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Cover Reveal: Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman

I’m getting pickier. The more that I’m asked to do cover reveals for books, the more I want to make sure that the books in question are up to snuff. It’s a pity how rare it is that I’m asked to reveal a book that I’ve already read. But you know what? Sometimes it happens.

Two weeks ago I received in the mail the book Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story. I wasn’t familiar with the true tale, nor the film that this book takes its name from (Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo). I wasn’t overly familiar with the art of Melissa Iwai (though my kids have devoured her work on such titles as B Is for Bulldozer and Let’s Go to the Hardware Store). But the author of this book? Marc Tyler Nobleman? Yeah. I know that guy. You probably do too. He’s the fellow behind the picture book biographies of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the guys who made Superman (Boys of Steel) to say nothing of Bill Finger, the man behind Batman (Bill, the Boy Wonder). Heck, he even inspired a documentary. So, naturally, I was curious.

This book is slated to be published October 9th, so you’ll understand if I hold off on reviewing it for a little while. That said, it’s marvelous! Exciting and harrowing, and a fascinating portrait of levelheaded thought and kindness. Read this book and then think long and hard about whether or not the events described in this book could happen today. But what’s the plot? Here’s a summary:

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story, illustrated by Melissa Iwai



Hiroshima. Dresden. London. Brookings?

Americans know the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as one of the most infamous events of WWII. However, few on either side know that Japan also bombed mainland America—twice.

Navy pilot Nobuo Fujita launched a seaplane off a submarine—via catapultand hit the woods outside the town of Brookings, Oregon. No one was killed or even hurt, but all involved were changed.

Twenty years later, amid a blaze of controversy, Brookings invited Nobuo back. Though nervous, he felt it was his duty to say yes. He brought his family’s 400-year-old samurai sword, the same he had taken on every war mission. Always a man of honor and now a man of peace, he planned to gift it to the town. He would be devastated if the people of Brookings did not forgive him…

I mean, how could you not want to read this? It’ll be worth the wait, I assure you, but in the meantime enjoy this cover reveal and gather your strength until October finally arrives.


Thanks to Marc for the reveal.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Thanks, Betsy. I just marked my calendar. The story is one I can’t wait to read!

  2. Can’t wait to read this either! And, as an official geezer, I can remember the book and the movie of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Every eighth-grade boy read it back in my day, even though it wasn’t specifically a kids’ book.