Yukie’s Island: My Family’s World War II Story

Yukie Kimura, Kōdo Kimura and Steve Sheinkin; illustrated by Kōdo Kimura
(Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)
  • Non-fiction
  • Set in Japan

Key words: Family, war, music, play

It’s 1945, the final year of World War II. Yukie Kimura is eight years old. She lives on a tiny island with a lighthouse in the north of Japan with her family, and she knows that the fighting that once felt so far away is getting closer.

Mornings spent helping her father tend to the lighthouse and adventuring with her brother are replaced by weeks spent inside, waiting. At some point, Yukie knows, they may be bombed.

Then, it happens. One Sunday, bombs are dropped. The war ends soon after that. Everyone tells Yukie there’s nothing to be scared of anymore, but she’s not so sure. So she watches and she waits—until a miraculous sight finally allows her to be a kid again.

This is the true story of Yukie Kimura told in her own words, co-created with her son, illustrator Kodo Kimura, and co-written with bestselling Newbery Honor author Steve Sheinkin. Yukie’s Island is an honest, thoughtful, and stirring picture book about being a child living through wartime.