The Light on Heart Mountain

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by Scott Bitely

For twelve-year old Elwood Evans, the bombing of Pearl Harbor is a day he’ll never forget. His older brother, Benjamin, was killed in the attack. Several months later, just as his life is getting back to normal, Elwood learns of a Japanese internment camp located at Heart Mountain, about fifteen miles from his home in Cody, Wyoming. He and his best friend, Skeeter Hill, decide to investigate, convincing themselves that even President Roosevelt needs their help. But for Elwood, the journey to Heart Mountain turns into a deeply personal mission as sharp, jagged words, like hatred and revenge, take over his mind. He realizes that the only way to deal with his rising resentment is to go to Heart Mountain by himself and do something about it, but the long solitary walk is not without its challenges and unexpected surprises. This story portrays the ugliness of racism and one boy’s struggle to rise above it.