I'm trying to get through some of the books that I know my students will enjoy. Dash, Kirby Larson's most recent novel, will appeal to a variety of middle grade readers.
Set during World War II, Mitsi was born in the United States, but is relocated along with the thousands of other Japanese Americans to an internment camp in the desert. Although she is upset about leaving her home, most upsetting is that she will have to leave Dash, her dog and constant companion, behind.
Mitsi is dealing with the loss of her dog, but also realizing that her Japanese heritage has caused her friends to look at her differently. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the life that Mitsi knows changes dramatically.
Once relocated, Mitsi and her family find ways to endure their time in the internment camp. Mitsi is able to find a friend or two, but it is her brother and his friends that most worry her.
Larson's Dash is a great animal story, but it is also a good tween historical fiction book that will provide young readers a look at the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II.