more than anything. She
also loves learning, her family, and her two best friends.
Once Pearl Harbor happens during World War II, everything in
her life changes. Now, her friends won't speak to her, and
the class bully antagonizes her event more. People on the
street stare and make fun of her, and before long, her
family is forced to go to an incarceration camp. After
having to leave her beloved dog and home beyond, Mitsi
struggles to adjust to her new life, full of hope that one
day she will be reunited with Dash.
DASH by Kirby Larson is a wonderful middle grade historical
novel. Though I had heard of the incarceration camps before,
I didn't know much about them or what the experience of
living in one might be like for a young girl. Mitsi's story
is touching and memorable, and the adorable dog, Dash, adds
an additional moving layer to the story. The bond the two
share is consistently present throughout the novel even
though they are apart for most of it.
I also love the strong friendship aspect to the story. Mitsi
is young, but that doesn't mean prejudice isn't around her
and her friends. Seeing them all deal with it through her
eyes is interesting and eye opening. It really makes you
think about how different age groups handle tough situations
Overall, DASH is a great novel for any middle grade reader
to pick up. The writing is smooth, the story is quick and
beautiful, and it will leave you wanting to know more about
what happened to Japanese Americans during that time. Kirby
Larson is an excellent writer, and I can't wait to explore
more of her works.
New from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson, the moving story
of a Japanese-American girl who is separated from her dog
upon being sent to an incarceration camp during WWII.
Although Mitsi Kashino and her family are swept up in the
wave of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on
Pearl Harbor, Mitsi never expects to lose her home -- or her
beloved dog, Dash. But, as World War II rages and people of
Japanese descent are forced into incarceration camps, Mitsi
is separated from Dash, her classmates, and life as she
knows it. The camp is a crowded and unfamiliar place, whose
dusty floors, seemingly endless lines, and barbed wire
fences begin to unravel the strong Kashino family ties. With
the help of a friendly neighbor back home, Mitsi remains
connected to Dash in spite of the hard times, holding on to
the hope that the war will end soon and life will return to
normal. Though they've lost their home, will the Kashino
family also lose their sense of family? And will Mitsi and
Dash ever be reunited?