No Quiet Water

Estimated read time 1 min read

On Bainbridge Island, Fumio Miyota and his family live quiet, peaceful lives. They are part of their community, with friends and business connections that make them important to the people around them. However, when Japanese fighter pilots attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, they become figures of suspicion to the American government. Soon, they are uprooted and sent to an internment camp, where they must rebuild their lives as much as they can.

With its preteen protagonist alternating chapters from his point of view and from the point of view of his dog, No Quiet Water read very much as a middle grade novel, one meant to introduce the time period and the pain Japanese-Americans faced at being seen as the enemy by their own country. If this was the intent, I felt it fell short. The book feels more like a sweet tale of a boy and his dog, and while there are moments that show racism and deprivation, they are too easily put aside. I was unimpressed by the book, and I think the page count (over three hundred) and slow start will put off many younger readers.

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