104 pages 3 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the below bulleted outlines. Cite details from the play over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Discuss the evolution of Hideki’s ideas about the Imperial Japanese Army and US troops.

  • Why does Hideki reject the simplistic message that demonizes American soldiers and valorizes Japanese soldiers? (topic sentence)
  • Identify 2-3 examples from the text where Hideki expresses an opinion that complicates the simplistic dichotomy of good and evil.
  • In your concluding sentence or sentences, discuss how Hideki’s evolution of ideas relates to the theme of The Honor Culture of Imperial Japan.

2. Consider Hideki’s changing attitude toward mabui during the novel.

  • What are Hideki’s central beliefs regarding mabui? (topic sentence)
  • Identify 2-3 moments in which these beliefs are challenged and/or changed throughout the novel.
  • In your concluding sentence or sentences, consider how Hideki’s continual references and concern for mabui connects with the theme of Okinawan Spirituality.