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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 3-5

77 articles

A Diamond in the Desert (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Disillusionment and dreams, Forgiveness, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Novel for children centering on Tetsuo Kishi, a teenager at the Gila River, Arizona, concentration camp who finds solace in baseball.

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American Dreams (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Historical Fiction, Children's
  • Evils of racism, Coming of age, Injustice, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • Available

Chapter book for children about two eleven-year-old girls in Hollywood, one white and one Japanese American, in the weeks just before and just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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The Children of Topaz: The Story of the Japanese-American Internment Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's
  • Companionship as salvation, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence
  • Widely available

Children's book by Michael O. Tunnell and George W. Chilcoat based on a class diary kept by a 3rd grade teacher at Topaz.

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Children of Detention Camps, 1942-1946 (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Coming of age, Growing up - pain or pleasure
  • No availability

Traveling exhibition produced by the National Japanese American Historical Society that debuted in February 1992 at San Francisco City Hall. The sixty-panel photo exhibition looked at the incarceration experience from the perspective of children, who made up a significant portion of affected Japanese Americans. In addition to Japanese American youth, the exhibition includes the experiences of Aleuts and Japanese Latin Americans in the U.S. detention camps. A follow up to the 1990 exhibition U.S. Detention Camps, 1942–1946, Children of Detention Camps was displayed at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and Children's Museum of Indianapolis among other venues.

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Dash (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
  • Children's, History
  • Companionship as salvation, Evils of racism, Displacement, Heartbreak of betrayal
  • Widely available

Dash, Kirby Larson's book for 4-6 grade readers, tells the story of 11-year-old Mitsi Kashino and how the love for her dog Dash gives her strength while she and her family are sent to an incarceration camp.

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Dear Miss Breed: Letters from Camp (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Importance of community, Power of words
  • Available

Exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) based on the letters sent to librarian Clara Breed by Japanese American students forcibly removed to concentration camps. Dear Miss Breed opened in JANM's Legacy Center gallery on January 14, 1997, and closed on April 13, 1997. A short film of the same name was also featured in the exhibition. Though it did not travel subsequently, an online version of the exhibition was created and is available at the JANM website.

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Japanese American Journey: The Story of a People (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • History, Children's
  • Empowerment, Fulfillment, Heartbreak of betrayal, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Progress – real or illusion
  • Available

Overview work for children on the Japanese American experience produced by the Japanese American Curriculum Project (JACP) in 1985. Consisting of a historical overview, eleven biographies of notable Japanese Americans, and three short stories, Japanese American Journey was adapted from a 1970 JACP publication titled Japanese Americans: The Untold Story.

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The Internment of the Japanese (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Available

Overview book by Diane Yancey on the wartime forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans for middle school audiences that is part of Lucent Books "World History Series."

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The Japanese in America (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • History
  • Empowerment, Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

Overview book for children on the history of Japanese Americans from the 1860s to the 1990s. First published in 1967 as one of the first books for children on Japanese Americans, it saw revised versions in 1974 and 1991.

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A Place Where Sunflowers Grow (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Darkness and light, Empowerment, Expression through art, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Children's picture book by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino about Mari, a young Japanese American girl in Topaz, an American concentration camp during World War II. As the book begins, she plants sunflower seeds in the desert soil, hoping they will grow like the sunflowers in their old backyard. She recalls their prewar home, where she lived with her older brother and artist parents. At Topaz, she goes with her father to the art school he started. Initially unable to draw anything in the children's class, she slowly starts to find things to draw with the help of a supportive teacher, her father, and her new friend Aiko. After drawing a picture of her barrack with the sunflowers growing tall in front, she returns home to find little sunflower seedlings, giving her hope for the future. A final page provides biographies of the author and illustrator and some ...

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So Far from the Sea (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's
  • Change versus tradition, Death – inevitable or tragedy, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Children's picture book by Eve Bunting about a Japanese American family's pilgrimage to Manzanar in 1972.

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The Cat Who Chose to Dream (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Children's
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Facing darkness, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Children's picture book about a cat who accompanies his Japanese American family to an American concentration camp during World War II.

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We the People: The Stage Production (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Expression through art, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence, Power of tradition
  • Available

Short film that documents the performance of the elementary school age students of Jan Ken Po Gakko in Sacramento on July 20, 2000. The production is highlighted by a play performed by the students based on Mary Tsukamoto and Elizabeth Pinkerton's book We the People.

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Teacher's Guide: The Bill of Rights and the Japanese American World War II Experience (curricula)

  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

The forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II suspended their constitutional rights and civil liberties. This guide, for teachers of grades 4–12, focuses on this historical event to examine individual rights and the shared responsibility that students have to protect the rights of all individuals, even during times of national crisis.

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Take Me Home: Curricular Resource Materials (curricula)

  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Injustice, Growing up - pain or pleasure, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

This guide supports the instructional use of the 15-minute video, Take Me Home: A Child's Experience of Internment. The authors of the 19-page resource target grades 6 – 8, however; the materials can be adapted to upper elementary as well. Although the film and curriculum materials were produced in Washington, their use has broad application as they are not specific (other than the mention of the academic standards) to Washington State.

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Children of the Relocation Camps (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Children's, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice
  • Available

Picture book for elementary school children that tells the story of the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from a children's perspective. The book was named a Carter G. Woodson Elementary Level Honor Book in 2001.

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Best Friends Forever: A World II Scrapbook (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Everlasting love, Family – blessing or curse, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Children's book about the friendship between a German American girl and her forcibly removed Japanese American friend in the form of a scrapbook from the year 1942.

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Citizen 13559 (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8

Play for children by Naomi Iizuka, based on the children's book The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp by Barry Denenberg. The story focuses on the wartime experiences of twelve-year-old Ben Uchida, whose family is incarcerated at the fictional "Mirror Lake" camp in Wisconsin. After workshop productions at the Kennedy Center and the Mark Taper Forum's Asian Theatre Workshop, the hour-long play premiered in March 2006 as part of the Kennedy Center Family Theater's first season.

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How Did This Happen Here?: Japanese Internment Camps (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice
  • Available

Short overview picture book on the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans aimed at an elementary school audience.

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The Japanese American Internment: An Interactive History Adventure (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, History
  • Displacement, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications
  • Available

Children's book on the wartime incarceration by Rachael Hanel that allows the reader to choose one of three stories and to make a series of decisions in each story that determines its outcome.

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Justice Denied: A History of the Japanese in the United States (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • History, Children's
  • Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Limited availability

Early overview of the history of Japanese Americans for young readers by British author/activist Jennifer Cross.

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Manzanar: Photographs by Ansel Adams of Loyal Japanese-American Relocation Center (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Art
  • Displacement, Injustice, Character - destruction, building up
  • Available

Landmark exhibition of Ansel Adams' photographs of Manzanar at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Opening on November 9, 1944, Manzanar was not only the sole major museum exhibition documenting the Japanese American incarceration to be displayed while incarceration was still ongoing, but arguably the only such exhibition to appear for the next twenty-five years.

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The Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Historical fiction, Children's
  • Coming of age, Displacement, Identity crisis
  • Available

A Japanese American boy is forcibly removed from his home in Southern California and incarcerated in a concentration camp but learns important life lessons through continuing to play baseball.

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Pride and Shame (exhibition)

  • Museum Exhibitions
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • History
  • Immigrant experience, Evils of racism, Injustice
  • No availability

Early exhibition on the history of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest that was one of the first to highlight the wartime incarceration experience. After its 1970 debut at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle, Washington, a traveling version of Pride and Shame followed that toured numerous venues over the next five years. It was among several key exhibitions that reflected a growing consciousness about the incarceration from this time period.

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When Justice Failed: The Fred Korematsu Story (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Biography
  • Convention and rebellion, Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Power of the past
  • Available

Biography for children of activist and exclusion challenger Fred Korematsu by journalist Steven A. Chin.

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