Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Under the Blood-Red Sun” as Want to Read:
Under the Blood-Red Sun
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Under the Blood-Red Sun

(Prisoners of the Empire #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,077 ratings  ·  348 reviews
Tomi was born in Hawaii. His grandfather and parents were born in Japan, and came to America to escape poverty.

World War II seems far away from Tomi and his friends, who are too busy playing ball on their eighth-grade team, the Rats.

But then Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, and the United States declares war on Japan. Japanese men are rounded up, and Tomi’s father
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Under the Blood-Red Sun, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Asteropê Pigeons. Different types - high flyers, long distance flyers, etc. But their species is pigeon.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Asteropê Sounds like a homework assignment. And if so, something you should be doing yourself!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,077 ratings  ·  348 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Under the Blood-Red Sun
jv poore
My son is reading this for his English class, but whenever he put it down, I picked it up. And was thoroughly engrossed. Reading schedule be damned, I was completely captivated by the bravery and strength of young Tomi and his Japanese-American family and I finished the book quickly.

Their Hawaiin life wasn't easy, but it was manageable and generally good. Until Pearl Harbor is bombed. There's no denying the deplorable treatment of Japanese-Americans during this time, but Mr. Salisbury balances
Young adult historical fiction for boys ages 10-15, even younger for mature readers. It shows life for Tomikazu, a young Japanese-American boy living In Hawaii just before and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tomi and his little sister, Kimi, both born in Hawaii, live with their parents, and grandfather born in Japan. Tomi has a group of friends, the Rats, from all different racial backgrounds, who love baseball. The story helps introduce young readers to life in 1942, the beginning of World W ...more
Heather Pola
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Middle reader and up
If only all students could have fiction blended with their semi-non-fiction text books. This book grew on me within pages and I found myself savoring it. Really people, when you're reading a good book and actually put it down, you feel like something is missing. Like you've left the world of THEM...the characters and setting. You find yourself wondering what's happening with them. So you grab the book and spin your eyes across the pages. For more of the good stuff! Under the Blood-Red sun takes ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I'll never forget that look. I realised that what that lady saw wasn't just a boy and his mother....What she saw was a Japanese boy, and his Japanese mother." (131)

"You got it wrong, mister, I said. I was born here. I live here, just like you do. And I'm an American." Beat it Jap, he said. Be above it Tomi.... "American", I said again. He narrowed his eyes but didn't say anything more. I eased away the feeling...strange...very strange. Almost peaceful. Spooky, feeling peaceful when somebody hat
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
December 7th, 1941. The Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.... 2403 Americans were killed; many wounded. I've seen the movie. I've heard the stories. But I never even imagined the impact of the incident on the Japanese-American people. After the merciless bombing, many of the innocent, hardworking Japanese people hoping to find a better life in America were branded as enemy spies and dragged behind bars.
'Under The Blood-Red Sun' is the story of a young Japanese-American boy named 'Tomi
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book during our reading book clubs and when I read it, it broadened my mind about WWII. I did know a lot about the Nazis' and what happened during that time but I didn't know much about the Japanese and Pearl Harbor. I also connected with the main character (Tomi) and how it is like to live in his shoes. Lastly, I learned so much more about how life was like on the island and how much extreme racism there was for the Japanese. I didn't even know that they were put into concentration ...more
I'm planning on making a list of historical novels about WWII for my seventh graders to choose from. Although Under the Blood-Red Sun isn't page-turning exciting, but it is very well written and entertaining. The novel offers an important point of view of WWII, that of a Japanese-American boy, Tomi, living in Hawaii during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I loved the interactions between the characters. Salisbury gets not only island dialect dead on, but he is also able to capture the sense of humor
Ryan H.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Under the blood red sun is a true story by Grahm Salisbury. The book is about a 12-year-old boy named Tomi. Tomiś family is very poor. Tomi is Japanese and his grandfather has a Japanese flag that he hangs outside to represent Japan. But later in the book, there is an attack planned by the Japanese. They bomb pearl harbor. Soon after the bombing the U.s government takes all Japanese locals and puts them in a training camp. Tomi's dad a fisherman is taken to the camps. Tomi has a plan to swim the ...more
Anthony B.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Begin typing book review here...Under the blood-red by Graham Salisbury is a historical fiction book about a Japanese family who lives on their neighbor's property in Hawaii. The Japanese bomb pearl harbor and their whole world is changed. This is a great way to see a window back in time to see how the Japanese lived and how they were treated during these times. Throughout the book you see Tommy (the main character) learn how to be the leader of his family while managing to stick up for himself ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
We read this as a family and it took a lot longer than I had hoped. It’s amazing how difficult it is to get all of us to sit down together at the same time. I love this book because it opened up discussion about American history as well as how we should treat other people!
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Solid 5. Great book of the targeted age group – middle/junior high school. The narration by Greg Wantanabe truly made this book come alive.
Autumn Barraclough
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This. Book. I made the mistake of reading it at the beach in Hawaii - which sounds like a great idea... at first. The book doesn't cover that much time, but the themes of racial tension and the negative outcomes that come from misplaced judgement.

When I was walking home from the beach I was really unsettled and reading a chapter from the book... literally ran into my friend.
Phil Jensen
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about a time when the United States responded to a terrorist threat by persecuting innocent people.
Taran K.
Under the blood Red Sun, by Graham Salisbury, is a very interesting but sad book. This book really taught me the history behind the attack on Pearl Harbor, in a Japanese-Americans personal view. The main character, Tomi, is a Japanese-American kid. His mother, father, and grandfather all immigrated from Japan, looking for a better life.
On December 7, the U.S. declared war against Japan. Tomi and his friend Billy watched as Pearl Harbor was bombed. Japanese Americans at the time were closely wat
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Something about this book has always intrigued me. After I read it, I knew why. This book has every element my middle school kids look for in a book. Baseball, gangs, bullies, strained family relationships, puppies, and misunderstood adolescents are the markers that will make the book familiar. I can feel my Mississippi kids balking at unfamiliarity related to setting and culture, so they will be glad to have those ideas and experiences to make the story more accessible. The deeper shocking and ...more
Taylor Jaudes
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Under the Blood-Red Sun
by Graham Salisbury

Grade Level Read Aloud: 5+
Grade Level Independent: 6+
Genre: Historical Fiction

Living in the mainland of the United States in the twenty-first century, it is hard to imagine what life might have been like for a Japanese American in Hawaii after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. In the story, Under the Blood-Red Sun, Graham Salisbury writes in the perspective of an eighth grade boy whose Japanese heritage changes his life drastically when the Japanese attacke
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book by random, to be quite honest. I had this book due to complete circumstance from Half-Priced Books, and when I was rummaging through my own library I found it. Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Under the Blood Red Sun engages readers in a story of what it was like to grow up as a Japanese American during the time of World War II and Pearl Harbor.

**Spoilers Ahead**

Tomi and his family are Japanese immigrants. Tomi is first-generation American, but after th
Luke W
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tomi, a Japanese boy who lives in Hawaii with his Mom, Dad, Sister, and Grandpa. They try to not do anything that will make people not like them, but there is a boy named Keet who has a problem with Tomi and his friend billy. Tomi plays on a baseball team with his friends, they made the team. Other kids have made their own teams too. They like to play against each other. One day planes started flying over head one day, and they are Japanese planes. people around him already didn't trust him and ...more
Anne Osterlund
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Tomi’s grandfather can be a problem, waving his giant Japanese flag and rambling in Japanese when all of Hawaii is on alert and on edge because of the threat of war. But Grampa can be cool too. At least he has the gumption to say what he really thinks, something Tomi is dying to be able to do with his jerk of a next door neighbor.

But Tomi knows he can’t. He knows his parents’ warnings about the war are real, that drawing attention to his family and their Japanese heritage isn’t safe right now.

Julia Aas
Under the Blood-Red Sun is a good story - and I imagine it might be particularly engaging for young boys who relate to other baseball-obsessed teenagers.

I came away slightly disappointed because of my own expectations. I was looking forward to a story centered around Pearl Harbor and how it disrupted the lives of people on the island. You don't really get to the heart of the story until about the half-way point. While the beginning does do a nice job introducing characters and setting the scene
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A perfect almost teen boy book, also enjoyed by dad. This is a perfect mix of sports and young male bravado with some important messages and themes thrown in. Some of the antagonists were fairly one dimensional and too true to the stereotype but it is a great story filled with love for family, horrible things wars bring and great friendships. Americas past actions are far from perfect and the internment of japanese-americans was one of the darker parts, this novel tries to show both sides good ...more
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
This story is set in Hawaii in 1941 and 1942, and we get to experience the Pearl Harbor attack from an interesting perspective--a Japanese-American boy who lives in Hawaii with his parents, younger sister and immigrant grandfather. Luke, who has an avid interest in WWII, and I listened to it together, and it kept him engaged the whole time. I think it was great for him to learn about the prejudice and hardship endured by Japanese-Americans during this time period through the eyes of a young boy ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is a nice book for kids about World War II. It is narrated from the POV of a boy named Tomikazu, an first-generation American-born (Hawaii) Japanese boy. Because of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese in Hawaii face discrimination - Dad is taken to internment, Mom is fired from her maid job, other Japanese are killed or interred, and other boys make fun of Tomi just because of his Japanese heritage. The story does have an hopeful/happy ending, which many Japanese or Jewish or etc did n ...more
Under the Blood Red Sun was a simple story about a boy named Tomi living in Hawaii before, during , and after World War 2. Tomi plays baseball with his friends and sees many changes in the island because of the Japanese bombers and the attacks caused tension growing between Japan and America. First, his grandfather waves a japanese flag during the Pearl Harbor attack, next his father is injured and is incarcerated, and his grandfather is arrested by the FBI.
Taner Hansen
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is very well written. It shows the pain of racism during the time of the World War 2 when the Japanese were highly discriminated against. It shows how a white boy wants to keep his friendship with a young Japanese boy. This friendship his highly frowned upon. They have to keep this friendship hidden as it would endanger the white boy and endanger the Japanese boy even more than he already is.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Art by: Minto Lending Library
Good look at life for Japanese families in Hawaii leading up to the "Day of Infamy" the attack on Pearl Harbor.
A young Japenese-American- Hawaiian boy and his relationship w/"Haole" boy whom his mother works for.
Both have a love for baseball and the island of Hawaii.
Both consider themselves Americans and Hawaiians and not anything else.
Father owns racing and carrier pigeons and a fishing boat.
Distrust to trust by those near the family in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many times. Each time I have read it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author packs a great number of details into his writing, and as such it is an easy read. This isn't to say it is a meaningless book. The undertones of this novel provide for a good sense of the emotion of what happened at Pearl Harbor, from the perspective of someone who was able to take it all in. ...more
Angel Uherek
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it
loved the cultures depicted. Loved the local words and areas used...If you live in Hawaii you can really relate to this story...the Japanese grandfather, the pigoens, the school...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Nystrom
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Under the Blood-Red Sun written by Graham Salisbury is a historically relevant novel that depicts a young boys struggles during World War II after the Pearl Harbor attack. Tomi is a ten year old Japanese-American who comes from a working family that has faced many hardships after immigrating to America. One of the hardships Tomi faces is learning to maintain the traditional values of his family while adjusting to the modern aspect of life in America. Left as the man of the house after his father ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
UCAS English 10 H...: March Reading Assignment 1 2 Mar 15, 2018 12:34PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Green Glass Sea (Green Glass, #1)
  • 地縛少年 花子くん 3 [Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun 3] (Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, #3)
  • 地縛少年 花子くん 4 [Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun 4] (Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, #4)
  • Evertaster (Evertaster, #1)
  • The Losers Club
  • Call It Courage
  • Blood on the River: James Town, 1607
  • Joy in the Morning
  • Clementine's Letter (Clementine, #3)
  • Code of Honor
  • Marathon, Revised and Updated 5th Edition: The Ultimate Training Guide: Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons
  • Nory Ryan's Song (Nory Ryan, #1)
  • Chasing The Falconers (On The Run, #1)
  • The Young Traveler's Gift
  • Ghost of Spirit Bear (Spirit Bear, #2)
  • Zen and the Art of Faking It
  • Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time
  • Copenhagen
See similar books…
Graham Salisbury comes from a 100-year line of newspapermen, all associated with Hawaii's morning paper, the Honolulu Advertiser. Although a career as a newsman could have been possible, Salisbury chose to imagine rather than report. "I enjoy writing about characters who might have been. To me, exploring fictional themes, situations, and lives is a quietly exhilarating experience. There are times ...more

Other books in the series

Prisoners of the Empire (4 books)
  • Eyes of the Emperor (Prisoners of the Empire, #2)
  • House of the Red Fish
  • Hunt for the Bamboo Rat (Prisoners of the Empire, #4)

News & Interviews

Looking for a fictional meet-cute in the new year? We've got some steamy novels for you to snuggle up with, including Casey McQuiston's...
53 likes · 14 comments