Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Author:  Cynthia Kadohata
Genre:  YA Historical Fiction
Published:  2006
Personal Rating:  4/5
Yearly Count:  155

Sumiko, a Japanese-American, experiences racism in and out of school.  Then, immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, life changes dramatically for Sumiko and her family.  First being moved to the racetracks, then to a more permanent internment camp, Sumiko has no choice but to come-of-age.

This is a perfect book for learning about the internment of the Japanese-Americans during WWII.  It is told with such realism that it's easy to think it's non-fiction.  The research is evident and comes through clearly in the descriptions of life in the camps.  The language is geared for grades 5 - 8, but it can certainly be enjoyed by adults.  I think the many issues woven into the book were visited with much care and consideration.


  1. I really liked this book, it was really well done.

  2. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I enjoy YA books and this one sounds like a good one. Thanks for the review.

  3. Maw Books ~ I was not aware of the Japanese-Amercian internment until I was an adult! It would be great to get this into the hands of children because I still don't know if it's taught here in the USA. I like this one much better than Kira-Kira. I'm not sure, but it felt like the protagonist was a little older - I liked that.

    Bermudaonion ~ I listened to this and didn't want to stop. It's not necessarily suspenseful, but I was engaged.

  4. I wasn't aware of the internment camps until I read Snow Falling on Cedars a few years ago. It's like this part of our history just got swept away--I'm glad to see so many books recently dealing with this time period--I'll have to add this one to the list.

  5. I've been meaning to read this one for a while now, but haven't gotten around to it. Glad you put it back on my radar. And I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed it!

  6. I didn't know about the internment camps till I was an adult, either. Isn't that strange? You'd think it would have been worth covering in school, but perhaps it was something people didn't want to admit happened, for a time.

  7. Wonderful review Joy! This one is on my TBR.

    I like Bookfool didn't learn about the internment camps until I was an adult, either.

    It's a shameful part of our history, but it should be taught in school. I hope it is in the standard curriculum now.

  8. Anonymous2:11 PM

    My 12yo daughter is reading this right now - I'm glad to hear it's good!

  9. I didn't know about the internment camps until I was an adult either. I enjoyed Kira-Kira but I remember you didn't like it as much. This one sounds good. I'm adding it to my wishlist.

  10. Trish ~ I think we (USA) just didn't want to admit it.

    Debi ~ It would be a great curriculum book.

    Bookfool ~ I'm guessing so. There is just so much I don't know!

    Teddy Rose ~ I think you'll enjoy it.

    Carrie ~ Has she finished it yet? What did she think?

    Tanabata ~ I hope you like this one as much as I did. I look forward to your thoughts.


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