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Browse > Interest Level > Grades 7-8

103 articles

Paper Wishes (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Lost love, Power of silence
  • Widely available

Children's novel by Lois Sepahban centering on a young girl from Bainbridge Island, Washington , who turns mute when she and her family are uprooted and sent to Manzanar .

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Prisoners of the Empire: Educators' Guide (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Growing up - pain or pleasure, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice, Patriotism - positive side or complications
  • Widely available

This guide, produced by Random House is for the Prisoners of the Empire series of four books by Graham Salisbury of which Under the Blood-Red Sun is the first title. These young adult novels focus on Japanese Americans in Hawai'i during World War II. The other titles in the series are Eyes of the Emperor , House of the Red Fish , and Hunt for the Bamboo Rat .

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Japanese Americans and Internment (book)

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

Overview textbook on the Japanese American removal and incarceration published by Globe Fearon in 1994 as part of their "Globe Mosaic of American History" series. No author is credited with sociologist (and former inmate) Harry H.L. Kitano listed on the title page as the "consultant."

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When the Emperor Was Divine: Teacher's Guide (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Displacement, Growing up - pain or pleasure, Evils of racism, Injustice

The Information provided in this 10-page guide aims to get students to understand When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka "as both a work of art and a meditation on freedom, identity, and loyalty" (page 2). There is background information about the novel and the author, including excerpts from an interview with Otsuka. The historical information provided about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans was garnered from Lauren Kessler's Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese-American Family (New York, Random House, 1993).

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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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A Place to Belong (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Coming of age, Facing darkness, Family – blessing or curse, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Young adult novel by Cynthia Kadohata that tells the story of a Japanese American family's experience in postwar Japan from the perspective of an adolescent female protagonist.

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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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Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Children's, History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Book for middle school audiences on Fred Korematsu , who challenged the forced removal of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Children of Topaz (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Companionship as salvation, Isolation, Nature as beauty
  • Widely available

A snowfall at Topaz brings children out of the barracks to engage in snowball fights and snowman building. They recall friends back home and wish their non-Japanese American friends can join them in play. The very short story by Toshio Mori —dubbed "A Sketch"—appeared in the Pacific Citizen newspaper in 1945.

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Manzanar Daze and Cold Nights (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Desire to escape, Importance of community, Reunion
  • Available

Posthumously published memoir by a Nisei man about his years at Manzanar during World War II.

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Japanese American Internment Camps (Greenhaven Press, 2001) (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Hazards of passing judgment, Injustice
  • Available

Anthology of first-person pieces on the wartime removal and incarceration as part of Greenhaven Press's "History Firsthand" Series.

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Weedflower (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Growing up – pain or pleasure, Evils of racism, Fear of other, Losing hope
  • Widely available

Coming-of-age novel for young adults set in Poston with a young Nisei girl as the protagonist. Weedflower was author Cynthia Kadohata's second young adult novel, after the Newbery Medal winning Kira-Kira .

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Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir, Children's
  • Evils of racism, Facing darkness, Family – blessing or curse, Injustice, Loss of innocence, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Incarceration memoir of life at Pinedale Assembly Center , Tule Lake , and Minidoka , by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald, a seventeen-year-old Nisei at the time of her and her family's forced removal from their Washington state farm. First published in 2005 by NewSage Press, it was followed by a young reader's edition in 2010.

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Manzanar National Historic Site Educator Resources Kit (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Self-awareness, War
  • Available

"How does identity shape my experience in America?" is the central question which serves to unify the wide range of materials in this resource kit. The kit includes printed materials (lesson plans, reproductions of primary sources, official park brochure, booklet for self-guided tours, Densho brochure), and digital resources (video documentary, electronic field trip, biographical sketches of former inmates, related standards, lesson plans, and historical photos). The Manzanar National Historic Site Educator Resources Kit was supported by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and the Manzanar History Association.

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The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Convention and rebellion, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Injustice
  • Widely available

Chapter book for children by Barry Denenberg in the form of a journal by a young Nisei boy covering the first ten months of incarceration at the fictitious "Mirror Lake Internment Camp."

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The War Outside (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Coming of age, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Loss of innocence
  • Widely available

Young adult novel by Monica Hesse that tells a complex story of a friendship between two teenage girls, one Japanese American and one German American, in the Crystal City internment camp in the fall of 1944.

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Four-Four-Two (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Historical fiction
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Displacement, Forgiveness, Identity crisis
  • Available

A popular and confident Nisei boy and his best friend enlist in the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and are thrown into the horrific reality of combat in Europe.

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Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary, History
  • Convention and rebellion, Heroism – real and perceived, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

Feature length documentary film that traces the basketball exploits of Wat Misaka, a Nisei from Utah who starred on two college basketball national championship teams and played briefly for the New York Knicks in the 1940s.

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Suitcase Sefton and the American Dream (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Everlasting love, Family – blessing or curse, Importance of community, Injustice
  • Widely available

Novel by Jay Feldman about a New York Yankees scout who discovers a hot Nisei pitching prospect in an American concentration camp during World War II.

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I Am an American: A True Story of Japanese Internment (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 7-8
  • Children's
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice
  • Widely available

Book aimed at middle school audiences that tells the larger story of the Japanese American World War II removal and incarceration through the experiences of one typical Nisei teenager.

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Lucky Ears: The True Story of Ben Kuroki, World War II Hero (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Biography
  • Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of men, Heroism – real and perceived, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Biography of Nisei war hero Ben Kuroki , written for a fourth grade audience.

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Caucasian Boy at a Japanese Camp (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Displacement
  • Available

The son of the superintendent of schools at Tule Lake concentration camp recounts his experiences as a young boy there.

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The Journey (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 3-5
  • Picture Book, Children's
  • Evils of racism, Expression through art, Power of the past
  • Widely available

A children's book by Sansei author and artist Sheila Hamanaka, published by Orchard Books in 1990. The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism and Renewal is based on a 25-foot mural painted by Hamanaka that mixes the history of Japanese Americans with an emphasis on the American concentration camps of World War II with her own family's experience using a mixture of Japanese iconography, realism and caricature. The book features both close-ups of the mural as well as a panoramic view of all five panels, which are accompanied by the author's text, giving her perspective on history, tradition, and hope. It also includes a preface and afterword reflecting on these themes.

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Dear Miss Breed (play)

  • Plays
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Evils of racism, Growing up – pain or pleasure
  • No availability

Play about a San Diego librarian who corresponded with incarcerated Japanese American children during World War II. Playwright Joanne Oppenheim adapted Dear Miss Breed from her children's book Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference .

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The Invisible Thread (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Memoir, Children's
  • Immigrant experience, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Expression through art, Facing darkness, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice
  • Widely available

Memoir for young adult readers by the acclaimed children's book author that covers her charmed childhood in Berkeley, California, and her wartime incarceration during World War II.

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