A World War II internment camp is the setting for this young adult drama about the complex relationship between two teenage girls, the Japanese-American Haruko and the German-American Margot. Told from the alternating perspectives of each young woman, The War Outside (Little, Brown) patiently explores how global events irrevocably change young people already spinning in the tornadoes of adolescence. Washington Post reporter Hesse, A&S '09 (MA), painstakingly sifted through archives about the Crystal City Internment Camp in southern Texas, where 4,751 people of German, Italian, and Japanese descent were kept for being deemed "enemy aliens" between 1944 and 1948. This story about how time spent in a camp changes young people's minds and lives is all too heartbreakingly relevant.
Also see: Interview with Monica Hesse on her book American Fire, and a review.
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Tagged book review