The 4th and 5th grade students at the Leonor Hambly K-8 School in Winkelman were treated to a great presentation on Pearl Harbor by author Bess Taubman. Bess is the author of the book My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941: A Nostalgic Collection of Memories. Bess created the book format and wrote it along with writer Ernest Arroyo. It has won a number of awards and is currently the most popular book at the Pearl Harbor gift shop. It is her first book.
Bess greeted the students with “Aloha” and explained the meaning of the word to the students. She also passed out leis to the students and teachers. Her presentation included video and photographs of the Pearl Harbor attack. She talked about how she got the idea for writing the book and that it took nearly five years to complete it.
The idea came at a visit to Pearl Harbor 25 years ago. In the gift shop, she noticed that the books about Pearl Harbor were big and thick books and looked as if written for scholars. She thought that the amazing story of the men who died and those that survived the Pearl Harbor attack needed to be told in a simpler format. She urged the students that want to write to keep on writing and not give up no matter how long it takes.
The presentation covered the events leading up to the attack by the Japanese, to the aftermath which resulted in martial law being declared in Hawaii and the internment of Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans in prison camps. She drew parallels to the 9-11 attack and the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
The presentation was enthusiastically embraced by the students who asked many questions and were able to answer most of the questions that Bess asked them. Bess said she feels that the Pearl Harbor story needs to be told and learned by the youth so it will not be forgotten.
Bess Taubman lives in Phoenix and is a writer, designer and publisher (Mapmania Publishing) and has created historical educational products including the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Guide, the Battleship Missouri Visitors Guide and Kids “All About”: Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941 pamphlet. She has been invited back and returns to Pearl Harbor every Dec. 7 for the special remembrance ceremonies and to visit with the Pearl Harbor survivors. She also does book signings while there.