Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Remember Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Survivors tell their stories

Remember Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Survivors tell their stories

Thomas B. Allen, Foreword by Robert D. Ballard
For ages 9 to 12
National Geographic Society, 2007   ISBN: 978-0792236351

Often people try to remember where they were on a certain day. "I was in school when we heard that Kennedy had been shot" they will say or "I was watching the T.V. when the Twin Towers in New York City was hit by the airplanes." In this book the author begins by telling us how he came home from his Boy Scout hike to find his parents raptly listening to the radio totally absorbed by what they were hearing. What they were listening to was an account of how Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese that morning. Even though he was very young this event had a profound effect on the boy as it did on the lives of the other people who tell their story in the pages that follow.

As you read you will hear the voices some of the Japanese pilots who participated in the attack and the thoughts of one of the mechanics who helped ready the Japanese mini subs before they set off for Pearl Harbor. Then there are the memories of young men who were serving on the U.S.S. Oklahoma and U.S.S. Arizona when then were hit. There are also the words of civilians and nurses who watched in horror as planes bombed the harbor and surrounding airfields and who had to deal with the large number of casualties who started flooding into the hospitals even as the second wave of Japanese aircraft arrived in the skies above.

This exceptional book gives the reader a picture of both sides of the conflict and emphasizes the need to remember what happened, to forgive, and to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on that fateful Sunday morning on December 7th, 1941. As always the presentation in this National Geographic book is meticulous, the pictures are well annotated, the maps are beautifully drawn, and it includes photographs which many readers will have never seen before.