Friday, April 30, 2021

"Thirty Minutes Over Oregon" illustrator's mom witnessed Pearl Harbor attack

To my surprise, I only now realized that I had not yet shared here a startling behind-the-scenes fact related to Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: the mother of Melissa Iwai, the book's illustrator, was walking the hills of Honolulu on December 7, 1941...and witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

That infamous attack provoked the also infamous Doolittle Raid in April 1942, which then provoked the lesser-known Lookout Air Raids in September 1942, which are the focus of the book.

I have explained that I requested to work on this book with an illustrator of Japanese descent out of respect for the culture at the center of the story. (I hit the trifecta because Melissa is also super talented and super nice.) 

Also, our collaboration parallels a central theme of the book: reconciliation. Melissa and I never quarreled, and therefore never reconciled, but I mean reconciliation in a broader sense: people of different heritages coming together in harmony.

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