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House of the Red Fish
Cover of House of the Red Fish
House of the Red Fish
Prisoners of the Empire Series, Book 3
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1943, one year after the end of Under the Blood-Red Sun, Tomi’s Papa and Grandpa are still under arrest, and the paradise of Hawaii now lives in fear—waiting for another attack, while...
1943, one year after the end of Under the Blood-Red Sun, Tomi’s Papa and Grandpa are still under arrest, and the paradise of Hawaii now lives in fear—waiting for another attack, while...
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Description-

  • 1943, one year after the end of Under the Blood-Red Sun, Tomi’s Papa and Grandpa are still under arrest, and the paradise of Hawaii now lives in fear—waiting for another attack, while trying to recover from Pearl Harbor. As a Japanese American, Tomi and his family have new enemies everywhere, vigilantes who suspect all Japanese. Tomi finds hope in his goal of raising Papa’s fishing boat, sunk in the canal by the Army on the day of the attack. To Tomi, raising Papa’s boat is a sign of faith that Papa and Grandpa will return. It’s an impossible task, but Tomi is determined. For just as he now has new enemies, his struggle to raise the boat brings unexpected allies and friends.

Excerpts-

  • From the book in the before time

    One Saturday morning in September 1941, three months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the islands lay on the ocean as warm and peaceful as cats sleeping in the sun. Life was still good then, and I’d just started eighth grade at Roosevelt High School.

    I woke with a jolt, threw on a pair of shorts and a shirt, and ran out of the house, letting the screen door slap behind me. “You need to eat something!” Mama called, coming up to peer through the screen.

    “Later,” I said, turning to jog backwards.

    She waved me off and sank back into the darkness of the house.

    Papa was coming in today. He and his deckhand, Sanji, had been gone for a week, fishing for tuna somewhere beyond the blue horizon.

    I jumped on a city bus and headed down to Kewalo Basin, the harbor where Papa kept his boat. When I got there the Taiyo Maru sat motionless alongside the pier, its fish unloaded and Papa and Sanji hosing down a week’s worth of fish slime. She was a beautiful boat, bright white to match her name—the Sun—a Japanese-style fishing sampan thirty-eight feet long.

    “Heyyy,” Sanji said as I jogged up. “Look who’s here, boss. Better put um to work, ah? Make um more fast for me to get home to see my girls.” He meant Reiko, his wife, and their three-year-old daughter, Mari, the two people he lived for. Sanji was only nineteen, by far the youngest father I knew.

    “Tomi,” Papa said, a big grin on his face. “We cleaning up. Come aboard.”

    That was exactly what I wanted to do. To work with Papa and Sanji on the Taiyo Maru was one of my dreams. That and playing baseball. In all of life, what else was there besides boats and baseball?

    Papa stood with his feet spread, coiling a rope. Dark brown from a lifetime on the sea, short haircut, baggy khaki pants. And that grin.

    “You catch much?” I asked.

    He wagged his eyebrows. “Best haul we ever had.”

    “Ho, really?”

    “Got lucky, this time. The guy counting us our money right now.”

    Sanji tossed me a scrub brush.

    An hour later, the boat was squeaky clean. All the equipment was stored in the hold, and the deck was free of fish slime and smelling good again. Sanji jumped off onto the pier and untied the lines. He tossed them over to me. “You know what to do with this ropes?”

    “Pfff,” I said. “As good as you, any day.”

    He laughed. “You dreaming, cockaroach.”

    He looked up at Papa, still on the boat. “Hey, boss, try go get the small glass ball. I forgot um in the drawer by the deckhouse.”

    Papa dug it out and held it up.

    “That’s for you,” Sanji said to me. “I foun’ um about ten miles pas’ Kauai. Keep um. I give you.”

    Papa handed me the glass ball.

    “Ho, thanks, Sanji.” I held the green net float from Japan up to the sun. Every time I touched one I thought of that faraway country my family came from—Japan, trapped inside the glass, its mystery magnified by the sun. Every now and then you could find them in the ocean, or washed up on the beach. If this one had been covered with barnacles like usual, Sanji had cleaned them off. “Like a good-luck charm,” he said.

    While Sanji went over to warm up his fish-stinky truck for the ride home, Papa and I walked the boat out into the harbor and tied it to its mooring, a white float chained to a giant block of concrete on the sand below.

    Papa untied...

About the Author-

  • Graham Salisbury is the author of several novels. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2006
    Gr 6-9 -This sequel to "Under the Blood-Red Sun" (Delacorte, 1994) continues the story of Tomi Nakaji, a Japanese American living on the island of Oahu. It -s 1943 and Tomi, now 13, is forced into the role of the man of the house. His father has been arrested and imprisoned; his grandfather has also been taken away. All people of Japanese descent are suspect in the virulent racism of the times. Vigilantes stalk the streets, enforcing a curfew. Tomi decides to keep hope and faith alive that his father will return by raising Papa -s fishing boat, the "Taiyo Maru", a sampan that was sunk by the army. His former friend, Keet Wilson, has become his nemesis, bullying, stealing from, and terrorizing Tomi. Other haoles, or white people, however, become allies in his ultimately successful struggle to raise the boat and look toward a better future. The nearly impossible task is accomplished largely through Tomi -s determination and perseverance and his ingenious approaches to the problem. Salisbury paints the tropical setting with vivid details. He writes with balance of the ways in which war touches people, creating characters with fully realized motivations. It is not necessary to have read the first book, as the author seamlessly brings his audience up to date. Give this to readers who enjoyed Rodman Philbrick -s "The Young Man and the Sea" (Scholastic, 2004), another story with an ocean setting and a fiercely determined boy -s coming of age." -Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME "

    Copyright 2006 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    "Salisbury paints the tropical setting with vivid details. He writes with balance of the ways in which war touches people, creating characters with fully realized motivations. It is not necessary to have read the first book, as the author seamlessly brings his audience up to date."

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Prisoners of the Empire Series, Book 3
Graham Salisbury
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