Teen novel set on Oahu during the attack on Pearl Harbor offers a reminder of history and a lesson about overcoming prejudice.
Acclaimed author C. E. Edmonson, with two award-winning novels for teens under his belt, has just released his latest novel, Fall Down Seven, in which he explores what happens to thirteen-year-old Emiko Arrington and her family in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
At first, December 7, 1941, is a perfect Sunday morning. Emiko’s father, Lieutenant Commander Charles Arrington, U.S. Navy, is on leave when the attack occurs, enjoying aSunday morning with his family in their home in the foothills of the Koolau Mountains, reading the newspaper on the lanai, or back porch, and enjoying the view across the central valley and over the naval base.
Emiko’s mother, who was born in Japan but moved to Hawaii with her parents when she was six, is preparing macadamia pancakes. Emiko’s eight-year-old brother Charlie, in perpetual motion, is throwing baseballs at a mattress propped up against a tree.
The normalcy of their morning is shattered with the first whine of the airplane engines. As the family watches, a constellation of black dots grows in size until it becomes dozens of planes, each carrying a single bomb strapped to its undercarriage. As the planes come closer, Emiko recognizes the emblem painted on the fuselage: a big red sun against a background of white – the flag of Japan.
Emiko, who unlike most girls her age is dreaming of college rather than marriage and babies, realizes her dad will soon be away at war. Like millions of other American families, she and her mother and brother, tense with worry, will listen to the radio, read the newspaper, and watch the newsreels at the movies. Unlike these other families, within a very few days, they will cease to be Japanese-Americans. Somehow, without warning, they will become, simply, Japanese.
“In other words,” says Edmonson, “Emiko and her mother and brother become the enemy. What follows is Emiko’s first-person account of the day that forever changes her life.”
Inspired by the Japanese proverb “Nana korobi, ya oki,” which means “Fall down seven times, get up eight,” Emiko embarks on a new life fraught with confusion, prejudice, and hatred while seeking to understand what has happened, why she and her family are being singled out, and when it all will end.
Edmonson comments, “I take real times in history and add characters that have compelling stories to tell. This inspiration for this book came from my wife’s mother, who was a young girl on Oahu during the attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Award-winning author C. E. Edmonson stays true to form as he weaves his sense of humor and characters into an inspirational tale that appeals to readers of all ages. The unique voice of the author gives the story a feeling of authenticity that goes a long way to engage readers and creating an emotional investment.
“This story is inspirational but not preachy nor is the religious or spiritual undertones. This could have been heavy-handed, but Edmonson does a great job keeping things authentic enough to be meaningful, but creative enough to be an enjoyable story.” ~ Readers Favorite Reviews
AUTHOR: C. E. Edmonson is the author of the award-winning teen novels Golden’s Rule andFinding Faith as well as two western novels. For more information, see www.ceedmonson.com.