Peace Is a Chain Reaction: How World War II Japanese Balloon Bombs Brought People of Two Nations Together (Hardcover)
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From an award-winning author comes a vivid depiction of an act of war from opposing sides of the conflict in World War II—and a rare reconciliation and wish for peace that evolved years later.
Adults wage war, while children are unwitting victims, pulled into a maelstrom of fear and hate without any choice. This is a story about two groups of teenagers on opposite sides of the world, forever connected by an act of war. It is a story about the adults some of those teens became, forever connected by acts of forgiveness, understanding, and peace. And it is a story about one remarkable man, whose heart belonged both to America and Japan, who put that peace and understanding in motion. Panning the camera wide, Tanya Lee Stone lays the global groundwork for the story’s context before zooming in on the lives of the people involved, providing an intimate look at how their changing perspectives impact their actions. Through meticulous research, interviews, and archival photo curation, Stone skillfully weaves all of these stories together, illuminating how, despite the devastating pain and destruction caused by war, peace can be a chain reaction. Extensive back matter includes an author’s note, source notes, bibliography, and index.
About the Author
Tanya Lee Stone is best known for telling true stories often missing from our histories. A Sibert Medalist, she has written more than one hundred books, among them the award-winning Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream and Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers. She first learned about the story at the heart of Peace Is a Chain Reaction while writing Courage Has No Color, but found that larger, complex interconnected stories emerged from her research. “I needed to find a way to weave it all together for that legacy to be more widely felt,” she says. “Developing a sense of all the people involved, through years of immersive research, slowly brought the story into focus.” Tanya Lee Stone is the program director of Champlain College’s professional writing program and lives in Vermont.
This nuanced account of major events in the war between the U.S. and Japan during WWII is one of the few offerings that covers the period from beginning to end. . . This full-circle account is applicable across content areas.
—Booklist (starred review)
This book describes events from the perspective of the victims and survivors of the balloon bomb in Oregon, the schoolgirls who made the bombs in Japan, and a young Japanese American’s experience in an internment camp. . . . A wonderful selection for nonfiction shelves, this is a compelling narrative of peace and war—but most importantly, redemption.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
An extraordinary story that brings a new perspective to the human toll of war and the capacity for healing.
This complicated story includes a large cast of characters, multiple settings, and several shifts in time. It’s a credit to Stone that she fashions them into a cohesive, compelling narrative.
—The Horn Book
An under-explored corner of World War II literature that will earn its place in many collections.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books