The War Outside
A stunning novel of conviction, friendship, and betrayal from Monica Hesse, the Edgar Award-winning and bestselling author of Girl in the Blue CoatIt's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a "family internment camp" for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother's health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone--even each other?

The War Outside Details

TitleThe War Outside
Author
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780316316699
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction

The War Outside Review

  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book for free from TheNovl in exchange for an honest review. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. Last month I read a different YA novel about German American internment and was beyond disappointed by it. When I saw that TheNovl was offering a chance to read and review this book I jumped at the opportunity. Thankfully, The War Outside was a million times better than that other book I read.This book was so heart wrenching and emotional. There w I received an ARC of this book for free from TheNovl in exchange for an honest review. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. Last month I read a different YA novel about German American internment and was beyond disappointed by it. When I saw that TheNovl was offering a chance to read and review this book I jumped at the opportunity. Thankfully, The War Outside was a million times better than that other book I read.This book was so heart wrenching and emotional. There was one incident towards the end that gave me chills and goosebumps. I loved the dual perspectives and how well the author put you into each girl’s shoes. I also enjoyed the author’s writing style. It flowed easily and sucked you into the story. I’m glad that the book showed both Japanese American and German American internment. I particularly liked that it discussed how being called the enemy was different for each group. At one point Haruko tells Margot, “I’m so sorry…that your father had to wake up and realize that you had become the enemy overnight. But a least you didn’t have to wake up and realize that other Americans had thought of you as an enemy all along” (148). She then explains, “the reason this imprisonment is hard to Margot’s father is because they didn’t know yet that this country was unfair…The West Coast Japanese had already given the government their shortwave radios, and they had already agreed to their curfew, eight PM to six AM, but it wasn’t enough, it was never enough. It was so easy for the government make those rules. You can’t hate someone all of a sudden. It takes practice. It takes a long time” (148). This is an idea that Margot revisits later in the book when imagining what it would be like to go back home to Iowa. She ponders, “Haruko was right the first time we talked. It was not like with the Japanese. where entire communities went away. With us it was like a scalpel: a German here, a German there, while the rest of the town went about their business” (207). These quotes showcase the idea of how we are not free in America until we’re all free. Everyone’s freedom is in jeopardy if one group loses theirs. The ending was…WOW. It was one of the best endings I’ve read in a while. It left you thinking about all that happened between the girls and the motives behind their actions. I liked that the author included a note at the end about the history behind the story. It is evident that she did a lot of research and tried to make it as accurate as possible. Overall, this was an amazing and powerful novel whose ending will leave you questioning it all.For more book reviews, be sure to check out my blog: https://oddandbookish.wordpress.com/
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  • Terrie's Just Another Book B*tch
    January 1, 1970
    Just Another Book Bitch's ALWAYS SPOILER FREE REVIEW First things first... I believe this is a book everyone should read and absorb. I think it should be on every school reading list. While it is fiction, it's based on enough fact that will catapult the reader back in time to a horrific, (and in this reader's opinion, an embarrassing time,) in US history where we made thousands upon thousands of Japanese Americans suffer for no other reason than racism. A heartbreaking read that opens your eye Just Another Book Bitch's ALWAYS SPOILER FREE REVIEW First things first... I believe this is a book everyone should read and absorb. I think it should be on every school reading list. While it is fiction, it's based on enough fact that will catapult the reader back in time to a horrific, (and in this reader's opinion, an embarrassing time,) in US history where we made thousands upon thousands of Japanese Americans suffer for no other reason than racism. A heartbreaking read that opens your eyes to the devastations of the past and what is happening in our present-day America. It's not about politics in this readers opinion, its about people. Human beings deserving more compassion. The War Outside follows the lives of Haruko and Margot. Both uprooted from their homes and their lives and relocated to the Crystal City Internment Camp. A strange and secret friendship bonds both girls together and will inevitably leave their lives changed forever. Haruko, a Japanese American from Colorado arrives in Crystal City with her sister and mother to join her father who has already been a resident for several months. The "family" internment camp surrounded by its barbed wire fences and its armed military guards. It's a prison not matter the dressing. Devastated by her arrival Haruko will refuses to let it be anything more than what it is... “This is not a normal place. This is not a normal time.” ~ Haruko Margot, a German Amerian, has been a resident of Crystal City for a while. A loner/outsider that stays to herself. For whatever reason, she is drawn to Haruko. An only child, Margot and her mother joined her father at Crystal City early on. She has watched the camp develop and grow. "Happy" to be on the outside. Until a secret friendship with Haruko. A friendship that will teach her (and US..) We are all capable of terrible when we're under horrible circumstances... “In order to survive here, you have to decide that you choose to be here. You have to find a way to put Crystal City into a box, instead of letting it box in you.” ~ Margot Beyond difficult to write a spoiler-free review I have to ask youCan the human spirit remain the same when faced with such betrail...Do the ends justify the means, when horrible events begin an avalanche of events that no one can avoid... Are we all capable horrible and irreversible choices when pushed against a wall? I believe this novel can speak to your soul if you let it.The War Outside is filled with a rollercoaster of emotion. This novel highlights family, friendship and importantly, of understanding and basic humanity. It's so much more than a history lesson. With the twists, you don't see coming, this novel, and all the emotion it instills will keep you on your toes and unable to stop turning pages. I highly recommend this book. The complex characters the superb writing. I'm surprised at how much I adore this novel. I can tell you that it will forever hold a place in my heart. This novel is not to be missed. Thanks to thenovl.com for a paperback ARC and Monica Hesse for the opportunity to review.The War Outside becomes available to readers September 25thPURCHASE LINKS Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA
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  • madeline h. ✶ (semi hiatus)
    January 1, 1970
    i've decided to change my rating for this to a solid 3 stars. the more i think about this book, the more i realize how mediocre it was for me?? it didn't stick in my mind afterwards, and i don't feel very strongly about it, even about the things i thought i liked.The War Outside is a World-War-II-era historical fiction novel that talks about the intersecting experiences of two girls whose families are being held in Crystal City, an internment camp. i did like the premise for the novel! WW2 histo i've decided to change my rating for this to a solid 3 stars. the more i think about this book, the more i realize how mediocre it was for me?? it didn't stick in my mind afterwards, and i don't feel very strongly about it, even about the things i thought i liked.The War Outside is a World-War-II-era historical fiction novel that talks about the intersecting experiences of two girls whose families are being held in Crystal City, an internment camp. i did like the premise for the novel! WW2 historical fiction tends to be my very favorite type of historical fiction, and somehow i've never read a book about the experiences of those in an internment camp.the execution of the book was the problem for me. general theme for this review: "underdeveloped" 🌿🌻 characters 🌻🌿the two main characters of the novel were Haruko, a japanese girl, and Margot, a german girl. i was super interested in Haruko's story in particular because of the Japanese rep!buuut i didn't end up super loving or hating either character. i mostly felt detached from both of them as well as the rest of the characters in the story. the characterization wasn't the best.i also didn't think the Asian rep was great. i would have loved to hear more about Haruko's family and experiences being Japanese before the internment camp during this period of American history. something about the comparison of Haruko and Margot's marginalization also turned me off. (i don't remember the exact quote, just that it made me uncomfortable)the one thing i really loved about the characters was their relationship with each other. (side note: there is NO WAY IN HELL that was platonic or "just a friendship." IT WAS GAY, PEOPLE, GAAAYYYYY.) there was a simple beauty in the way that Margot and Haruko gradually became more comfortable with each other and fell in love. i just wish we could have seen more development out of their relationship!or maybe a more in depth exploration of their feelings for each other? the book just barely brushed against the idea of girls liking girls, and i wish it had done more with it!on another note, i DID NOT like how their short relationship was ended and (view spoiler)[how margot betrayed haruko by lying about Haruko's family. it honestly felt out of character for margot. and there was NO CLOSURE for either of them? UGH (hide spoiler)]🌿🌻 world building 🌻🌿the fact that this took place at a camp which held people of japanese, german, and italian (and also latin american; i read about it afterwards) was super intriguing! it had the potential to be a SUPER POWERFUL & INTERESTING & INTENSE setting. buut i don't think the full potential of this setting was utilized. i would have liked to learn more about the daily routine of the camp and the small, candid moments (MORE HISTORICAL DETAIL PLS) that made the internment camp such an othering experience for its inhabitants.don't get me wrong, the setting was pretty well written, but it could have been better.🌿🌻 plot 🌻🌿there wasn't really any plot in this book, which really wouldn't bother me as i am most definitely a characters-over-plot person however, at the end of the book the author tried to create some kind of high tension, climax-of-the-plot-moment, and there wasn't any plot to add a climax to, resulting in a bit of a disappointing end to the story.i thought that the twist at the end about Ken was kinda irrelevant, didn't work well with the rest of the story, and was mostly predictable. 🤷🏻‍♀️one event in the story that i though worked well was the swimming pool scene & the aftermath of this referencing the Manzanar uprising. this sequence of scenes was super well-written and made a powerful point. the book felt short and unfinished. all the events at the end felt rushed, and the pacing of the book was not my favorite. and it was just barely 300 pages! there was definitely room for some more story in there! it felt more like a collection of events than a completely cohesive novel with tension and a plot. plus, the ending felt pretty abrupt.one last thing: the writing. i know this isn't a debut, but it kinda read like one anyway. it felt a bit amateurish, and i wasn't in love with it. there are certain books that immerse me in their writing style, like i forget i'm even reading at all, but unfortunately, i did not feel that with this book.OVERALL: the book kept brushing up against important topics. it could've been a truly amazing book if it had head-on tackled these topics. it felt like it was trying to appeal to more general audiences by giving readers just a taste of queer rep and having a pretty bland plot. i wish that it had approached the premise with more precise historical information. maybe it's the fact that i read Pachinko just before this (a TRULY AMAZING adult historical fiction novel), but this book just paled in comparison with all the beautiful detail Pachinko had. i would recommend this to younger YA readers though!
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  • Kath (Read Forevermore)
    January 1, 1970
    An arc of this book was sent to me by The NOVL/Little Brown Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Rating: 4.5/5The War Outside is a heartbreaking historical fiction that highlights one of the darkest times in US history. It tells the story of two friends in internment camps used by the US during WWII, who are conflicted and struggle with trust, love, and finding a place for themselves in a cruel world.This story follows two friends, Japanese-America An arc of this book was sent to me by The NOVL/Little Brown Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Rating: 4.5/5The War Outside is a heartbreaking historical fiction that highlights one of the darkest times in US history. It tells the story of two friends in internment camps used by the US during WWII, who are conflicted and struggle with trust, love, and finding a place for themselves in a cruel world.This story follows two friends, Japanese-American Haruko and German-American Margot, that tells a story of a forbidden friendship. It was absolutely heartbreaking, and reading these characters made me feel so many emotions. They were so well developed and the writing in this story was so captivating and beautiful. This book also does highlight some LGBTQ+ elements, and I found it quite enjoyable in a historical fiction that takes place during WWII.This story took place at an internment camp during WWII, Crystal City, the only camp that housed both Japanese-Americans and German-Americans. In this story, we see the day-to-day life of those who were forced into these camps, and the injustices they faced while there.This is a beautiful coming of age story, and I highly recommend this story for those who enjoy reading historical fiction or WWII based books.
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  • Emmi Rose (emmirosereads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to TheNovl for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for a review"I don't want you to ever forget where you are. You are a prisoner here. I don't care if you have a new friend, or if there's a school newspaper, or if there are books in the new library, or if there are community picnics. Or if there's a football team everyone comes out to cheer for. At the end of the day you're a prisoner in the only way that matters. If our family wanted to leave they wouldn't let you."If this review Thank you to TheNovl for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for a review"I don't want you to ever forget where you are. You are a prisoner here. I don't care if you have a new friend, or if there's a school newspaper, or if there are books in the new library, or if there are community picnics. Or if there's a football team everyone comes out to cheer for. At the end of the day you're a prisoner in the only way that matters. If our family wanted to leave they wouldn't let you."If this review makes little to no sense I'm apologizing in advance because I'm just filled with so much emotion after finishing this beautiful book. I don't have enough of the right words to express everything I feel. 😂When I think back on my other five star reads and my feelings surrounding them they're so different compared to my feelings on The War Outside. I'm the type of person to pick up a book for simple entertainment and to relax, because of this I'm likely to rate more on my overall enjoyment and entertainment of the book. I feel like I have to approach this rating from a different angle as I don't feel this is a book that should be picked up unintentionally just for simple entertainment because it is so much more then that and it deserves so much more then that. It's raw, it's real, it's impactful. For about 80% of this book, all that was going through my head was simply just, wow. Giving this book anything less than five stars just feels wrong.Monica Hesse's writing is absolutely incredible and so immersive. I never felt like I was pulled away from the story. It felt all too real and like I was right there living this life with Haruko and Margot. Monica managed to do what I feel is so hard to do right, and that's to write in multiple first person POV's that don't feel awkward or too similar to the other POVs. I think each POV was realistic and distinct and I cannot imagine this being written in any other kind of style. I believe that was part of why this book was so immersive.Monica Hesse managed to tug along my emotions with each of these characters. I was holding my breath and tense when they were, shocked and hurt when they were, ect, ect. I also loved the little, almost, side notes that are scattered throughout the story told from either one of the two characters. If you've read the book you'll know what I'm talking about. They really added another layer to the whole book and caused even more of an impact.Also that ending, THAT ENDING!! That's all I want to say because I obviously don't want to spoil anything. I think it was so genuis and it really causes you to think. I think there's just something about those authors who can write historical fiction in such a way that even causes you to think about current times and ask questions. Maybe even uncomfortable questions. The Historical events that this book was based off of didn't even happen 80 years ago and that's a strange thought. I've marked so many areas of this book and that's something I don't often do. When I do it I usually mark my favorite quotes or lines but I have so many scenes marked that just hit me hard, and so many quotes and sayings that did the same thing. Something that really struck me were those moments where these characters have to be reminded that this was not normal or right. whether they truly believed that it was or it was simply a coping mechanism because thinking anything else would be too much. This is not a story or side of World War II that gets told often or at all I feel like, and it's reminding me just how many sides there were to this war, just how many different believes people had in this time and how many stories that haven't been told yet. But long messy review in short this book is incredible and real and important! You must read it as soon as you can get your hands on it!
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  • Paige Green
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from TheNovl! Thanks! All opinions are my own.Rating: 5/5Genre: YA Historical FictionRecommended Age: 14+ (violence, bombs, war, prejudice, Nazism, and consequences)Pages: 336Author WebsiteAmazon LinkSynopsis: It's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Disclaimer: I received this book for free from TheNovl! Thanks! All opinions are my own.Rating: 5/5Genre: YA Historical FictionRecommended Age: 14+ (violence, bombs, war, prejudice, Nazism, and consequences)Pages: 336Author WebsiteAmazon LinkSynopsis: It's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a "family internment camp" for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother's health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone--even each other?Oh. My. God. Can I just say this is one of my favorites of 2018?? Definitely going to be a very popular book in the near future! This book was outright stunning. It discussed an event in history that many history books seem to gloss over. It incorporated a lesbian romance. It expertly showed prejudice on multiple levels and sides. And at the end it was hard to say who was right (and no I don’t mean between the Nazis and everyone else). The character development was strong and amazingly well done. The plot was intriguing and entertaining. The pacing was spot on. And from what I could research in the short time I’ve had it seemed to stick with the facts much better than another book I’ve read on WW2 that we shall not name and only side-eye.The only issue I have is that the book didn’t feel complete (which might be for a reason) and the book could have tackled some more of the tough topics head on, but for what we got I think it was absolutely amazing.Verdict: I loved this book. And it loved me too.
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  • Nicole(Newbookcats)
    January 1, 1970
    "Horror grows out of humanity. If you are paying attention, it always starts small. We all tell the versions we wish were true."⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐First, this book means a lot to me. I am not Japanese nor am I German. My family comes from Italy and a couple Eastern European countries. I have never been forced to live in an internment camp. I have never been the subject of accused allegations by my government nor have I known anyone personally who has had that happen. I consider myself lucky that I do not live "Horror grows out of humanity. If you are paying attention, it always starts small. We all tell the versions we wish were true."⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐First, this book means a lot to me. I am not Japanese nor am I German. My family comes from Italy and a couple Eastern European countries. I have never been forced to live in an internment camp. I have never been the subject of accused allegations by my government nor have I known anyone personally who has had that happen. I consider myself lucky that I do not live in a time of war when everyone is protecting themselves and their families before anything else. I consider myself lucky that no government officials have come knocking on my door to take me away from my house and family. I consider myself lucky for a lot of things, such as cake and the freedom to read any chemistry or physics textbook I want; however, I am extremely thankful for the two I stated. This book taught me a lot about my life and others' lives; therefore, I am very excited to be able to write this review!As this is a novel starring a friendship (that really is a romance since they are always wondering what they are to each other), beginning with the characters feels right. The first character introduced is Haruko, a Japanese descendant who is not as excited to go to Crystal City as the rest of her family is. Already, it is known that she wants to erase her heritage as she hates how much discrimination she receives and wants to be called Helen. Throughout the novel, she becomes more comfortable with her heritage as she befriends Margot, the statistic loving and distant German girl who believes she and so many other families like hers were put into Crystal City for the wrong reasons. These two girls, both from different backgrounds and different sides of the camp, form an unlikely friendship that seems to turn into more after each time they spend time together. At first, I was apprehensive about this friendship since both Haruko and Margot are very reserved; however, that immediately changed as the novel proceeded and they became closer. If only I could get a sequel...Also, the reason why The War Outside is a five star read is because it makes you think. Anyone can read a book and just move on, but there are those special books that make you think. The War Outside is one of those books. It focuses on American citizens that have Japanese and German ancestry can be discriminated against without a second thought in several situations. One of them included two girls drowning and several people accusing the administration of lying. With no second guess, guards and administration believed it was the fault of the German and Japanese prisoners. My thoughts after reading this book circled around the idea that all of this could happen again with same or different races in the same country I call home. It kept me awake for hours, and I am still pondering the "what-ifs" of this occurring once again. In conclusion, The War Outside is a worthwhile read. It reinforces lessons I already knew by heart and teaches me others that I will always keep with me. Before reading this, I read Farewell to Manazanar, which is another five star read, and I learned about the history of these types of camps. Although Hesse may not center on specific details like Houston in Farewell to Manzanar, she does intertwine the stories of Haruko and Margot magnificently. Also, I am a still confused with my feelings about the ending of this book as it left me pondering the possibilities. The ending is ambiguous, which is something that I usually don't like; however, it worked for this story. Now that I have read The War Outside, I cannot wait to read more of Hesse's works, especially Girl in the Blue Coat.*Received a free copy from TheNOVL and Little, Brown Books for Young Reader in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Kelly Long
    January 1, 1970
    I read an ARC copy of this book. 3.5☆ rounded up.
  • The Blonde Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The War Outside Author: Monica Hesse Pages: 336Publishing: September 25th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersSynopsis: A stunning novel of conviction, friendship, and betrayal from Monica Hesse, the Edgar Award-winning and bestselling author of Girl in the Blue CoatIt's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents Title: The War Outside Author: Monica Hesse Pages: 336Publishing: September 25th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersSynopsis: A stunning novel of conviction, friendship, and betrayal from Monica Hesse, the Edgar Award-winning and bestselling author of Girl in the Blue CoatIt's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a "family internment camp" for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother's health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone--even each other? Review: The War Outside was hands down one of my favorite reads of the year so far. It was so beautifully written and the characters were perfect. It was such a powerful and important novel! I love reading historical fiction, but I typically stick to adult novels for that genre. I was pleasantly surprised by The War Outside and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the little details that made the novel feel so real. The novel is told from two points of view. Haruko and Margot are young ladies who moved to an internment camp with their families. I think the two point of view gave a special something to the novel because the reader was able to see what the camp was like for both girls and their families. They were able to build this terrifying and unstable world for the reader that was real and heartbreaking. This was definitely a darker read, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. The War Outside is a heartbreaking tale about bitterness and betrayal, as well as friendship and love. I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy historical fiction. I was very impressed with Hesse's writing and look forward to reading more from her in the future. Thank you to The NOVL for sending this book in exchange for an honest review. Rating 5/5
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  • Haley • Fangirl Fury •
    January 1, 1970
    Easily a new favorite historical fiction book, 2018 favorite, and completely solidified Monica Hesse as one of my favorite authors. The War Outside is a story that you won’t forget. Full review to come on the blog closer to release date, so grateful for the opportunity to read an ARC!
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Sixteen year old Margot is living in Iowa in 1944. Since her family is German, they are accused of being an enemy of the state and sent to a family internment camp in Crystal City, Texas that houses both the Germans and Japanese. She worries about her mom who is several months pregnant. In order to belong, her father feels like he must join the group of Nazis who are forming in the camp. Margot chooses to attend the National High School instead of the German school which is being run by uncertif Sixteen year old Margot is living in Iowa in 1944. Since her family is German, they are accused of being an enemy of the state and sent to a family internment camp in Crystal City, Texas that houses both the Germans and Japanese. She worries about her mom who is several months pregnant. In order to belong, her father feels like he must join the group of Nazis who are forming in the camp. Margot chooses to attend the National High School instead of the German school which is being run by uncertified teachers. She feels she must continue her education in order to succeed after the war is over.Seventeen year, Haruko “Helen” is also being forced to go to the camp along with her parents and little sister. Her older brother is in Europe fighting in the War for the US. She wonders what her father has done that they are being forced to move to Texas from Colorado and why they are not fighting to come here. Her parents have given most of their belongings to friends to look after until they are out. As she enters the camp, she sees a blond hair German looking at them.The next day in school she meets the blond, Margot. During a dust storm the two run into a freezer to avoid it. The two become fast friends and meet in the freezer often to confide to each other. Can the two trust each other? Then, a tragedy strikes the camp. One of the girls must turn on the other and live with the consequences. The War Outside is the latest YA book by Monica Hesse. Her first book, The Girl in the Blue Coat, won the Edgar Award (best mystery) in 2017. It is also a WWII historical novel. The POV in The War Outside is told by both Margot and Haruko. It is a coming of age story about friendships and betrayals. It sort of reminded me of Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity.I met Monica Hesse at ALA in New Orleans and was able to talk to her for a few minutes. She is a reporter at The Washington Post. For the book, she spent many hours at The National Archives in DC and in Crystal City, TX doing research for the book. The tragedy that happens in the book really happened as well as other events. It was the only internment camp in the US that held both Germans and Japanese. I did tell her that I learned a few years ago that there were several German camps in south Louisiana including Thibodaux. Thanks to the author and publisher for giving me an ARC at ALA. The actual book comes out in September 2018. I think it is a book that both adults and teens (recommended for 12 and up) would enjoy. 4 ½ stars..
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from @thenovl in exchange for an honest review. I don't read many historical fiction but this book was remarkable. There was so much emotion written into this book. As I read Margot and Harukos story I couldn't put it down. Two teens that come from opposite sides that are now living in an internment camp form a secret friendship. Hartbreaking details of their day to day life, struggles and how a blossoming friendship may change their lifes. Family, trust, friendship, humanity w I received an ARC from @thenovl in exchange for an honest review. I don't read many historical fiction but this book was remarkable. There was so much emotion written into this book. As I read Margot and Harukos story I couldn't put it down. Two teens that come from opposite sides that are now living in an internment camp form a secret friendship. Hartbreaking details of their day to day life, struggles and how a blossoming friendship may change their lifes. Family, trust, friendship, humanity will be put to the test. A complete surprise ending, you won't want to put this book down. I definitely recommend you pick it up.
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    My emotions are shredded. I'm currently lacking the ability to convey how much I loved this and how it burrowed into my heart. This will be tough to recover from.FRTC------------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The comments and thoughts found within this review are my own.**I am quickly finding my groove within historical fiction. Before I shied away from them and now I am seeking them My emotions are shredded. I'm currently lacking the ability to convey how much I loved this and how it burrowed into my heart. This will be tough to recover from.FRTC------------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The comments and thoughts found within this review are my own.**I am quickly finding my groove within historical fiction. Before I shied away from them and now I am seeking them out. Monica Hesse did a marvelous job with her first book, Girl In The Blue Coat, and she threw me for a loop with her latest novel, The War Outside. There are so many dark secrets, untold truths, half lies, and more within the fence walls of this camp (prison?) that it was difficult to know who to trust.Short recap: This story is set in a very dark time in US History. The year is 1944 and there is a war in Europe. German and Japanese families (regardless if they are US Citizens or not) have been gathered up by order of the Government and relocated to camps. These families truly believe it is short term and they will all be released soon so they try to make the best of a terrible situation. In a very hopeless time, two teenage girls form the most unexpected friendship. Margot and Haruko could not be more different if they tried but their secret friendship is exactly what they need to help make it through this incredibly difficult time.I am going to try very hard to express how much I loved this story, how much it made me want to learn more about this horrible period in US history, how important friendship can be – no matter how short term it may be.Margot and Haruko were such wonderful characters. They had completely different backgrounds but someone within their family did something to warrant them being moved to this camp, known as Crystal City. The camp was located within Texas and very removed from civilization. These two girls both suffered prejudice and discrimination in the only camp known to house only Japanese and German families. They are told to avoid each other but something within Haruko tells her to talk to Margot, to friend her. They are hesitant to start a friendship but quickly realize they rely on it more than they could ever imagine. These characters were so developed and believable that it made my heart ache.The overall story itself was rich with facts from the actual Crystal City camp historical data. That was both mind blowing and terrifying. To know a place like this truly existed really does make me sad for some of the things the US Government did in the name of protecting itself during WWII. What stood out to me the most is how these type of camps and these types of stories are so rarely talked about. I know this is just one story in an untold number that has finally found a voice. When I reached the end of the story and got to the last chapter, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I had goose flesh at the brilliance of Hesse’s mind. Her ability to end a story that way and bring the story full circle was nothing short of masterful.The only author I can think to compare Monica Hesse’s writing style to is Ruta Sepetys. Both are masters at historical fiction and pulling you into the story. They both have a talent for finding, researching, and delivering these silent stories in such a way that you want to thank them for opening your eyes. I am now a forever reader of Hesse and all of the future stories she writes. If you have not added this to your TBR, please do so. It is one story that everyone needs to give a chance.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Edelweiss Plus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.This was a fantastic historical fiction read that highlighted a dark part of US History and did so with grace and intensity. While it focuses on the internment camps developed and used by the US government during WWII, it also takes readers on a quiet journey between two friends (maybe more?) who struggle with trust, love, and finding a place for themselves. Highly reco Many thanks to Edelweiss Plus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.This was a fantastic historical fiction read that highlighted a dark part of US History and did so with grace and intensity. While it focuses on the internment camps developed and used by the US government during WWII, it also takes readers on a quiet journey between two friends (maybe more?) who struggle with trust, love, and finding a place for themselves. Highly recommend for fans of historical fiction.Haruko and Margot have both found themselves in the same place: Crystal City, home of a resettlement camp for suspected enemies of the state of Japanese and German descent. Neither of them understand what their fathers could have done to earn a trip there, but their families have made the trip there to stay with them in what can only be described as a prison. A nice prison, but one with bars nonetheless. While there, the Germans and the Japanese avoid each other. And the Germans have their own brand of party loyalty with the Nazi flag and Heil Hitlers. Margot's family doesn't want to be a part of that, or at least she doesn't think they want to. Until things change in the camp. And it starts to become more important to have a group of people to fit in with than it is to stick to your ideals. Haruko is mad at her father for not standing up for their family and fighting this imprisonment, but everyone else seems to think there was nothing he could do. While in the camp, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Margot, even though most of the time they have to meet in secret. As tensions in the camp rise, and the secrets amongst the families spill out, decisions must be made that can't be undone.
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    This was okay. I really wanted to like it more than I did. More thoughts to come
  • Daphne
    January 1, 1970
    I'd rate more as 3.75 stars.I received an ARC from TheNovl for an honest review. The War Outside is a historical fiction set in 1944 during WWII in Crystal City, Texas- an internment camp meant for "enemy aliens" and the only one with both Japanese and German-descent internees. Many parts of the book are supposedly historically accurate, even though the story of Margot and Haruko are fictional, and I appreciated the historical note at the end of the book that gives more information and details. I'd rate more as 3.75 stars.I received an ARC from TheNovl for an honest review. The War Outside is a historical fiction set in 1944 during WWII in Crystal City, Texas- an internment camp meant for "enemy aliens" and the only one with both Japanese and German-descent internees. Many parts of the book are supposedly historically accurate, even though the story of Margot and Haruko are fictional, and I appreciated the historical note at the end of the book that gives more information and details. The book is set in two POVs- Haruko's and Margot's, two teenage girls who grew up in the United States, and whose parents are immigrants from Japan and Germany, respectively. Margot grew up in Iowa, Haruko in Colorado, and they're from different backgrounds, but both are uprooted from the lives they knew, and sent to a family internment camp in Crystal City, to have their families be reunited with their fathers. The book covers what it was like living in an internment camp like that, seen through the heads of two teenage girls of differing personalities, but who are in similar situations. I liked that the author decided to cover a topic not that much talked about, and how important it is to learn of this part of our country's history, especially because of how some of the things talked about in this book have some parallel to what is happening in the country at this moment. Haruko and Margot are two very different girls, but find an unlikely friendship in the camp. They both have problems with what's going on with their families- Haruko worries for her brother, Kenichi, who is fighting in the 442nd in the war, and wonders whether or not her father is keeping a secret. Margot worries for her pregnant mother, and her father changing into someone she never thought he would become. The book shows how wrong things were in that time, to have people put in those camps, including the women and children, with many children being American citizens too, and how these camps were like prisons, with the guards and fences. The story is a bit slow at the beginning, but that's kind of expected in historical fiction, and it explores the every day activities and life for someone in their situations- it's not fast or action-packed. It's a look into people and their actions, and of love, family, friendship, war, heartbreak, and betrayal. There were some specific moments when both Margot and Haruko see how people can change in this time of war and paranoia, and how those you know do things you never thought they would. It was saddening to read this particular piece of history with the harsh realities of actions during that time, with the fear driving terrible decisions, but also how love can have unintended consequences too. The book questions if having a reason is a good enough excuse for why people did the things they did- not just individuals, but the actions of the government, and groups of people.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of the e- arc for review. All opinions are my own.I loved The Girl in the Blue Coat, Hesse's previous entry in the teen historical fiction genre so I was very excited to see that this book was coming this fall. I was even more interested as it focused on the internment camps, specifically enemy alien camps, in America during WW2. This is a particularly important era of history that requires our attention as the Americans, and to some extent us Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of the e- arc for review. All opinions are my own.I loved The Girl in the Blue Coat, Hesse's previous entry in the teen historical fiction genre so I was very excited to see that this book was coming this fall. I was even more interested as it focused on the internment camps, specifically enemy alien camps, in America during WW2. This is a particularly important era of history that requires our attention as the Americans, and to some extent us in Canada, have begun to warehouse immigrants - without cause- once again. Hesse's story focuses on Margot and Haruko, both residents of the camp at Crystal City - although even within the camp the Germans and Japanese have self-segregated. The families in this camp are allegedly there due to their actions or sympathies lying with helping their home countries - regardless of how flimsy the charge. I thought it was a great story about a horrible part of history that we North Americans are keen to gloss over in our high school texts.I had a few quibbles with the story, as I felt the characters lacked depth and then Japanese side of the camp seemed to lack presence as compared to the motivations of the German side of the camp. However, the story outshines these small issues and is well worth the time to read it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially for students for book reports - as there are so many themes to explore and it is a timely topic.
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  • Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to The Novl and Little Brown Young Readers #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 Stars. I love Historical Fiction, and I love H.F. written about turmoil, friendship, love, and betrayal. Add in something as heart wrenching as a "family internment camp" and you have a book that is going to evoke so many emotions. They aren't happy books, that's for sure. What Margot and Haruko go through, the s Thank you to The Novl and Little Brown Young Readers #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 Stars. I love Historical Fiction, and I love H.F. written about turmoil, friendship, love, and betrayal. Add in something as heart wrenching as a "family internment camp" and you have a book that is going to evoke so many emotions. They aren't happy books, that's for sure. What Margot and Haruko go through, the secrets they must keep, and the strength they have to keep their families safe, and intact, all the while trying to maintain a friendship that has to be kept a secret. Can you imagine? The War Outside is written in alternating perspectives, giving you insight to both girls, and what they separately suffer from, and what they suffer from together. The writing was very flowing, and grabbing, and that is probably one of the best endings I've seen in a book for a while. I really enjoy books that you can tell the Author took a lot of time with, a lot of research was put into this book, and I for one appreciate that. And I really love a good Authors Note. My heart ached reading this one, and my emotions were on a roller coaster ride. I want to thank The Novl for bringing this book to my attention in one of their Newsletters, if it hadn't been for that, I may have never came across this gem. 
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I have read novels and memoirs about Manzanar, but this is my first encounter with Crystal City, which was unique among American Detention camps during WWII because it housed not only Japanese but Germans as well. This story is about two teenage girls, both American, but their parents are considered enemy aliens. Neither Haruko nor Margot can figure out why their Japanese and German fathers (respectively) have been detained. But their families chose to join their men in Crystal City so they coul I have read novels and memoirs about Manzanar, but this is my first encounter with Crystal City, which was unique among American Detention camps during WWII because it housed not only Japanese but Germans as well. This story is about two teenage girls, both American, but their parents are considered enemy aliens. Neither Haruko nor Margot can figure out why their Japanese and German fathers (respectively) have been detained. But their families chose to join their men in Crystal City so they could remain together. An uneasy friendship begins between the two girls who bond over their despair despite their differences. Their alliance is not an acceptable thing in the camp, and they tentatively navigate their new camaraderie. The confusion of camp life and family allegiance causes the ultimate betrayal and both girls are forced to examine their loyalty to one another. Margot’s awkwardness and bookishness were endearing, as was her shame bout her father’s Nazi associations. Haruko’s pragmatism conflicted with her emotions, especially regarding her enlisted older brother. This was a great example of how hysteria and mistrust can affect two relatively ordinary girls just because of where their parents came from.I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program.
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  • Erikka
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book for the same reason I liked Code Name Verity: because you know something is up the whole time, but you have no idea what until the very end. Margot and Haruko are very well-developed characters with a lot of depth and rather spurious motivations. The end of the story reminds me a lot of the ending of the movie Clue; "here's what may have happened, here's another option, but here's what actually happened." There is a series of rapidfire revelations that turn the entire plot up I enjoyed this book for the same reason I liked Code Name Verity: because you know something is up the whole time, but you have no idea what until the very end. Margot and Haruko are very well-developed characters with a lot of depth and rather spurious motivations. The end of the story reminds me a lot of the ending of the movie Clue; "here's what may have happened, here's another option, but here's what actually happened." There is a series of rapidfire revelations that turn the entire plot upside down and then keep it flipping until you're dizzy. I finished this book with one thought in mind: lives can be ruined when communication doesn't happen. This entire book wouldn't have happened if one conversation had taken place -- I'll let you, future readers, figure out which one and between who. Let that be another mystery for you. I really enjoyed this, but for two things: the relatively unnecessary b-plot of the brother and the likely handled attempt at adding an LGBT+ element. I'm all for having LGBT+ rep in a book, but you gotta own that. Don't mince around with weak insinuations -- let your characters be themselves. Honestly, without spoiling anything, the end of the book would have meant so much more with an actual relationship with actual stakes.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Haruko and Margot, their families and over 4,000 others were American born but sent to a family internment camp in Crystal City Texas. They were far away from the only home many of them had known and thrust into a packed housing with people they didn't know where their every movement was watched and a guarded fence kept them from leaving. They did not know anyone there, they didn't know why they were brought there and they didn't know how long they would be kept there. They only knew that they w Haruko and Margot, their families and over 4,000 others were American born but sent to a family internment camp in Crystal City Texas. They were far away from the only home many of them had known and thrust into a packed housing with people they didn't know where their every movement was watched and a guarded fence kept them from leaving. They did not know anyone there, they didn't know why they were brought there and they didn't know how long they would be kept there. They only knew that they were "kept there". In this unusual camp with a mixed population of families from Japanese and German descent, these two young women would become unlikely friends, confidantes seeing only the good and strengths in one another. Sadly, situations out of their control would rip this friendship apart where now they would only see the hate, lies, and uncertainty. This is not your typical WWII camp story but instead a story of honor and love for a friend and country that might not love you back. This is a perfect choice for an older middle grade reader or young adult. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Monica Hesse does for me what Elizabeth Wein does not but Ruta Sepetys does-- brings the cold, hard truth of historical events to a YA audience that makes you think, question, be appalled, and still respect humanity at the end. This is another such book where Hesse explores the specific Crystal City camp that not only was for Japanese internment but German spies alongside the Japanese as World War II amped up. She uses two characters, the Japanese Haruko and the German Margot to tell the story w Monica Hesse does for me what Elizabeth Wein does not but Ruta Sepetys does-- brings the cold, hard truth of historical events to a YA audience that makes you think, question, be appalled, and still respect humanity at the end. This is another such book where Hesse explores the specific Crystal City camp that not only was for Japanese internment but German spies alongside the Japanese as World War II amped up. She uses two characters, the Japanese Haruko and the German Margot to tell the story where their illicit *friendship/romance?* is only ever alluded to and felt at an emotional/relational level but then turns the voltage up to The Kite Runner and Daniel Half Human! There was so much to offer and Hesse is always a fantastic storyteller though sometimes the ends didn't seem to quite connect (or was it so subtle that I didn't get it?) but showcases these dark events in American history.
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  • Cristin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a unique historical fiction book. Normally, when we hear about a historical fiction book set in WWII, it's normally set in Europe. This one was set in the US and gave some very important historical details of the internment (aka prison) camps some of Japanese and German heritage were sent to during this period. I know it's often skipped on in history classes and I was eager to learn more after reading the book.The War Outside focuses on 2 female characters in the camp. Haruko is a Japane This is a unique historical fiction book. Normally, when we hear about a historical fiction book set in WWII, it's normally set in Europe. This one was set in the US and gave some very important historical details of the internment (aka prison) camps some of Japanese and German heritage were sent to during this period. I know it's often skipped on in history classes and I was eager to learn more after reading the book.The War Outside focuses on 2 female characters in the camp. Haruko is a Japanese-American whose brother is fighting in Europe. She mets Margot, a German-American whose family lives in the camp. A secret friendship is born and the book hops between the two girls' POVs.The book started off relatively slow, but it picked up quickly. I liked the plot, the characters, and the struggle we see as these two girls reconcile their heritage with the country they were born into.*ARC was given in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I had no idea until I read this captivating novel (and Hesse's note on historical accuracy) that our country's World War II internment camps were as widespread as they were. Hesse does a masterful job of bringing a little-known piece of history to light in a compelling way. German-American Margot and Japanese-American Haruko form an unlikely but utterly believable friendship in the Crystal City camp, the only one where both German-Americans and Japanese-Americans were housed together. Through th I had no idea until I read this captivating novel (and Hesse's note on historical accuracy) that our country's World War II internment camps were as widespread as they were. Hesse does a masterful job of bringing a little-known piece of history to light in a compelling way. German-American Margot and Japanese-American Haruko form an unlikely but utterly believable friendship in the Crystal City camp, the only one where both German-Americans and Japanese-Americans were housed together. Through their eyes, we experience the day to day life in this camp, the injustices, the rampant prejudices, and the highs and lows of relationships that are doomed from the beginning.Hand this to fans of Elizabeth Wein and Ruta Sepetys-- all of these authors have a remarkable ability to discover and tease out the moments in our past that have not made it into the history books, and that are essential for us to be familiar with, especially in this time of political divisiveness.
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  • Trista
    January 1, 1970
    I was really excited about this book and it didn't take me long to get sucked into this story. I love historical fiction but it seems like it's been quite a while since I read one so picking this one up was amazing. It was told in dual POVs from two girls, one German and one Japanese, who'd ended up in the same internment camp in America. Along with the telling of each girl's story, there were interjections from both girls throughout the book as each of them tried to convince the reader that the I was really excited about this book and it didn't take me long to get sucked into this story. I love historical fiction but it seems like it's been quite a while since I read one so picking this one up was amazing. It was told in dual POVs from two girls, one German and one Japanese, who'd ended up in the same internment camp in America. Along with the telling of each girl's story, there were interjections from both girls throughout the book as each of them tried to convince the reader that they were the one telling the truth. It added another level to the story because you knew something must be coming.The girls' friendship was the main part of the story. We saw a brief part of Haruko and her family being brought to the camp and Margot was already there, but the story really started when the girls met in school. They weren't supposed to be friends, cross that imaginary line that divided the German side of the camp from the Japanese, but they felt drawn to each other even when they tried to stay away. As they got to know each other, we got to know them. They were both going through so much and it helped to have a friend, someone to listen as they talked about the changes happening within their families.The last part of the book had so many twists it was a little hard to keep up, but it didn't feel like it was too much. I had plenty of theories about what could have happened between the girls, the fight or the betrayal they kept mentioning in their interjections, and the revelations happening so fast made it harder to predict.Both the story and the afterword by the author showed how much research went into the book. It definitely is an afterword I recommend reading. This is a book I recommend reading, especially if historical fiction is your thing.*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sydney Paige
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of The War Outside from NOVL in exchange for an honest review. The War Outside is a short and sweet novel about two girls living inside US internment camps during World War II. These camps were always something that I’ve only briefly heard of, but never really heard what they were about. I was so excited to read about this piece of American history that so many professors shy away from. The differing dynamics of the German and Japanese sides of camp as well as Haruko’s and Marg I received an ARC of The War Outside from NOVL in exchange for an honest review. The War Outside is a short and sweet novel about two girls living inside US internment camps during World War II. These camps were always something that I’ve only briefly heard of, but never really heard what they were about. I was so excited to read about this piece of American history that so many professors shy away from. The differing dynamics of the German and Japanese sides of camp as well as Haruko’s and Margot’s families was so captivating and drew me right in to experience the story. The plot is slow-burning, as this story is completely character driven. And though the readers get a glimpse of the reality of internment camps, at the heart of the story, it is simply about a powerful friendship between two very unique girls. I cannot wait until the release day of The War Outside to snag myself a finished copy and experience it all again.*NOTE: my final review may change depending on whether there are any major changes after final publication.
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  • Lovely Loveday
    January 1, 1970
    The War Outside is a remarkable young adult historical fiction novel that highlights the darkest part of US History during WWII. A story of internment camps developed and used by the US government during WWII. This captivating read follows two friends as they face many life or death challenges that came with this time in history. Hesse writes a vivid story with realistic characters and a plot that is intriguing but heartbreaking. I highly recommend for fans of historical fiction.  
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  • Ireadkidsbooks
    January 1, 1970
    Margot and Haruko form a friendship under the most unlikely of circumstances: as German and Japanese enemies of the state held in the multi-ethnic Crystal City, Texas internment camp during WWII. But, as the months wear on, life in the camp changes both girls in ways they could never have predicted, and ultimately the teens change each other lives irreparably.The dual perspectives -- and the striking disagreement between them -- make it clear there will be a reckoning of some sort in the end. Wh Margot and Haruko form a friendship under the most unlikely of circumstances: as German and Japanese enemies of the state held in the multi-ethnic Crystal City, Texas internment camp during WWII. But, as the months wear on, life in the camp changes both girls in ways they could never have predicted, and ultimately the teens change each other lives irreparably.The dual perspectives -- and the striking disagreement between them -- make it clear there will be a reckoning of some sort in the end. While it lacks the emotional punch of the obvious historical fiction comparisons (Wein, Sepetys), this is an eye-opening depiction of a little-known, shameful episode of U.S. history.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Brutal and brilliant.
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusThis struck me as more of a Young Adult book in its pacing. There are a lot of different issues being addressed, and it would help to have more background in order to understand them than most middle school readers have. While it would be nice to have another book on interred US Germans during WWII, there isn't a lot of explanation, and I think my students would need that. Definitely interesting for a high school or public library collection, but a little too esoteric fo E ARC from Edelweiss PlusThis struck me as more of a Young Adult book in its pacing. There are a lot of different issues being addressed, and it would help to have more background in order to understand them than most middle school readers have. While it would be nice to have another book on interred US Germans during WWII, there isn't a lot of explanation, and I think my students would need that. Definitely interesting for a high school or public library collection, but a little too esoteric for mine.
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