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On the Horizon

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  50 reviews
From Lois Lowry comes an account of the lives lost in two of WWIIs most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. With black-and-white illustrations by Kenard Pak.

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this work in verse for young readers.

On the
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Is there anything she cant write? This was interesting, informative, and a lovely tribute. Writing this difficult subject in verse makes it approachable and incredibly unique. I slowly savored each section and ruminated over each one. This will be a fantastic tool for teachers as they teach this subject, or for a poetry unit. I absolutely loved this and found it fascinating. My thanks to the publisher for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review. ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-books
*** Full Review To Come Up Soon! ***
I was so lucky to pick up an ARC of this book at a meeting. Promoted for ages 10-12, this is a tragic and emotional read about the lives lost in the attack of Pearl Harbor and reciprocal bombing of Hiroshima. Told in 3 parts through magnificent poems about the young and old lives lost and effected during the events, it is heartbreaking for any age. Lowry is able to interweave her childhood and personal connections into the events, making it even more impactful. It is a short read, but one that ...more
Jess Cruz (tingly.spines)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lowry, people.

An absolutely poignant novel in verse (an exemplar for sure) that includes multiple illustrations (I'm reading a galley copy from Netgalley) incorporated into a story of herself as a child, a Japanese boy, and a third story woven in to connect it all that she shares about in her author's note. It's emotional and informative, sentimental and reverent. She has video of her playing on the beach in Hawaii and in the background, the USS Arizona. Then she meets a boy who was in a town
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to read this poignant look back at Lois Lowrys childhood. Born in Hawaii, she was a 3-year-old living in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese bombed it. Through research, she puts a human face to some of the men who served on the USS Arizona. After the war ends, her father, stationed in Japan, is able to have his family join him. We get snapshots of other young people living in or near Hiroshima as well. Told in verse, this unique experience in her life is capped with ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a digital ARC from Netgalley.

On the Horizon is a look at the tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, told through the personal lens of Lois Lowry who was born in Hawaii and lived in Japan as a child. Through verse she puts names and faces to a few of the victims of both terrible events. I am awed by Lowry's ability to evoke such a emotion with simple rhythms and phrases. The poetry is beautiful and I can't wait to get a finished copy to see the illustrations.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC #PLA2020
This book is lovely and brings forth the stories of individuals that died or survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Hiroshima.

It would be a great story to share that goes beyond the data and statistics of Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. Very accessible for younger audiences. I look forward to seeing the final art of the published version.
Natalie Park
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to read an ARC of this book. It was missing some of the final art but the story was very moving and poignant. It had additional meaning for me as my mothers family lived in Honolulu at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The war affected so many people in so many different ways. ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: On December 7, 1941, early on a Sunday morning, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.

Premise/plot: Lois Lowry has written an autobiography in verse focusing on the second world war. The book focuses primarily on two horizons--the first being PEARL HARBOR and the second being HIROSHIMA. I say focuses primarily on those two huge events--their impact and legacy--but it doesn't do so exclusively. Lowry and her family spent time in Japan--her father was stationed there for
Sally Kruger
I'm so glad I heard Lois Lowry chatting about this book on her Facebook a few weeks ago. After listening, I immediately ordered a copy.

ON THE HORIZON is written in a series of poems and reflects on Lois Lowry's memories of living in Honolulu at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It wasn't until later that she realized she and her grandmother were on the beach at the time the USS Arizona passed on the horizon. Not long after that, the great ship lay on the bottom of Pearl Harbor along with
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
On The Horizon
by Lois Lowry
The collection of WWII literature is vast. To venture into this category you have to have something very special and beautiful. Lois Lowrys On The Horizon is very special and beautiful. Told in 3 parts you see how war ravages all sides through the eyes of the author as her autobiographical poetry takes you through her girlhood in Hawaii, Tokyo, and beyond.
As the years go by we are losing more and more of our first person voices from this time. While Lowry was a young
Kate Waggoner
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-read
Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for allowing me access to a digital advance review copy of On the Horizon by Lois Lowry.

On the Horizon tells the story of those who lost their lives and survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It is based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and the civilians of Hiroshima and offers a unique look on history as Lowry looks at through a personal lens. The novel is written
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm grateful to the publisher and for allowing me the opportunity to listen to Lois Lowry read her newest memoir in verse. I am also looking forward to seeing the illustrations soon. Please, whenever possible, support local bookstores. allows one to do just that digitally for audiobooks. If you haven't seen their website, please check it out at

Lowry's poems here are beautiful, absolutely beautiful. They are snapshots from World War Two that honor those we have lost in
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for an ARC of On the Horizon in exchange for an honest review. I was thrilled to see my request for this book in my inbox. As a young teacher starting out long ago, Number the Stars and The Giver made an impact on me. I think this book will do that for others as well. The beauty brought forth through first hand accounts of two major traumatic WWII events, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima is written masterfully. Lowry, as a child, was in Hawaii and ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to see Lois Lowry was coming out with a new book. As an author, she can write a wide range of books. I knew going in to this book is was going to historically based, but wasnt sure what to expect. This short little volume of narrative poetry pays tribute to the lives list at Pearl Harbor and during the bombing of Hiroshima. It humanizes both sides of the conflict, and makes the reader feel for the pain experienced on both sides. I thought Lowrys inclusion of her own experiences ...more
Angela (Kentuckybooklover) Brocato-Skaggs
A very interesting read regarding Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima told from a child's perspective. I liked how Lowry focused on some of the soldiers' lives before Pearl Harbor. It gives children something to connect to on an event that they might find hard to relate to as it occurred so long in the past.

It was also very moving to read how American and Japanese children felt in Japan after the bombing of Hiroshima. Kids just want to play with each other and be friends. Unfortunately, as adults, we
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. It was very interesting to read because I did not know what to expect from Lowry since she has not written a book in a while. I had no idea that this was going to be told through her personal lens of growing up in Hawaii and Japan. I also loved the short format instead of being a long book especially since it is a childrens book. Her book definitely painted the picture for me as I am sure it will to children. Definitely ...more
Jennifer M.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very beautiful look at the lives effected by Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Lowry takes us by the hand to show us what happens with war. Lives are changed and destroyed, and some people never come back. This is a sort of personal journey, as Lowry lived in Hawaii and could speak to her experience. On the Horizon is a wonderful, short, and well-illustrated book that can really help highlight the problems with war, to young readers, and even those older.

On the Horizon publishes tomorrow, April 7..

Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to HMH Kids and for a chance to check this out early. It comes out 4.7.20 and all opinions are my own.

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5. Lowry, who lived in Hawaii and Japan as a child, draws on her own history as she reflects on the bombing of Pearl Harbor as well as the bombing of Hiroshima. She tells the stories of individuals who lost their lives in the two events in verse; I hear that there are some great illustrations as well, which I am interested in seeing when I get ahold of the print copy. Hand
Aliza Werner
Accessible and heartbreaking, Lois Lowrys rhyming novel in verse is based on her own childhood memories of WWII, specifically the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Short, but gripping, Lowry puts names and faces to the tragedy, even generations later. Kenard Paks illustrations enhance an already vibrant text. Beyond the tragedy and loss in war, this story is about hope and human connection. A gem for any library. (Wisconsin connections: grandparents were immigrants to WI, born in LaCrosse.) ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my most anticipated books of 2020, On The Horizon did not disappoint. Beautiful, poignant, and with the mission to bring humanity to war, Lowry will move you to tears.

For mature young readers, this WW2 historical account covers both the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

Find the complete review on our April 2020 New Releases Book Buzzed article here:
Cindy Dobrez
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait to see the finished book with the complete artwork. This slim work puts faces on the events of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It does so while woven into Lois's memoir of living in Hawaii and Japan as a child and in encounters later in life that bring all the facets together in a hopeful message for reconciliation, honor, and peace. Deeply moving and not just for 10-12-year-olds. Adults will find healing here, too.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
On the Horizon is a slight novel told in verse. What at first feels like a work of over-simplified nonfiction, evolves beautifully into a memorial and a testament to a shared history between two countries. Lowry's afterward is key to completing the work, and it will reach audiences of all ages for a multitude of different reasons.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read a digital advance copy of this book. This book is a profound look at World War II and a few of the lives lost during Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Lois Lowry had the unique experience of growing up in Hawaii and also living in Japan during her childhood.
The Library Volunteer (Renee)
Wow. On the Horizon is a book of true stories told in verse by two-time Newberry medalist Lois Lowry. It is the most emotive 80 pages I think I have ever read. It tells the stories of people who's lives were forever changed due to the events of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. Run don't walk to pick up this book.
Emily Myhren
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pure gold-written in verse Lois Lowry weaves together pieces of her childhood and the horrors of war from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima. Be sure to read the authors note in this one. I received a free digital ARC from NetGalley. ...more
Lexy Jones
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Each chapter gives you a glimpse into the life and death of someone at Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima. Written in verse, each story is short but powerful. Lowry uses research and her own childhood living in Hawaii and Japan to create a beautiful memorial to those lost in World War II.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
* I got an ARC of this that comes out in April.
It is written in verse and about the lives of the sailors at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima. Lowry takes from her own memories living in Hawaii and Japan and her research she did. It was inspiring and devastating.
Amanda Arkans -
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful! This will be a must read in history class.

Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Taken from Lowry's website:
"Ive always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always

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