On the Horizon

HMH. Apr. 2020. 80p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780358129400.
Gr 7-10–Lowry recounts her memories of being a child in Hawaii and her experience of moving to Tokyo when she was 11. Her personal experiences serve as the narrative foundation that eulogizes the many lives lost in two of World War II’s tragic events: the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. This series of beautiful, moving, and sometimes horrifying poems gives a voice to the young men on the USS Arizona and offers an equally moving tribute to the survivors of Hiroshima. A brief introduction explains the author’s presence in Hawaii and recounts the bombing of Pearl Harbor, followed by the poems of survivors as well as those who died. The poems are touching but also very specific and sometimes graphic. One discusses the captain of the Arizona and how his ring from the Naval Academy was found melted and fused to a mast of the ship. Poems about those who experienced Hiroshima are equally graphic but certainly just as compelling. The second half of the book provides a brief explanation about the bombing of Hiroshima followed by the poems. The final section depicts Lowry’s experiences living in Tokyo. The author shares her hope for the future and stresses the interconnectedness of humanity.
VERDICT While not an essential purchase, Lowry offers a unique view of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima in an unusual format that could be useful for the classroom. Teachers looking for different approaches to history could use this title to highlight the differences and similarities that perspective brings to history.

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