Allen Say Home of the Brave

ISBN 13: 9780618212231

Home of the Brave

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9780618212231: Home of the Brave
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In dreamlike sequences, a man symbolically confronts the trauma of his family’s incarceration in the Japanese internment camps during World War II. This infamous event is made emotionally clear through his meeting a group of children all with strange name tags pinned to their coats. The man feels the helplessness of the children. Finally, desperately he releases the name tags like birds into the air to find their way home with the hope for a time when Americans will be seen as one people—not judged, mistrusted, or segregated because of their individual heritage.
Sixty years after thousands of Japanese Americans were unjustly imprisoned, the cogent prose and haunting paintings of renowned author and illustrator Allen Say remind readers of a dark chapter in America’s history.

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About the Author:

Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six, and, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained Say's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book -- published in 1972 -- in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master's studio. It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He is a full-time writer and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.

From Publishers Weekly:

Breaking from such previous works as Tea with Milk and Grandfather's Journey, which featured a realistic sequence of events, Caldecott Medalist Say here enters the realm of dream or rather, nightmare. The opening image shows a man dwarfed by an ominous, craggy stone edifice at the edge of a shore, as he prepares to step into his kayak. In the next spread, the man, wearing a red helmet and vest that match his vessel, hurls over a waterfall; the sky resembles billowing black smoke that blends with the rocky cliffs ("The man closed his eyes and held his breath"). Say's use of light and dark has a haunting effect, as the man first surfaces in an underground tunnel with a faint glimmer of sunlight; the light then shifts from horizontal to vertical as it illuminates a ladder. Barren land awaits above, with a single structure: "Must be an Indian reservation, he thought." Two children sit against an adobe ruin with nametags around their necks, explaining they are "from the camp." Details in the meticulously rendered watercolors reveal that the children are referring to an internment camp: a row of abandoned identical wooden houses sit on the desert floor of a valley (and hark back to the deserted Indian reservation); thousands of children with identical tags chant "Take us home!"; searchlights from high watchtowers follow them as they flee. Other details link the hero's fate with theirs, but the final image is uplifting. Much remains enigmatic: most children will require the aid of an older reader to make sense of the historical context, and may be put off by the dark and lonely vistas. However, the images create an internal logic of their own, as emotionally convincing as any waking experience. All ages.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Say, Allen
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (2002)
ISBN 10: 061821223X ISBN 13: 9780618212231
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