Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury

 eyesofemperor.jpg  silverstar.gifsilverstar.gifsilverstar.gif  1/2  Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this novel

Eddy decides to join the US army although he is underage.  Not only does his father disapprove, he will no longer even look or speak to Eddy for this act of rebellion.  Eddy feels it is his duty , though, to show his loyalty to America by joining the United States military.  When the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurs, suddenly Eddy’s intentions are questioned just because he is of Japanese heritage.  Why are he and his friends treated so badly by their superiors just because their parents were born in Japan?  Isn’t it enough that they are all willing to sacrifice their lives for their American homeland?

Eddy expected to join the other soldiers in fighting against the Japanese and Germans when he suddenly learns he and the other American soldiers of Japanese heritage are assigned a secret mission.  They will live on an island, far away from friends and family, with little contact with the outside world.  Here they will help train dogs to attack their enemies – only Eddy and his friends are not the dog trainers.  They are the dog bait – “impersonating” the Japanese enemy so the dogs will learn to attack and kill.  Are their own lives in danger?

Graham Salisbury merges fact and fiction in this historical World War II novel.  Most novels for teens feature Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.  This is an interesting account that details the horrific treatment that many Japanese Americans had to face after Pearl Harbor - despite their allegiance to America.  Based on a true story, this book highlights the great courage and loyalty of the soldiers partaking in the "experiment" held on Cat Island.