Dallas, Sandra. Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky
September 1st 2014 by Sleeping Bear Press
Copy received from the publisher for Cybils award review
Tomi and her family rent a farm from Mr. Lawrence and grow strawberries. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, her father is arrested and taken away, and the rest of her family is taken to the Tallgrass relocation camp after selling their belongings. Tomi's older brother, Roy, has a jazz band, and they continue to make music, and her younger brother, Hiro, finds other children to play with, but Tomi and her mother struggle with their new living situation. Eventually, Tomi's mother finds her purpose in improving living conditions at the camp, and in getting together a group of women to make quilts to raffle off for the war effort. Tomi makes a few friends, attends a local high school, and hopes that things will improve soon. Her father returns, but is bitter and changed.
Strengths: This had the same feel as this author's The Quilt Walk: perfectly serviceable historical fiction. Dallas must like quilting, since sewing does figure in this one as well. This had a few things to distinguish it from other novels about relocation camps-- the mother comes into her own, and there is not a dying grandparents involved.
Weaknesses: The adult novel by this author, Tallgrass, sounds more interesting. This was all too similar to the other books on this topic that I have read.