the cover of "The Sky We Shared"

The Sky We Shared

Shirley Reva Levine Vernick ’83

This novel for middle-grade readers, set during World War II, alternates between the perspectives of two girls from enemy nations: Nellie, who lives in rural Oregon, and Tamiko, in southern Japan. The story draws its inspiration from the true-life tale of the war’s only casualties to perish in the continental U.S.: the half-dozen victims of Project Fu-Go, Japan’s 1944–45 campaign to launch thousands of balloon-borne bombs that were designed to float via the Jet Stream to North America. In Vernick’s book, Tamiko—whose brother is serving in her country’s army—and her schoolmates are tasked with constructing the balloons to support the war effort. Nellie, whose father is fighting for the U.S., resides in the very region where the project’s only lethal bomb will eventually detonate.

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