2015 ~ May 19
Those words of peace are written on an opening page of each BIG WAR Little Wars book I personalize. They were also written inside the book won by the Goodreads Giveaway winner in Japan. According to Yuuki’s book review, she learned from reading my novel how differently the Japanese and the American people lived during World War II. Yuuki didn’t find the negativity toward her people that she feared the book might contain.
I was curious about reader reaction from a country that had propelled us unexpectedly into a four-year war. Our atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war they had triggered.
In my story, the main character Milla has a Japanese-American friend who is banned from their favorite hangout. The malt-shop owner’s son is fighting for his life against the Japanese in the Pacific. It isn’t difficult to understand the shop owner’s reaction, nor Milla’s. She takes the only stand a teenager can; if her friend is not allowed in the malt shop, she won’t go there either. Milla kept her word throughout the war.
It is my belief—and my hope—that much understanding can be created among people through the exchange of ideas, even those shared through stories. If my young adult novel’s message spanned the Pacific to reach a single person, it has been well-worth my effort.