Dust of Eden

Dust of Eden

"We lived under a sky so blue in Idaho right near the towns of Hunt and Eden but we were not welcomed there." In December 1941, thirteen year-old Mina Masako Tagawa and her Japanese-American family are sent from their home in Seattle to an internment camp in Idaho. What do you do when your home country treats you like an enemy? This memorable and powerful novel in verse, w...

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Title:Dust of Eden
Author:Mariko Nagai
Rating:

Dust of Eden Reviews

  • Katy Wineke

    Beautiful.

    While I enjoy novels in verse, I typically find that they miss details: that is not the case here. Nagai is a poet and it shows--this novel is better because of the beauty of her poems.

  • Laura Cushing

    This excellent young adult book is told from the point of view of a young Japanese American girl named Mina who is sent to an interment camp with her family during World War II. The family consists of the girl, an older brother, mother, father and grandfather. Each of them reacts to the interment in different ways, showing a variety of feelings from hopelessness to resignation, anger and sadness at what their country is doing to them.

    The story includes letters that Mina writes to her best friend

    This excellent young adult book is told from the point of view of a young Japanese American girl named Mina who is sent to an interment camp with her family during World War II. The family consists of the girl, an older brother, mother, father and grandfather. Each of them reacts to the interment in different ways, showing a variety of feelings from hopelessness to resignation, anger and sadness at what their country is doing to them.

    The story includes letters that Mina writes to her best friend, and essays she writes in class at the interment camp. It also in later chapters includes letters from her brother. This makes the story seem very real.

    I highly recommend this book, not only for young adults, but for anyone who wants to learn more about this horrible period in our history and what was done to citizens who meant no harm to no one in the name of keeping America 'safe'.

  • Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)

    4 stars

    Mina's voice is appropriately confused and angry when her family is rounded up and shipped off to an internment camp for Americans of Japanese ancestry. With her life turned on end, her family and her heart broken, she has to come to terms with what it means to be an American in a country that no longer accepts her because of the paranoia following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Compelling and emotional read about an embarrassing episode in our history. Have we learned from this? I certainly

    4 stars

    Mina's voice is appropriately confused and angry when her family is rounded up and shipped off to an internment camp for Americans of Japanese ancestry. With her life turned on end, her family and her heart broken, she has to come to terms with what it means to be an American in a country that no longer accepts her because of the paranoia following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Compelling and emotional read about an embarrassing episode in our history. Have we learned from this? I certainly hope so.

  • Binibining `E (of The Ugly Writers)

    This short book has the power to make me sad and make me cry. Leaving Basho behind, damn makes me shed tears. I'm so sad reading this but I can't put it down. The story of Mina and his family was just cruel, what happened to her father was just unbelievable. The grandfather I adore, he's just so quiet a

    This short book has the power to make me sad and make me cry. Leaving Basho behind, damn makes me shed tears. I'm so sad reading this but I can't put it down. The story of Mina and his family was just cruel, what happened to her father was just unbelievable. The grandfather I adore, he's just so quiet and loveable. I love how he tends to his roses and thus he never forgets them until he died. Children also are somewhat the victims in this war, because they're Japanese people look at them very differently, although they are mixed bloods they're still treated differently by some people. At the end they still did go back to where they belong but of course things always change.

  • QNPoohBear

    Thirteen year-old Mina Masako Tagawa is practicing with the church Sunday School choir when she learns the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Suddenly Mina's whole world is upended. Her father is arrested and sent to jail and Mina doesn't know why. Mina, her brother, their mother and beloved grandfather are sent to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans. Her mother is forced to work for the first time, her brother is angry and her grandfather is lost without rich, brown soil to plant roses in

    Thirteen year-old Mina Masako Tagawa is practicing with the church Sunday School choir when she learns the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Suddenly Mina's whole world is upended. Her father is arrested and sent to jail and Mina doesn't know why. Mina, her brother, their mother and beloved grandfather are sent to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans. Her mother is forced to work for the first time, her brother is angry and her grandfather is lost without rich, brown soil to plant roses in. Mina Masako has no idea why this is happening. She always considered herself as American as her best friend Jamie but now she's not so sure. What does it mean to be American?

    I knew a story about the Japanese internment during WWII was not going to be uplifting and I am not a big fan of novels in verse, so I went into this thinking I would not enjoy it. I was proven wrong by the compelling characters and the debate over what makes an American. Some parts of the story, toward the end, made me tear up quite a bit. A Japanese internment story is something everyone in the United States should be required to read, especially now.

    I really liked the voice of the main character Mina Masako. One minute she's a teenage girl who loves her cat and her family and the next she's labeled a "Jap", an enemy, just because her grandfather was born in Japan. Mina usually goes by her English name and even though she is bilingual, her Japanese isn't great. She speaks it at home and now it is forbidden. Their very identities are taken away from them-or are they? What is her identity is the central question of this novel. Mina Masako wonders whether she's American Mina or Japanese Masako. She asks what it means to be American and why would she want to be American if America has turned their backs on her? Masako is conflicted while her grandfather just accepts whatever will happen will happen and the mistake will be remedied quickly. Her older brother is angry and bitter. I really understood how they both felt and I can't imagine being in that position.

    I could relate to Masako's special relationship with her grandfather. He is a dear old man who works hard and loves his family. They share a special bond over her grandfather's garden of splendid roses and cherry trees. Mina's parents are a little less developed than her grandfather. As first generation Japanese-Americans they trust the government to do what is right for the country and don't question things. They are more traditionally Japanese in their outlook while the children, born and raised in America, struggle more with the horrible treatment they must endure.

    The author's blank verse style doesn't allow for a whole lot of description of life in an internment camp. I've read other, more detailed stories but this is the only one I've read that really debates what it means to be American and how to be American. I recommend this one to begin with for ages 12-13 and then other stories for older readers and

    for adults.

    and

  • Jody

    Japanese Internment. I keep visiting the sites of the camps and reading more about it. This is a quick read, novel in verse. I don't recall hearing this before, but in Seattle, all the Chinese people wore buttons that said, "I'm Chinese." This was to let others know that they weren't responsible for the bombing of Pearl Harbor--"I'm not the enemy." I'm so grateful I lived in Japan for 17 months of my life and learned to speak the language and understand the hearts of some of the people as well a

    Japanese Internment. I keep visiting the sites of the camps and reading more about it. This is a quick read, novel in verse. I don't recall hearing this before, but in Seattle, all the Chinese people wore buttons that said, "I'm Chinese." This was to let others know that they weren't responsible for the bombing of Pearl Harbor--"I'm not the enemy." I'm so grateful I lived in Japan for 17 months of my life and learned to speak the language and understand the hearts of some of the people as well as a little something about the culture.

  • Marit

    It's coming to the end of the school year and I needed a quick HF book so Mrs. Morgan told me to read this and I did. I didn't hate it. I thought it was kinda cute. It's about living with the the fact that many people hate you because of who you are. You can't change the fact that that's who you are but you want to change it. It's a strong and powerful short story.

  • Hailey

    This book was extremely depressing. It’s terrible that they were treated the way they were. Racism just pushes me the wrong way. I really don’t like it.

    Overall this book was good. I didn’t read it like a poem though. Also, she didn’t say weather they got the cat back or not so, I’m assuming that they did.

    I give this book a four star rating because it was depressing, but good. Extremely engaging.

  • Emma

    I liked this book because It was detailed and told a lot about what was happening. It was also cool that it was from the point of view of a little girl. I thought it was cool that the author included the notes she was sending to her friend.

  • HJ Shirley

    I'm not sure why I didn't love this one. It is one of three books I have read since the summer about the Japanese internment camps during WWII. It is written in verse. I don't feel that the protagonist was well developed, and that may be why it earned a 3 out of 5. I just didn't feel or connect with what she was going through.

    The one thing that really stands out with all three of the books I have read (The War Outside and Farewell to Manzanar being the other two) is the dismantling of the family

    I'm not sure why I didn't love this one. It is one of three books I have read since the summer about the Japanese internment camps during WWII. It is written in verse. I don't feel that the protagonist was well developed, and that may be why it earned a 3 out of 5. I just didn't feel or connect with what she was going through.

    The one thing that really stands out with all three of the books I have read (The War Outside and Farewell to Manzanar being the other two) is the dismantling of the family unit for those sent to the camps.

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