Ruri is a young Japanese girl who learns a life lesson while being faced with extreme hardships. This story takes place during World War II in California, U.S.A., between the years of 1939 and 1945. ( At that time, The U.S. built internment camps because they feared Japanese spies were giving U.S. enemies top-secret information about the war.)
One day Ruri is at home when tall soldiers carrying guns pound on the front door. Ruri’s mother answers the door. The soldiers tell Ruri’s family that they are being sent to an interment camp. Ruri feels sad and hopeless. Ruri tries to stay calm but she is overwhelmed by the thought of leaving home and never coming back.
Ruri’s neighbors soon find out where her family is headed and they each say their goodbyes. Ruri’s best friend shows up at the front door and gives Ruri a bracelet. She tells Ruri that the bracelet is a way to never forget her. Ruri promises her friend that she will never take it off. When Ruri is on her way to the internment camp, she loses the bracelet. She is grief-stricken and feels very guilty that she loses the bracelet. Ruri fears she will forget about her friend without the bracelet.
Ruri asks her mother to help her find the bracelet. After hours of searching, Ruri gives up. Her mother tells her that she should not panic and feel bad. Ruri’s mother tells Ruri that she does not need any object to remember her best friend because she will always remember her friend in her heart. Ruri listens very carefully to the advice and quickly cheers up and forgets all about the bracelet, but not about her friend.
Even though Ruri goes through traumatic times in her life, she learns what is really important to her. She learns to stay strong, to stay positive, and not to be afraid during tough times.