When Lois Lowry (author of Number the Stars, The Giver, and many more including this book) was three years old and living in Hawaii, her father took a home movie of her playing on the beach. Years later while watching the home movie, a friend noticed that the USS Arizona was moving along slowly in the background. One year after that home movie was taken, the Arizona was sunk at Pearl Harbor. The first part of this book is a collection of short poems that tell the stories of the lives that were on that ship.
When Allen Say (illustrator of numerous children’s books including Grandfather’s Journey) was a child in a small town called Tabuse, he saw the sky change because of a bomb being dropped miles away at Hiroshima. The second part of this book is a collection of short poems that tell the stories of the lives that were changed on that August 6th day.
After the war, Lois Lowry and Allen Say ended up living in the same area of Tokyo but they would not become friends until years later. The third part of this book tells the story of how they came from opposite ends of the world and opposites sides of the war and ended up being tomodachi (friend).
This book is not very long but it packs quite the punch. It is a fascinating true life story and is written in a compelling way. Lois Lowry is a well known and respected author for good reason. On the Horizon is an outstanding book for people of all ages. I encourage you to read it—to yourself or to your children.
Reviewed by: Rachel Maggard