The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer is set in the fifties when Americans were still leery of all Japanese people because of WW I. Discrimination, fear, and hatred were everywhere and it’s the perfect environment for Ella Mae’s aunt who lost a son in the war to meet with scientists and try to bring back her dead son.
But the blood splattered on his dog tags turns out to be of a Japanese soldier instead of his own and now that Takuma is back from the dead, he has no where to go and no one to take care of him.
Ella Mae and her mama take Takuma in. The struggles they face, the blackballing from the community, and the outcry from their own family members is embarrassing to read and shameful to know it’s not fiction.
The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer is a timely young adult book that would make a great read aloud in a classroom. Making real world connections to this book could spark some great conversations and lessons.