104 pages 3 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Answer Key

Chapters 1-10

Reading Check

1. “Love Day” is on April 1, the same day as April Fool’s Day. (Chapter 2)

2. Photography assistant (Chapter 3)

3. He shoots him dead. (Chapter 6)

4. “[T]o protect the Divine Emperor’s photographs” (Chapter 7)

5. Barbecue (Chapter 8)

6. They walk off the cliff. (Chapter 8)

Short-Answer Response

1. Hideki and his classmates are outside their bomb shelters because the American invasion of Okinawa has begun, and they are receiving a “graduation” ceremony to the “Blood and Iron Student Corps.” As part of their graduation, every boy receives two grenades: one to kill American soldiers, and one to kill themselves. (Chapter 1)

2. Big John is a fellow Marine and Ray’s “foxhole buddy.” While Ray is careful to read and understand the differences between Okinawans and Japanese, Big John insists that he should just shoot and that “[a] Jap’s a Jap.” (Chapter 2)

3. Shigemoto is Hideki’s “cowardly ancestor” who has brought shame upon the family. Shigemoto’s “mabui,” or spirit, lives inside Hideki, causing him unrest and bringing him shame. (Various chapters)