Take What You Can Carry

Kevin C. Pyle. Holt, $12.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8286-9
Two teenage boys separated by time and culture are connected by shared experiences. Kyle is young and bored with his life in late 1970s suburban Chicago. Having recently moved there, he makes new friends and turns to vandalism and shoplifting to keep his life exciting. In the early 1940s Ken Himitsu, the son of Japanese immigrants living in Berkeley, Calif., is sent along with the rest of his family to a forced relocation camp after the outbreak of WWII. Ken, frustrated with the conditions, turns to theft to get the food and supplies that are kept from them. Pyle shifts between each story, differentiating between them by coloring styles. Ken’s story, told without the use of text and with a heavily inked visual texture, is particularly striking. The story builds slowly, with the connection between the two gradually revealed. But the touching way in which Ken learns responsibility through the necessity of stealing for others while Kyle learns responsibility after being punished for selfish theft is accomplished quite well. Pyle has created a quiet, contemplative, and effective glimpse into two distant in time yet similar lives. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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