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Dolls of War
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August 2018: Espionage > dolls of war - children's historical fiction novel

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Cheryl (cherylllr) After I finished this trilogy I realized that the third book, which I did read on August 1, actually has a lot about espionage in it. Every time we turn the page, someone is being accused of being a spy. Of course, none of them are. But it's still a good trilogy, worth reading for the fictionalized development of the story of the Friendship Dolls, exchanged between the World Wars between the schoolchildren of Japan and the USA in an attempt to generate goodwill and keep the peace.

The first book is Ship of Dolls. They each stand alone, but it's nicer to read them in order. I do believe the first is the strongest. Here's my review of the third:

"[L]adies can't buy nylon or silk stockings anymore. The soldiers need nylon for parachutes and silk for powder bags, since it won't cause sparks."

We've heard many times about no ladies' stockings... but this is the first time I actually learned exactly *why.* That attention to the extra details of history made the book more fascinating to adult me. Child me def. would have considered this the least strong of the trilogy. Too much romance (not much, but still too much) and a heroine similar to the other girls.

Not enough author's note... some, but not enough.
Good insights into the attitudes of the people in the western US to the citizens of Japanese descent.
Only brief mention of Hitler, Russia, and Italy.

Still, I recommend you consider this trilogy for your daughter or niece, and here's my review of the second book to say more about why:

Love that these three books each stand alone well enough that if your library doesn't have them all, you can jump in anywhere. Love the attention of historical detail... what exactly went through some people's minds, why exactly was a hill-country girl sent to boarding school.... Love that these are engaging stories about brave & strong-willed (but well-intentioned) & intelligent girls first, and historical fiction second... and they have bits of humor and joy, too, which is all too scarce in children's HF.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6305 comments This is a helpful review. What age would you say these books are aimed at? I don't have a daughter, but I have two nieces!


message 3: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments I had never heard of the Friendship Dolls... now I want to learn more!


Cheryl (cherylllr) Hm. Perhaps best for ages 8-11....


message 5: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6930 comments Cheryl wrote: "Hm. Perhaps best for ages 8-11...."

My girls would have enjoyed this at the right time.


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