“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Bibliographic information: I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis, c. 2011, Lexile 620L, published by Scholastic.
Synopsis: Danny is a boy who desperately wants to leave Hawaii and get back to New York, but on the day he plans to stow away on a ship, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. He sees the pain it causes for everyone, especially his new friends who are Japanese Americans. The events that follow teach him a lot about the world and about himself.
Rationale for classroom use: Students learn historical events about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There are opportunities for ethical-based discussions such as racial profiling.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9a Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9b Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”