Dell (Random House), mm pb, 207 p.
Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp – with ten thousand other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons, and a dance band called The Jive Bombers, who would play any popular song except the nation’s No. 1 hit: “Don’t Fence Me In.”I’d had this book suggested to me a few times, most recently after reading Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. I’m always interested in reading immigrant stories and ones relating to Japan or the Japanese, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. It was also interesting to get some insight into what the internment camps were really like, or at least Manzanar, and to see how the experience affected the Japanese Americans after the war, and how the different generations coped with life both in and out of the camp. Plus seeing the camp through a child’s eyes was at times amusing. I can see why this book is often taught in schools. A worthwhile read.
Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention…and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.
My Rating: 3.5/5
(#28 for 2008, Non-Fiction Five Challenge #1)
Near Block 28 some of the men who had been professional gardeners built a small park, with mossy nooks, ponds, waterfalls and curved wooden bridges. Sometimes in the evenings we could walk down the raked gravel paths. You could face away from the barracks, look past a tiny rapids toward the darkening mountains, and for a while not be a prisoner at all.
Photo from wikipedia.
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