This Land We Call Home

Author: Alison Lohans
Publisher: Heinemann Education, Reed Publishers (NZ),Nitty Gritty Novel Series 2, 2007

ISBN 978-1-86970-591-6

Winner: 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award (Young Adult category)

It is 1941 in rural California. Paula Harmon and Ken Nishimura have been friends and neighbours for as long as they can remember. But around them racial tension mounts as World War II intensifies and Pearl Harbor is bombed. Suddenly, Ken and his family are considered enemies in their own country. Paula and Ken’s friendship is tested and their lives changed forever by the horrifying events that follow…

Read a 4-Star Review in CM Magazine.
One of Resouce Links’ Years’ Best 2009.

Order this book from Pearson Education or from Alison.

Alison Lohans reads from This Land We Call Home at the launch at Book & Brier Patch.


6 thoughts on “This Land We Call Home

  1. Hi Alison,
    We just can’t wait for the sequel.
    Our class just finished reading the novel,

    Willetton, Perth, Australia


    • Liz, how very lovely to find your message regarding This Land We Call Home! Thanks so much for getting in touch. As you might have already guessed, this book is very close to my heart.

      As things stand, a sequel has been in progress for a while now – tentatively titled “Free to Come Home”, and which opens with Ken returning home to California, while the rest of his family remains in the Poston Arizona camp (because stubborn Papa refuses to leave until they shut down the camp). Even on his first night home Ken encounters blatant racism and, while walking off his restlessness because he’s unable to sleep, he is shot (not seriously) by someone in a truck. Paula, meanwhile, has been dating Danny – but upon seeing Ken, she has second thoughts. And Ken cannot stand for her to see his pain and humiliation.

      Oddly, as things can happen in the writing world, sometimes one’s characters know more than their author does! Over a year ago I completed an adult novel (not yet published) – and was very surprised while writing it to discover that the hero just happened to be Ken and Paula’s son!! So I thought it was time to write the sequel to This Land We Call Home (which in all honesty got started much earlier, but had been sitting dormant for a while). Pearson New Zealand saw a very early outline, but it wasn’t a good fit for an upper Nitty Gritty level. Then a few years later the NZ branch shut down and, unfortunately, my connection with Pearson Australia is less strong. When the sequel is finished, I will most likely have to go looking for a different publisher.

      Again, my sincerest thanks for your kind message!



    • Hi, Isabelle! How lovely to hear that you enjoyed This Land We Call Home, so much!
      The dog’s name is Prince.
      At the moment I’m 5 chapters into a sequel, where Ken’ichi comes home (basically, where the first book leaves off). Prince is in “Free to Come Home” as well.
      I don’t have a publisher for this one, so it may be a while….!
      Thanks so much for getting in touch 🙂


    • Hi, Madysonn – Thanks so very much for your kind words about This Land We Call Home!
      That book is very dear to my heart, and your comment has gotten my day off to a lovely start.
      Isn’t it amazing how reading opens up all sorts of new worlds to us? Enjoy! 🙂


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