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A Scarf for Keiko
Cover of A Scarf for Keiko
A Scarf for Keiko
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It's 1942. Sam's class is knitting socks for soldiers and Sam is a terrible knitter. Keiko is a good knitter, but some kids at school don't want anything to do with her because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and her family is Japanese American. When Keiko's family is forced to move to a camp for Japanese Americans, can Sam find a way to demonstrate his friendship?

It's 1942. Sam's class is knitting socks for soldiers and Sam is a terrible knitter. Keiko is a good knitter, but some kids at school don't want anything to do with her because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and her family is Japanese American. When Keiko's family is forced to move to a camp for Japanese Americans, can Sam find a way to demonstrate his friendship?

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Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    570
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Ann Malaspina has written many books for children, including Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper and Finding Lincoln. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2019
    An act of kindness during World War II still resonates today as a boy reaches out to a girl whom the government does not consider a suitable or loyal American citizen.The United States has entered World War II, and Sam's class in Los Angeles is knitting socks for soldiers. Unfortunately, Sam cannot get his knitting needles to work properly as he tries to knit for his older brother, who is fighting overseas. Frustrated, he rejects an offer of help from his neighbor and classmate, Keiko, a girl of Japanese descent. Keiko is taunted and her father's flower store is vandalized, and then the family is sent to an internment camp. Sam and his parents are sympathetic--as Jews they understand persecution--and his mother offers to keep safe Keiko's mother's treasured tea service. When Keiko leaves her bike with Sam, she includes knitted socks for Sam's brother. It is then--finally--that Sam comes up with a most neighborly gesture: He will knit a scarf for Keiko because desert nights can be cold. Carefully, stitch by stitch, he finishes his project. The illustrations, in browns, greys, and reds, focus on the faces of the characters and express their frustrations, fears, and concerns. The author's note briefly explains both President Roosevelt's 1942 Executive Order and the 1988 Civil Liberties Act. A gentle and accessible story of tolerance during a war overflowing with racial and ethnic intolerance. (author's note, photographs) (Picture book. 5-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "Sam is struggling to knit. His classmates are making warm things for the soldiers fighting overseas in WWII, Sam's brother Mike among them. Meanwhile, Japanese families in the boy's California neighborhood are being persecuted because they're suspected of ties to the enemy. Other classmates shun his Japanese classmate, Keiko, and though Sam remembers that Mike was kind to her, Sam still retreats into excuses ('I didn't talk to her,' he tells a classmate. 'She talked to me'). When Sam hears that Keiko and her family are being sent to an internment camp, learning how to knit suddenly assumes new importance: 'The desert where Keiko was going would be cold at night.' Malaspina (Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President) tells her story with care as Sam's Jewish family, themselves a marginalized group, discuss what the war is doing to their family and friends the world over: 'They're good Americans, and the best neighbors,' Sam's mother says about Keiko's family. Illustrations by Liddiard (Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids) in muted blues and sepias recreate period details such as Sam's pressed wool trousers. A rich source for discussion, both about outward political oppression and the inward struggle to behave honorably amid it." —Publishers Weekly

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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