Aleutian Sparrow

Aleutian Sparrow

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Aleutian Sparrow 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
cshupp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just read this book and wow! Hesse manages to fit so much pain into so little writing. The prose style was unexpected and she puts her own spin on it. I had no idea this happened during WWII and now I find myself wanting to research it. Such a powerful story.
Samanthasrai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review of Aleutian Sparrow, by Karen HesseThis is a beautiful, delicate book dealing with the invasion of Alaska¿s Aleutian Islands by the Japanese. Central character Vera moves through the pages like a ghost, leaving touches of humour, sorrow, confusion, resilience and bittersweet memory. The verses are clear with many evocative descriptions. Some are truly stunning in their simple, beautiful observations that connect the Aleutian people with their environment. The style and subject of this children¿s book is quite mature, and yet Hesse retains an innocent and engaging tone. A wonderful read.
srssrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What attracted me to the "Aleutian Sparrow" initially was the graphic design on the chapter pages. Beyond that the concise, light looking text attracted my literature eye. I hadn't seen a book designed like this before, or at least a book that was for someone older than 8 years of age. The "Aleutian Sparrow" is un-rhymed verse. Each page is really a separate poem highly one aspect of the Japanese invasion of the Aleutians during WW2 and the relocation of Aleuts. It is fiction, but is written in first person. This gives the book an appearance of being non-fiction. I think using first person narrator makes the book easier to read. Finally, I think Karen Hesse has written a text that could easily differentiate a WW2 literature unit for below grade level readers. This book is not easy, but the way it was written and designed, makes it more readable for struggling readers and under-motivated readers.
bestwhensimple on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Karen Hesse is a genius. Out of the Dust was tragic and hopeful, sad and beautiful. Aleutian Sparrow is no exception. Set in the Aleutian Islands (off the coast of mainland Alaska) during World War II, this book is the story of Vera, a half-Aleutian and half-Caucasian girl, who is forced to move from her home into internment camps. We follow the journey of Vera and her neighbors from home to camp and back.Artfully written in short free-verse poems similar to Out of the Dust, Aleutian Sparrow is full of bursts of events and emotions. We learn about Vera's father dying at sea, the deforestation of the islands by western interests, and the better conditions of German prisoners of war nearby. The power of Hesse's writing is in her brevity. She brings up topics as heavy as the cruelty of war, the dehumanization of interned Americans, and rebuilding a community. This book is suitable for anyone who would like to learn something new about US involvement in internment camps, such as the one in Farewell to Manzanar. I recommend it for the discussion that it will prompt about ethics and community afterwards.
HMP11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story told from the eyes of a native Aleutian teen. Adding yet another layer to the horrors of war is the little known fact about the travesties that haunted and scarred the small chain of islands off Alaska's coast called the Aleutians. In 1942, the Aleutian Islands were attacked by Japan. Vera and her family are forced to move to from their land, where they made seal-gut pants, could capture cod with their hands and gather grass for fires and medicine to a dirty, inhospitable camp. In the camp they wait for three long years through death, disease and persecution for the US Government to let them return to the home that bombs and US soldiers have destroyed. I enjoyed the historical relation to the story and appreciated that Hesse told the story in such a beautiful emotive way. I felt the pain and longing of Vera through the poetic language.
pinkargyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I thought it was well written and touching, and brought a page in history, that I knew nothing about, to life. One of my favorite poems from the book is on page 59. I like it so much because it opens up so many questions about preserving history, identity, colonialism, and respecting one¿s ancestors: While The Little Ones Kicked The CanAlfred's grandfather says, "Remember, we were once unparalleled hunters, men of the sea. We were the elders of the world. We had our own language, our fierce victories, our tribal pride. The Russians ended that. "We went from ten thousand to eight hundred. Our grandparents preished. Our parents perished. And that was before the Americans came. How many times can a people lose their wayBefore they are lost forever?"A lyrical book that also packs a lot of information into few words, Aleutian Sparrow is a wonderful read that would be a perfect complement to a unit on WWII.
MerryMary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As she has done with other volumes, Ms Hesse has managed to tell a story full of longing and pain in the spare and carefully-chosen words of free verse. The native Aleutians were evacuated from their historic homes when the Japanese invade the islands during World War II. The thread that winds through all the pages is one of longing for the islands of home, and the pain of a heritage lost. Love, however, endures.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing.Bringing to light a little-known aspect of World War II, Karen Hesse has created a powerful, sad story. Like many of her books, it is written in a sort of prose or poetry fashion, which seems perfect for the story.This book made me cry. Vivid, realistic, and very powerful.An amazing book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book and would recommend it to readers of all ages. It tells the story of ww2 when the natives of the Aleutian islands were moved from their homes by the American government. I think this book is like a double-edged wammy of greatness, because it has two components that I really appreciated; firstly, it's somewhat of a long poem, describing the beauty of the Alutian islands with metaphor. Secondly, the problem faced by the main charactervis true history. I only wish it didn't end so abruptly. Other than that it was great.