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The Blossom and the Firefly

By: Sherri L. Smith

Japan 1945.
Taro is a talented violinist and a kamikaze pilot in the days before his first and only mission. He believes he is ready to die for his country…until he meets Hana. Hana hasn’t been the same since the day she was buried alive in a collapsed trench during a bomb raid. She wonders if it would have been better to have died that day…until she meets Taro.

A song will bring them together. The war will tear them apart. Is it possible to live an entire lifetime in eight short days?

Map. Author’s note. Glossary. Selected bibliography.

ISBN: 9781524737900

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion
Topics: World War II (1939–1945) , Japan , Kamikaze pilots , Musicians , Family life , History of Japan, 1926–1945 , Violinists , Love , Romance , Death

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

In 1940s Japan, Hana and the other girls in her group care for young soldiers before they join the war. The daily work is repetitive and numbing, a match to Hana’s feelings after she survives being buried alive during an air attack. She feels like a ghost, until she meets a soldier named Taro. He longs to make his mother, father, and country prou In 1940s Japan, Hana and the other girls in her group care for young soldiers before they join the war. The daily work is repetitive and numbing, a match to Hana’s feelings after she survives being buried alive during an air attack. She feels like a ghost, until she meets a soldier named Taro. He longs to make his mother, father, and country proud by becoming a kamikaze pilot. However, Taro cannot leave his musical past behind and brings his violin to the military base. One day his playing brings him and Hana together. Can he and Hana enjoy his last few days together? Impeccably researched, Smith’s detailed writing evokes traditional Eastern folklore—much like the Japanese stories she weaves through the novel. Readers will find themselves growing attached to the characters and their developing affection, but the author does not shy away from realistic depiction of a war-torn country. Smith includes a glossary and selected bibliography. Beyond the sense of looming death, there is passion and hope that drives readers further into the story. The ending feels inevitable, like the last notes of a perfect melody. Smith’s fast-paced and compelling historical novel would be a valued addition to any collection.

Book Details

ISBN

9781524737900

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion

Topics

World War II (1939–1945), Japan, Kamikaze pilots, Musicians, Family life, History of Japan, 1926–1945, Violinists, Love, Romance, Death,

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