104 pages 3 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Reading Questions & Paired Texts

Reading Check and Short Answer Questions on key plot points are designed for guided reading assignments, in-class review, formative assessment, quizzes, and more.

Chapters 1-10

Reading Check

1. What is ironic about “Love Day,” the codename for the invasion’s start?

2. What is Hideki’s special job to help Lieutenant Tanaka?

3. What does Big John do to the sniper?

4. What does Principal Kojima believe is his sacred duty?

5. What is Ray’s nickname?

6. What do the Okinawans hiding in the cave do after Ray and the marines throw a grenade?

Short-Answer Response

Answer each of the following questions in a complete sentence or sentences. Incorporate details from the text to support your response.

1. Why are Hideki and his classmates standing outside at two o’clock in the morning? What do they receive and why?

2. Who is Big John? How does his opinion of dealing with the Japanese and Okinawans differ from Ray?

3. Who is Shigetomo? How does this person affect Hideki’s life?

4. Describe Ray’s landing on Okinawa. Does it meet his expectations? Why or why not?

5. Where is Hideki’s family? Why is he alone on the island?

6. How do the events at the end of this section affect Hideki and Ray?

Paired Resource


  • This article provides an overview of the history of the Okinawa prefecture, including the Ryukyu Islands.