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A Diamond in the Desert
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A Diamond in the Desert

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  730 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Tetsu eats, sleeps and breathes baseball. It’s all he ever thinks about. But after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tetsu and his family are forced from their home into an internment camp in the Arizona desert with other Japanese Americans, and baseball becomes the last thing on his mind. The camp isn’t technically a prison, but it sure feels like one when ther ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Puffin Books (first published February 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emma Kuncl
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book the Japanese are sent to camps during the war. Tetsu's (the main character) father wasn't there. So with that Tetsu was trying to be like his father and take care of his mom, and his little sister, Kimi. Tetsu loved baseball, every chance he could get at home he would play. When they were in the camp there he met a pair of brothers that also loved baseball, so everyday them three would play catch for hours. The brothers dad was once a coach for their team, so they stated making a ba ...more
Barb Middleton
Twelve-year-old Tetsu's life in California is uprooted when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and he is forced to relocate to Gila River camp in Arizona. His father is sent to North Dakota because the government suspects him of being a spy. Tetsu's father is incarcerated with no due process for years while Tetsu, his mom, and young sister, Kimi, go to the internment camp. Tetsu was a ball player and he meets others players at the camp. When a baseball team is formed, he finds some happiness until ...more
Victoria Whipple
Let me start out by saying that I am NOT a fan of baseball, so it was with some reluctance that I picked up this book. It turns out to be one of the best books I've read in a while! Set at Gila River camp during the Japanese internment during WWII, we hear of the experiences of Tetsu, 13 years old when he arrives at Gila River with his mother and sister. Tetsu is heartbroken and missing his father who was sent to a different facility because he was suspected of helping Japanese forces. Tetsu, de ...more
Danielle Brown-Barba
I just finished reading this book with my 10 year old daughter for a 4/5 grade parent/child book discussion group. We both enjoyed it. I enjoyed it more, though, as I have always been fascinated by stories of Japanese internment camps during World War 2. I did not even know that these camps existed....we were never taught this in U.S. History class....until I read "Snow Falling on Cedars" in the 90's. I read another story, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet" a couple of years ago that to ...more
Cindy
Kathryn Fitzmaurice writes another story about hopes and dreams and family and the things that can tear families apart and bring them back together. The things that can bring community together in the midst of despair. The friendships where you don't have to say anything at all and you know what the other is thinking. I loved, loved, loved this book. This is a gem of a story that is a must have for libraries and classrooms.

Kody Smith
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wjhs, ya
The main character Tetsu lives breathes and sleeps baseball, but after his sister gets really sick he has to pick between his family and his love for baseball. Tetsu and his family got moved to a reformatory after the bombing of pearl harbor and because his family is jappenese. This is one of the most cool basebhall book I have ever read, if you like basebalkl you will defenitly like this book!
Jennifer
Amazing - and sad that these events happened in our country. But also a showing of the human strength and perseverence and honor that the Japanese Americans showed as they stood tall and survived. The book also shows how baseball unites no matter what the circumstances.
Max
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was one of the my favorite World War 2 books. I liked it because it was history. It was about the camps for the Japanese people that live in the U.S.A after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This book is very sad at times and happy at other times.
Becky
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best, best, best books ever!!!
Edward Sullivan
A fine work of historical fiction, moving and often poignant.
Ronald Baldwin
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A normal kid went from spending every minute of his life thinking and living baseball, to being stuck in an internment camp like a criminal. This is his story. This story is about a Japanese-American kid who lives in California close to the year 1940 or 1950. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he is sent to an internment camp where he is kept with many other Japanese people. The Americans don't trust the Japanese anymore because of what they did. This book is extremely hard to stop reading once ...more
Katie Lalor
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This quick read gave the readers interesting factual information on WWII during the time period 1942-1945. It deals specifically with a Japanese interment camp in Arizona, and has a prevalent topic- baseball. But it doesn't center around this topic, it focuses more on family, even though the protagonist, Tetsu, and friends love baseball!
Alex Chiddix
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was good. It did have to do with WWII and how Japanese people living in America had to live at a camp in the desert after Pearl Harbor. This is an amazing story and shows how much baseball means to the world and the people in it.
Juan Ibarra
Remember in Social Studies, when you were studying World War II? Have you ever wondered how it felt like to live in such a time of depression and tension? This story is a Historical Fiction book. I thought this book was interesting. It is about a boy's experience in an Internment Camp during World War II. I enjoyed this book overall because of how well the author described the young boy's perspective of life in the camp.

A Diamond in the Desert is set during World War II from Spring, 1942 until t
...more
Alexis Bahena
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its going,going, gone over the wired fence and into the sandy desert.This book is a historical fiction and sport book but a little non-fiction in some parts of the story. The book is good but each chapter (I think) is short. But all around the book is pretty good.

So the story goes like this,when twelve year old named Tetsu is forced to live in an interment camp with his mother and sister.But when his father is taken for questioning about the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, he moves to another camp. T
...more
Stephanie
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor Tetsu’s father is taken away by the FBI. Not long after that he, his mother, and his sister, Kimi, are taken to an internment camp. They have to leave their home and dog in California, taking only a few belongings with them to the barracks in Arizona. The hot desert climate is only one of the many difficult things to adjust to about their new life. Tetsu worries about his father and is concerned that there isn’t a way to get in touch with him because his fath ...more
Kam Block
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Diamond in the Desert, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice is a home run of a read for any young adult looking to get their hands on a great historical fiction and sports book! The main characters of this book are Tetsu, Kyo, Ben, Kimi, Mamma, and Pappa. It is 1942 right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and all of these kids and their families have been placed in Gila River relocation center in Arizona. The boys have lost everything they’ve loved and owned except for one thing, baseball. Tetsu and Kimi ar ...more
Julie
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By no means a literary masterpiece, "A Diamond in the Desert" gives middle grade readers an interesting (fictional) peek into the lives of Japanese Americans sent to American internment camps during WWII.

A nominee for the 2014-2015 Golden Sower award, I read this book with my daughter (a fifth grader this year). The story centers on Tetsu (age 12) and his family, as they are forced to leave their home in northern California and report to an internment camp in (practically nowhere) Arizona. Tets
...more
Barbara
Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, thirteen-year-old Tetsu Kishi and his family are moved to Gila River Relocation Center in the scorching Arizona desert. They must leave behind their beloved dog Lefty, and Tetsu's father is questioned by the FBI to determine if he is guilty of spying for the Japanese. Even though the camp's residents are far from home and must contend with fierce winds and heat and lack of privacy, somehow they manage to endure. Since Tetsu played baseball back ...more
Kobe Lin
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the book A Diamond in the Desert was an amazing book. I think it was really interesting because the setting takes place in a Japanese internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The main character in the book is Tetsu. He is in the camp with his mom, his sister Kimi, and a bunch of other Japanese people. In the book, Tetsu makes friends and they all find out they have a similar interest in baseball. Tetsu, the boys, and their father decide to make a baseball diamond so that they c ...more
Betty-Ann
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story takes place in Arizona in 1942. Tetsu Kishi and his family have been re-located there after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. All people of Japanese descent have been sent to internment camps throughout the country. Gila River is not technically a prison but there is nothing to do and nowhere to go. Tetsu’s father is not yet with them; he has been detained by the FBI for further questioning so Tetsu feels the pressure of being the “man of the family.” There is nothing to do at the camp. Th ...more
M.
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction, Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert. 12 year old Tetsu, his sister Kimi, and their mother are wrenched from their home, a farm in California, and sent to be interned at Gila River, a Japanese internment camp in Arizona. Their dad is separated from them and sent to be questioned in Utah. (It turns out the automatic lights he's installed over the biffy on the farm have been reported as being a signal code sent to Japanese agents or submarines; this is finally proven ...more
Jackie
During WWII, Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps, fearing that they were willingly (or unwillingly) sending sensitive information to the opposition. Tetsu, his sister, Kimi, and their mom have been assigned to a former Indian Reservation in Gila River, Arizona. Papa has been sent elsewhere, hoping to rejoin his family at some point.

While life in Arizona is not like it was in California, with its freedoms, school, and work, the family tries to make the best of it without compla
...more
Sandy Brehl
Japanese internment camps during WWII are more than an embarrassment in US history, they provide an object lesson in profiling, mass incarceration, and abandonment of the principles of freedom. At least they should.
Sadly, current world issues and mass hysteria among some groups indicate these decisions could well be repeated (in whole or join spirit).
One way to prevent and overcome these patterns is to share books like this one, based on actual camps, prisoners, and their memories of coping and
...more
Susan
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tetsu is a young Japanese boy living in 1941 America when Pearl Harbor is bombed changing the lives of his family and thousands like them across the country. He, his mother and younger sister are sent to an internment camp in the Arizona desert while his father is held elsewhere being questioned by the government.
This book is told from Tetsu's perspective and gives us insight to what children experienced in these places. Baseball is one of his loves and it is baseball that(in part) helps him end
...more
Rachel
Almost every night Tetsu, a talented first base player, dreams of a lush green baseball field. Then he wakes up in the hot, dusty Arizona desert. Like many Americans of Japanese descent, Tetsu, and his mother and sister were relocated to a jail-like internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were forced to leave their home, possessions, and beloved dog behind in California. To make matters worse, Tetsu’s father was taken to North Dakota for questioning, with no indication of when he ...more
H
Feb 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-caudill
Another WW2 Japanese Internment camp baseball story (there have been a lot of them, really). This one tells the story of 13 year old Tetsu, who spends his days at the camp wandering, taking care of his sister and attending school sporadically. When new boys move in who love ball as much as Tetsu, and their father decides to build a baseball field, Tetsu gets new direction. But then a mistake makes Tetsu pull back from the sport he loves. Will he rejoin the team to help them defeat the All Stars ...more
Michele
A beautifully written historical fiction book that sheds light on Japanese internment camps during WWII. Short chapters (or even pages) make this within reach of some reluctant readers. All is told through the eyes of Tetsu, who we see is having to deal with much more than just figuring out where to play baseball. After his family (sans Dad, who is taken to North Dakota for questioning) is uprooted from California and forced to go to Gila River, AZ (one of the 10 US mandated camps for Japanese c ...more
Zachary Garland
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like sports
Recommended to Zachary by: No one
The main character in the book Diamond in the Desert, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice is Tetsu. It is about a Japanese boy named Tetsu who loves baseball. He has to go to a US camp for Japanese people during the Pearl Harbor attack. Tetsus life is baseball and he misses it.

There were good things about the Diamond in the Desert and bad things. It was good because of how well Tetsus life was explained at the start of the novel. It told you what time period it was in and where the setting is. The problem
...more
Krista
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caudill-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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When Kathryn was thirteen years old, her mother sent her to New York City over the summer to visit her grandmother, who was a science fiction author. After seeing how her grandmother could make the characters in her books into whomever she wanted, Kathryn decided that she, too, wanted to become a writer someday. Years later, after teaching elementary school, and taking many classes, she now writes ...more
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