The Home-Front Heroes Series for Ages 8 and Older

War on a Sunday Morning

Based on a true story . . .

Thirteen-year-old Rose Williams has trouble fitting in. Every time her family moves to a new navy base, she wishes she could be more like her fearless brother, Les, and not her usual shy and practical self.

On the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, Rose hears the roar of low-flying planes. From her front yard she watches as Japanese aircraft attack the US ships and naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. While her dad rushes into battle, Rose and her mother take cover. Les is nowhere to be found.

Later, with the whole island fearing an enemy invasion, Rose is told to stay inside with the doors locked. But when her friend’s Japanese American father is unjustly arrested and a wounded dog shows up on her doorstep, Rose realizes that—scared or not—everyone must be daring in times of war.

Readers, don’t miss the last few pages to learn more about the real Rose Williams.

Meet the Real Rose Williams and Jimmy Hu


“Teresa Funke has done it again! I’ve been a longtime fan of her multicultural WWII series for children, and this latest installment is a perfect addition to the collection.

War on a Sunday Morning gives us an up-close and moving look at the tragic bombing of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of sensible and lovable Rose, a navy officer’s daughter.

Blending suspense, warmth, and a touch of humor, Funke made me care deeply about Rose, while opening my eyes to how WWII played out in Hawaii. Funke captures the feel of the era and setting beautifully, while keeping the story accessible and engaging for young readers.”
--Laura Resau, Author of Red Glass and The Queen of Water

"Teresa's latest Home-Front Heroes book takes place in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. We get to see and feel wartime Hawaii through the eyes of Rose Williams. As in all of Teresa's books, she uses a primary source who was there to form her main character. Rose was a 13-year-old military kid, a voice seldom heard. Teresa also uses another seldom-heard source, that of an island boy who was 11 and living on the shores of Pearl Harbor. He was getting ready to feed the pigs that Dec.7 morning when war began in his front yard.

It's hard to get the island voice "right" and the feeling and the nuances of wartime Hawaii. Teresa nailed it through her research and the child voices of real-life survivors who watched war on a Sunday morning explode right before their eyes."
--Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson, author of Pearl Harbor Child: A Child's View of Pearl Harbor from Attack to Peace

"This is a view of the attack on Pearl Harbor that's typically not shown, through the eyes of a mainland girl who witnesses the bombing and the peripheral effects on everyday people trying to deal with the fall out of the attack. Funke brings up situations like how people who looked Japanese were treated, how young wives who lost their husbands had to deal with their suddenly-altered lives, and how people had to put on brave faces even if they were worried and scared. This book serves as a glimpse into Pearl Harbor for young people studying WWII."
--Natasha Wing, author of When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jackie Kennedy's Fight to Save an American Icon

"There is so much about what transpired during World War II in the States that relates to civilians. These stories are mostly lost, for they aren't part of the history books covered in school. I love it that you're able to discover these stories and capture them. It's important for children to know and understand that World War II affected us right in our backyards and didn't just happen in Europe or the Pacific or the American military bases. Thank you again for showing how kids can handle adversity with strength of character."
--Betty Berry, reader

“I loved this book! It was exciting and the characters were awesome, especially the dog! I learned interesting things about Hawaii and World War 2. It’s cool that the book was inspired by real-life stories. I definitely recommend it!”
--Bran S, age 10

"War on a Sunday Morning is a beautiful representation of Pearl Harbor and the tragedy on that day. Rose is such a strong female character and I really connect with her! I love this book and I recommend it to everyone! You get to see what went on throughout Pearl Harbor and after, and not just through a man’s point of view. You get to see how women reacted and worked together at that time."
--Naomi S, age 13

“This book is amazing. Even though it takes place in the past, Rose is such a relatable character that you feel like what happened to her could happen to you too.”
--Renee E, age 11

“The book was easy to read and understand for me not having much knowledge of what happened at Pearl Harbor. I gained more of an understanding of the stories’ events with the descriptive word choices that also helped me imagine what the narrator was seeing, hearing and feeling in the story. I’ve read other books by Teresa Funke and like how they have younger characters’ points of view. I look forward to reading this story again in the future.”
--Delainey S, age 11