Laura’s Victory

Saturday, May 30, 2015

On the playground, when the teacher had walked back into the school, Keith sidled up to Laura. “Isn’t your big hotel job in that place where the Japs lived?” He didn’t wait for an answer before he said in a loud voice so other kids could hear, “She’s running a Jap hotel!”
Laura was momentarily dumbstruck. Sure, the Wakamutus were of Japanese ancestry, but they weren’t the Japanese the United States was fighting.
“Those tenants came here before the war,” she said. “They’re on the American side.”
“Sure they are,” Keith said. “That’s why the government locked them up.”
Laura had no reply to that.

Book: Laura's Victory: End of the Second World War (1945) (Sisters in Time #24) by Veda Boyd Jones, Barbour Publishing, 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 9-15
Subjects: Fear, Prejudice, WWII
Summary: It’s risky enough living in a hotel that once housed some Japanese, but now the Japanese have come back and are actually living in the same apartment as them! In fact, Laura is expected to befriend the girl her age and show her around school. Laura’s family assures her that these people are not their enemies, but rather their friends. It’s hard to believe that when the kids at school say otherwise. In fact, Yvonne says she’s a traitor for befriending someone of the race that killed her brother! Mikoyo sees it differently. She says Laura is blind for only seeing the outside of a person and not looking at the inside. In the midst of trying to be the best class president she can be by getting people to buy lots of war stamps, and fearing for her brother and sister’s boyfriend who are still fighting the war, she has to figure out what she believes about the Japanese-Americans and how to evaluate a person.
Notes: Laura’s Victory is the twenty-fourth in the Sisters-In-Time series. This series features young girls living at various key points in American history, particularly around the wars. It always places the girls right at the edge of the teen years, coming of age.  The concept of the series it to not only show a glimpse of history, but to help young girls feel that the people back then weren’t that different than the people today.
Laura’s Victory takes place in 1945 focusing on the ending of World War II and the view of the Japanese living in America at the time, as well as the fear of Polio. In this book Laura deals with the anti-Japanese sentiment running rampart around the country. She believes her classmates and friends who say she has to hate all of Japanese ancestry because people like her best friend’s brother have been killed by Japanese soldiers. The common thought is that if the government locked them all up, then they must truly be dangerous, a threat to the Americans. Laura’s parents and other adults in her life have to help her figure out how to have the right perspective. They explain that these Japanese are truly Americans and the girl living with them has a father fighting for America – against the Japanese! She also deals with the fear of Polio when her brother gets the dreaded disease.
The spiritual content comes when Laura struggles with fear and one of the adults in her life helps her reason through “the worst that could happen” and helps her see that if her loved ones die in the war, they will go to Heaven where she will see them again someday. If they are tortured, Laura should simply pray that God will be with them and help them. The adult encourages Laura to pray when she feels afraid and give her fear to God and “let Him deal with it”. There are also prayers when in trouble and thanks to God when good things happen.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 3.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

John 14:1-3 - "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.


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