Dirty. Lazy. Good-for-nothing. Jay Thacker is used to being called names because his dad is half Navajo. But things are different after he and his mother move to a small town in Utah to stay with his grandparents during WWII. Jay makes friends and earns money working the fields for his well-respected grandfather—but he encounters a problem in Ken, a fellow worker who’s from the nearby Japanese internment camp. Ken’s a Jap. And Jay’s dad, who’s been fighting for the navy out in the Pacific, is missing in action. This moving story about an unlikely friendship deftly addresses themes of prejudice and intolerance, providing readers a glimpse of the past that enlightens the present.
Dean Hughes is the author of more than eighty books for young readers, including the popular sports series Angel Park All-Stars, the Scrappers series, the Nutty series, the widely acclaimed companion novels Family Pose and Team Picture, Search and Destroy, and Four-Four-Two. His novel Soldier Boys was selected for the 2001 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list. Dean Hughes and his wife, Kathleen, have three children and nine grandchildren. They live in Midway, Utah.