• The Blossom and the Firefly
The Blossom and the Firefly Book Cover The Blossom and the Firefly
Sherri L. Smith
Teen & Young Adult Fiction
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
February 18th 2020
ebook and hardcover

From the award-winning author of Flygirl comes this powerful WWII romance between two Japanese teens caught in the cogs of an unwinnable war, perfect for fans of Salt to the Sea, Lovely War, and Code Name Verity.

Japan 1945. Taro is a talented violinist and a kamikaze pilot in the days before his first and only mission. He believes he is ready to die for his country . . . until he meets Hana. Hana hasn't been the same since the day she was buried alive in a collapsed trench during a bomb raid. She wonders if it would have been better to have died that day . . . until she meets Taro.

A song will bring them together. The war will tear them apart. Is it possible to live an entire lifetime in eight short days?

Sherri L. Smith has been called "an author with astonishing range" and "a stellar storyteller" by E. Lockhart, the New York Times-bestselling author of We Were Liars, and "a truly talented writer" by Jacqueline Woodson, the National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming. Here, with achingly beautiful prose, Smith weaves a tale of love in the face of death, of hope in the face of tragedy, set against a backdrop of the waning days of the Pacific War.

“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” -Pablo Casals

The Blossom and the Firefly is a poignant story about two young lives that are swept up in the turmoil of WWII in Japan. Sherri L. Smith creates such a beautiful tale, both elegantly written and executed, it will no doubt become a timeless classic for any age.

I was swept away by Sherri L. Smith. The Blossom and the Firefly gives a voice to two young adults on the other side of the ocean during the lead-up and throughout WWII in Japan. I am familiar with literature written about Europe during this same time frame, but reading about the lives of the children and wives that were left behind to help support the soldiers of the Emperor’s war effort was truly eye-opening.

Hana and Taro’s life begin much like others in Japan before start the start of WWII. Like many other nations, Japan also suffered from their own Great Depression, which in turn led their leader, the Emperor, to start campaigns to regain the honor and glory of Japan. Taro and Hana have mirrored journeys. When one path in life must be abandoned for duty to their nation, and honor to their families, both Taro and Hana are warned that attachments in the War are often fruitless, and must not formed. Watching how they grapple with wanting to listen to the music that lives in their hearts, or to set it aside for duty to country is heart-wrenching.

The  beautiful way The Blossom and the Firefly is crafted by Sherri L. Smith effortlessly mimics the rise and fall of a  poem set to music. With how integral music is woven into the story, it creates a  symmetry that highlighted the plot so effortlessly.

Sherri L. Smith has herself one more dedicated reader to her fan base. After reading The Blossom and the Firefly, I will be reading every single book in her catalogue. Friends, Bees, and Bookworms: do not let this book get away from you! It is out for release on February 18th, and should be a must-read for readers of every age.