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Discussion Module

Eyes of the Emperor
Graham Salisbury

Publishing Information: Wendy Lamb Books: New York, 2005
ISBN: 0385729715
: 228 p.
Ages: 12 & Up

Following orders from the United States Army, several young Japanese American men train K-9 units to hunt Asians during World War II.

Book Talk:
(Quick and Simple at http://bookstalker)
"Eddy felt duty-bound. His friends had already enlisted in the army and it was just a matter of time before he was drafted. Sure, he was only 16 but with a little careful alteration, his birth certificate now proclaimed he was 18 and old enough to enlist. Army life started out as drills and orders but that was all about to change. When the bombs started falling around his island, he just couldn't believe that it was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor...." (Excerpt)

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Dogs - War Use
Japanese Americans
World War, 1939-1945
War - Moral Ambiguities

Teacher's Guide for Eyes of the Emperor at
  • Details Thematic Connections for Customs and Traditions, Friendship, Survival, and Courage and Honor
  • Details Curriculum Connections in Science, Language Arts, Social Studies and Math
  • Gives suggestions for using the author's novels together.

Awards & Reviews:
ALA Notable Book, 2006
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, 2005
Notable Social Studies - Trade Books for Young People, 2006
New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age, 2006
Parent's Choice Award (Children's Historical Fiction - Silver Medal), 2005
Parent's Choice Award (YA Historical Fiction - Silver Medal), 2005
Texas Tayshas High School Reading List. 2006 - 2007
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults

Booklist, May 15, 2004, p.1669,
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 05
Publishers Weekly, September 5, 2005, p. 64,
School Library Journal, September 2005, p. 213

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. How do you think Eddy felt about his mission?
  2. How do think Eddy and the other Japanese American soldiers felt about the way they were treated? How would you feel?
  3. How did Eddy resolve the conflict between his ill treatment and his desire to serve his country?
  4. Questions for group discussion can be found in a teacher's guide at

Related Websites:
Bill Thompson's Eyeonbooks -
Listen to an interview (8:15 minutes) with Graham Salisbury

Children of the Camps -

Graham Salisbury's Website - http//

History on the Net: World War Two Japanese Internment Camps in the USA -

Japanese-American Internment in World War II Photographs Exhibit at the University of Utah -

The United States War Dog Association -

War Dog -

Japanese - Americans in the 20th century
A Jar of Dreams by Yoshiko Uchida, 1981
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochisuki, 1993
Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury, 1994
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, 2004
Thin Wood Walls by David Pateneaude, 2004
America's Betrayal by Jodi Icenoggle, 2001

Japanese American - Teenage Boys
Several Kinds of Silence by Margaret Singer, 1988
Talent Night by Jean Okimoto, 1995
Beacon Hill Boys by ken Mochizuki, 2002

Dogs - War Use
Letters from Wolfie by Patti Sherlock, 2004 (A 2006 RITBA Nominee)

Related Non-Fiction
Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experienec During and After the World War II Internment by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, 1973
Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese-American Internment Camp: Based on a Classroom Diary by Michael O. Tunnell and George W. Chilcoat, 1996
Remembering Manzanar: Life in a Japanese Relocation Camp by Michael L. Cooper, 2002

Other Books by the Author:
Blue Skin of the Sea, 1992
Under the Blood-Red Sun, 1994
Shark Bait, 1997
Jungle Dogs, 1998
Lord of the Deep, 2001
Island Boyz, 2002

About the Author:
Graham Salisbury, a Hawaiian native, is a descendant of the Thurston and Andrews families, who were among the first missionaries to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands. He was educated at California State University and Vermont College of Norwich University. Some of the jobs he has held are: musician, teacher, deckhand on a fishing boat and skipper of a glass-bottomed boat. He resides with his family in Portland, Oregon.

| ©2004 - Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee | Aaron Coutu, Chair