Review Blog

Aug 23 2013

Yoko's diary: the life of a young girl in Hiroshima during WWll

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Edited by Paul Ham. HarperCollins, 2013. ISBN 9780733331176.
(Age: 10+) Recommended. 1945 was a hard time to be a child in Japan, with most children as young as twelve required to work as child labourers. Most of the big Japanese cities had been heavily bombed, but little did the people of Hiroshima know that their city had been set aside as a target for the first atomic bomb ever dropped on human life. Thirteen-year-old Yoko lived in Japan, not far from the city of Hiroshima and Yoko's diary is a moving account of her life in a war zone.
Yoko records the war happening around her, the planes overhead, her daily errands and the poor conditions. Yoko's diary shows us the hopes, beliefs and daily life of a young girl in wartime Japan. Yoko's half-brother, Kohji gathered contributions from old school friends and relatives and included these in Yoko's diary to provide some background to Yoko's life and to document the wider effect the bomb had on surviving families. Kohji inserted pages throughout the book with personal information, facts and history which helped to provide information on Japanese life, customs and traditions. Yoko's diary reveals a girl who is always eager to please and do her duty. Yoko was a conscientious, caring and kind-hearted little girl, a model of obedience and selfless duty who was always trying to do the right thing. 'I must do my best in everything until we win the war' she writes. I would recommend Yoko's diary for 10+ and it would be an excellent resource for a 'Children in war' focus.
Michelle Thomson

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