Walker Books Australia
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $19.99
New Zealand RRP: $22.99
This is another charming book in the ‘Friendship Dolls’ series. The last one I reviewed examined the narrative from a Japanese girl’s perspective when the American dolls were coming as gifts of friendship to her country. This one takes another tack with the story of Macy, an American eleven year old in 1941 just after the attack on Pearl Harbour.
The large doll Miss Tokyo and her accompaniments of small dishes, tea set, parasols etc have been a special part of Macy’s life and also the museum of which her father is the curator. Macy’s mother, who has recently died, was raised in Japan and always had a fond association with that country’s people and culture. Macy and her mother always had a special secret relationship with Miss Tokyo, when they pretended to ‘talk’ to her. Now that her mother is gone, Macy feels an urgent protector role to the doll.
When Pearl Harbour is attacked, Macy’s town like so many other Americans are enraged and retaliate by engaging in mindless violence against all things Japanese. Macy’s lot is not good and realistically her father senses that she would be better off away from their town and in a quieter locale.
There are many twists and turns in this narrative with Macy’s determination to protect the doll and protest the senseless knee-jerk responses.
All in all, it’s another fascinating read for the history and the insight into a fictional participant in this turmoil.
Highly recommended for readers from around ten years upwards – and if your school has Japanese as another language or even Lower Secondary students studying World War II a fabulous read for the back story of ordinary people.