Sunday, April 5, 2009


Last week I read Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas. Tallgrass is about a farming family living in Colorado during World War II. The oldest son is off fighting the war, the oldest daughter just moved to Denver, which leaves 13-year-old Rennie home with her mother and father, helping them farm their beets. In 1942, the government opens a Japanese internment camp near Rennie's small town. The town is now divided by those who symphathize with the Japanese and those who think they're the enemy. Hate fills the town, with Rennie's dad and a few others remaining the voices of fairness. When a girl is murdered, nearly everyone blames the town's newest residents and things start to escalate.

I enjoyed this book very much. It's a quick read, you get a bit of history and there's also a bit of mystery in it. I loved Rennie as a character. She was mature for her age, respected her parents (who respected her back) and seemed to be of great morals for a 13-year-old. The story is told from her point of view, which Dallas writes very well. (My only criticism is that she seems to repeat a few things throughout the book; and that's really something a good editor should catch.)

In college I read a memoir by a man who lived an a Japanese internment camp when he was younger. I don't remember the book all that well, but the basic themes stayed with me. It's really too bad that the U.S. government stooped so low during the war to imprison fellow Americans. People who were born here and had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. But our history is our history, and I think it's important to remember it all, the good and the bad.

1 comment:

charley said...

I've noticed this book on the shelf, but I didn't know what it was about. Thanks for your review - it's made me interested to read it.