"We lived under a sky so blue in Idaho right near the towns of Hunt and Eden but we were not welcomed there." In early 1942, thirteen-year-old Mina Masako Tagawa and her Japanese-American family are sent from their home in Seattle to an internment camp in Idaho. What do you do when your home country treats you like an enemy? This memorable and powerful novel in verse, written by award-winning author Mariko Nagai, explores the nature of fear, the value of acceptance, and the beauty of life. As thought-provoking as it is uplifting, Dust of Eden is told with an honesty that is both heart-wrenching and inspirational.
"Crystal-clear prose poems paint a heart-rending picture of 13-year-old Mina Masako Tagawa’s journey from Seattle to a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II... An engaging novel-in-poems that imagines one earnest, impassioned teenage girl’s experience of the Japanese-American internment."
"I love how this story respects its readers. It's a hard thing to know, that the United States once treated our Japanese citizens this way. Mariko Nagai does not soften the reality of what happened, but by giving her main character a loving family and a loyal best friend, she makes it bearable for readers to take this journey with her. This is an important story, beautifully told."
- Helen Frost, Printz Award Honoree and author of Salt and Crossing Stones
"Nagai captures a family in flux, caught in someone else’s blame, struggling to stay together, fighting to understand. ... Nagai’s crystalline phrases, stanzas, lines that barely cover 120 pages prove gorgeously resonating."