Curriculum Companion

Book Series

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The Ragdoll and the Marine: A Memoir

By: Nicole A. Calvo

All her life, Nicole heard stories from her mother, Natty, about a gift she received when she was a child at the end of the war on Guam.  It was a ragdoll that was lovingly placed in her hands from an unknown but kind US Marine after she and her family were released from the concentration camp at Mangenggon.  Follow Nicole’s journey in “The Ragdoll and The Marine” as she and her mother - 57 years later - search for the soldier whose small act of kindness brought Natty hope, peace, and joy for the future.  With the help of family and a strong faith in the divine, both Nicole and Natty’s lives are changed forever as they overcome personal obstacles and find meaning in the conflicting war legacies on the people of Guam.

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The Massacre at Atate

By: Jose M. Torres

Jose is a teenager living in Malesso,’ a peaceful village in southern Guam.  While he and his family are about to play volleyball, they hear loud explosions coming from Japanese bomber planes launching an attack on the island and its people.  His world turns upside down when the new Japanese leaders take over Guam and he is forced to work for them. He had many jobs: first he tilled and cultivated soil for planting rice, then was transferred to help construct an airfield, and eventually had to help fortify the island.  With the looming return of American troops in the summer of 1944, the Japanese military committed unspeakable horrors to the residents of Malesso.’  Jose recounts heroic acts of resistance when he and a group of men rise up and fight back against the Japanese soldiers in a place called Atåte.  His inspiring story of the courageous men who defended their lives, saved their families, and ultimately liberated themselves, reflects the strength, bravery, and resolve of the CHamoru people.

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

By: Eleanor Coerr

Two-year-old Sadako Sasaki was living in Hiroshima when the atom bomb was dropped. Ten years later she is diagnosed with leukemia, also known as “atom bomb disease.” Her friend tells her about a Japanese legend that says if an ill person folds 1,000 paper cranes, the gods will make her well again. Inspired, Sadako spends long hours in bed folding paper cranes, never giving up hope she will get better. After Sadako folds six hundred and forty-four cranes, her classmates fold the rest. This novel is based on a true story. Today there is a memorial in Hiroshima Peace Park, Japan dedicated to Sadako. Children and adults alike visit and leave the paper cranes they make in her honor.

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