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“THE WAR OUTSIDE” TACKLES WW2 AMERICA FOR YA READERS
Monica Hesse, journalist and novelist, writes her newest YA book, “The War Outside,” about America during WW2. This book hits shelves today.
“The War Outside” is about two teenage girls: Margot (German-American) and Haruko (Japanese-American). Margot and Haruko meet at Crystal City Family Internment Camp, a camp that existed in Texas.
Readers will learn a lot about American internment camps: how individuals lived, what structures were in place, and the treatment of these individuals. Hesse does a good job of offering up questions: how will these family survive in their old communities after the war? What kind of future can America offer them? Hesse uses many real-life examples that she explains in the afterword. Her book is well-researched, and she does a good job of seamlessly incorporating her knowledge.
While the research details were fascinating, the girls’ relationship a little felt forced and lacked emotional depth. Their relationship felt very ambiguous and gave me pause. Unfortunately, this relationship was a large part of the story.
I enjoyed the well-developed families and their drama, the camp atmosphere, the B-characters, and the mystery/twist ending. I’m glad Hesse is shining light on this part of America’s history.