Book Review: Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever: A World War II ScrapbookBest Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook by Beverly Patt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Louise Krueger and Dottie Masuoka have been best friends all their lives. They’ve been inseparable – going to school together, attending church together, and watching fireworks on the fourth of July together. Then, in the spring of their eighth grade year, Dottie’s family, along with the other Japanese families in the Bainbridge Island area and all along the West coast, are “relocated” inland. Louise creates a scrapbook, bringing together photos, drawings, and letters. Dottie describes in detail life at Camp Harmony, while Louise records her life on the homefront. As Louise visits a rehabilitation hospital, learns to knit socks for soldiers, and works on a Victory Garden, modern tweens get a glimpse of life during World War II. An Author’s Note at the end clarifies which elements are fact and which are fiction, and a bibliography is provided for further reading. It is an eye-catching introduction to the subject, and I can see it being easy to booktalk to fifth- and sixth-grade girls, although the appeal to boys is probably limited.

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