A Book and a Hug



Diamond in the Desert

Reviewed by Administrator on June 18, 2012.

"Two bags to hold your whole world."

Thirteen year old Tetsu and his sister Kimi are being transported along with their mother to a Japanese American internment camp in Gila River, Arizona. Father is headed to South Dakota for questioning. They are leaving behind their home, their dog, Lefty, and everything they know.

Sometimes life comes along and delivers a blow, hands you a bad deal, and you disappear into hiding somewhere in yourself to be safe and stop feeling. You may not even know you're missing.

In this case it's the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor that makes Tetsu disappear from view. This book is written like a diary in sections beginning in August, 1942. Arriving at the camp, they find dust, a barren landscape, and latrines with no stalls. They are in the middle of nowhere.

The one thing Tetsu cares about is his Mel Ott glove. When he meets some other boys who play baseball a glimmer of hope appears. Will they ever remember who they really are? Will their lives ever regain dignity, respect and purpose? This is a beautiful, poignant story of hope, healing, redemption and the wonder of the human spirit. Ages 9-13

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