Inkwell Management
Published by
Tor Teen (2020-01-07)
Current material
1st Pass Pages
Original language
Books for very young children, children’s picture books & activity books


A Novel of World War II

by Fukuda, Andrew

Two unlikely pen pals find hope and strength in each other at the turn of the Second World War in Andrew Fukuda's powerful new novel.

Alex, a Japanese-American boy in Seattle, is none too pleased to find himself paired with Charlie, a French-Jewish girl in Paris, for a school pen pal assignment. He's the only boy being forced to write to a girl. He writes, begrudgingly at first, and they soon form a close bond.

Five years later, they're still writing to each other, and frequently. Alex tells Charlie about the strawberry farm where he lives, his family, and his friends at school; Charlie shares secrets she's told few others, like her school crush and her dreams to move to America one day.

Then World War II begins. Alex and Charlie continue to write, though both face intensifying persecution in their home countries. Alex's family is sent to a Californian internment camp in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, while Charlie's family goes into hiding in a tiny, hot attic.

When Charlie's letters stop, Alex fears the worst. As the weeks, then months, slip past without any word from Charlie, Alex begins to see visions of a girl in danger - he's never seen a photo of his lost friend, but he's sure the girl is Charlie. And she needs Alex to find her.

Showing courage in the face of intense injustice, Alex embarks on a journey that will take him from the deserts of California to the battle fields of Europe to the center of Nazi Germany.
From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.

"I remember visiting Manzanar and standing in the windswept plains where over ten thousand internees were once imprisoned, their voices cut off. I remember how much I wanted to write a story that did right by them. Hopefully this book delivers."--Andrew Fukuda

Andrew Fukuda was born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, he is half-Chinese, half-Japanese. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University and worked as a criminal prosecutor for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. His experience volunteering with the immigrant teen community in Manhattan's Chinatown led to the writing of Crossing, his debut novel that was selected by ALA Booklist as an Editor's Choice, Top Ten First Novel, and Top Ten Crime Novel. He is also the author of YA series THE HUNT. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk


Blending realistic details of life in battle and occupied Paris with Alex's desperation-fueled visions of Charlie, the book offers a believable hero in shy but determined Alex and introduces new chapters into history that readers may think they know.

Review: Publishers Weekly

Fukuda (The Trap, 2013, etc.) artfully conveys Alex's inner turmoil and paints visceral combat scenes. ... An intriguing premise and fascinating tale.

Review: Kirkus

More like this