Under the Broken Sky

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Modern Age

Under the Broken Sky
Author: Smith, Sherri L.
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1939-1945
Geographic Area: Asia
Country: Japan, China
Topics: WWII, Manchuria
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Upper Middle Grade
Format: Novel
Published: 2019

World History > Modern Age > WWII

A beautifully told middle-grade novel-in-verse about a Japanese orphan's experience in occupied rural Manchuria during World War II.

Twelve-year-old Natsu and her family live a quiet farm life in Manchuria, near the border of the Soviet Union. But the life they've known begins to unravel when her father is recruited to the Japanese army, and Natsu and her little sister, Asa, are left orphaned and destitute. In a desperate move to keep her sister alive, Natsu sells Asa to a Russian family following the 1945 Soviet occupation. The journey to redemption for Natsu's broken family is rife with struggles, but Natsu is tenacious and will stop at nothing to get her little sister back. Literary and historically insightful, this is one of the great untold stories of WWII. Much like the Newbery Honor book Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Mariko Nagai's Under the Broken Sky is powerful, poignant, and ultimately hopeful.

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