War Through the Generations Reading Challenge Guidelines

War through Generations Reading Challenge will be hosted by Anna and Serena. The first reading challenge is World War II.

Here are a couple of rules:
1. You need to read at least five books from January 1, 2009 to Decmber 31, 2009. Both Anne and Serena encourage the challengers to read more than that though.

2. You do not need to have a blog to sign up.

There is a reading list where you can choose from. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction World War II related books. You can find more information in their site.

So what are you waiting for? Come and join the challenge.

Selected Books

1. Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

2. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

3. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

4. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, Translated by Sandra Smith

5. City of Thieves by David Benioff

I love reading about World War II but I am not sure if I will be able to read more. I will leave the list like it is for now.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: February 2008
ISBN-13: 9780312360207
Pages: 336
Rating: 3 out of 5
Synopsis: In 1942, the US government decided to open a Japanese internment camp called Tallgrass near Ellis, Colorado. The lives of the townspeople including Rennie Stroud and her family were never going to be the same again. Rennie, a thirteen year old, was forced to grow up quickly due to the effects of the war, prejudice, fear and family problems. Just when things couldn't get any worse, a white young girl was raped and murdered in her farm which was unfortunately near Tallgrass. The hatred of the Ellis townspeople grew, and they blamed the Japanese-Americans for the brutal fate of the young girl. The rift of between the people of Ellis and the Stroud family grew when Loyal, Rennie's father, decided to hire Japanese Americans to work in their farm.
Review: I decided to read Tallgrass after I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, since I enjoyed the latter so much. I thought the plot was great but as I went on, I felt that some parts of the story felt weak. The novel dragged towards the middle, and I wondered if the murder of the girl was ever going to be solved.
Some characters were enjoyable. I particularly liked Mary Stroud, Rennie's mother. Her views for the Japanese Americans shifted from indifference to acceptance. However, I also felt that some characters like Daisy, Harry, and Carl, the Japanese Americans the Strouds hired in the farm, should have been developed more by the author. I wished I could have seen more of how life was for the Japanese Americans in Tallgrass, but since the story was told in Rennie's point of view, it would have been impossible for the reader to see this.
Recommendation: I would still recommend this book since some of the characters were fairly interesting enough. It wasn't bad, but if you're like me who loves character development in the story, it's limited in this book. I also think this is great for people who like "a coming of age" type of story.

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