Parents' Guide to

A Place to Belong

By Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Emotional post-WWII story promotes compassion, perseverance.

A Place to Belong Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

A New Experience from Japanese Americans After WWII

The book will have you empathizing again with the lives of Japanese Americans during and after WWII. In this case the family chooses to go to Japan to rebuild as opposed to staying in America. Hanako, the main character is an engaging character that allows you to see he misfit transition back to her father's home country.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Cynthia Kadohata has crafted an emotional historical novel that vividly depicts post-WWII life for Japanese and Japanese American citizens. She delicately presents this dark chapter of world history and its aftermath in a way that's easy for kids to understand, while also highlighting the importance of compassion and perseverance. It's clear that Hanako loves her family deeply and will do anything to make them happy, but her willingness to help others often forces her to make tough moral decisions. Should she give food to a boy who barely survived the atomic bomb when there's hardly enough for her family? Should she help her grandparents in the field or go to school? Should she stay in Japan with her family even though there's no future for her as a tenant farmer's granddaughter or return to America?

There are many heartrending moments in A Place to Belong, but readers will understand that like the kintsukuroi (broken pottery fixed with gold lacquer) that Hanako's grandpa showed her, there will always be good, compassionate people who will help you rebuild and feel like you belong.

Book Details

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