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Children of the Relocation Camps (book)

Creators: Catherine A. Welch

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.


Children of the Relocation Camps is divided into three chapters. "Leaving Home Behind" covers the attack on Pearl Harbor, the subsequent rise in racism, and the forced removal of Japanese Americans. "Life in the Camps" looks at life in the " assembly centers " and War Relocation Authority administered concentration camps, focusing on aspects of life relevant to children. The brief final chapter, "Starting Over," looks at leaving the camps and the difficulties families faced in reestablishing their lives, ending with a reference to the need to remember episodes like this. The book incorporates many quotations from Japanese American children and uses large historical photographs and captions to augment the text.

The book also includes a "Making a Japanese Stone Garden" activity, along with a "Note to Teachers and Adults" that suggests several others. Also included are suggestions for further reading (all age appropriate children's books) along with a glossary and timeline.

Additional Information

Author Catherine A. Welch has written over twenty children's books between 1992 and 2008. Though she holds degrees in biology and biochemistry and some of her books are on science related topics, most of her books focus on history (including historical fiction) and biography. Two of her books—this one and Children of the Civil Rights Era (2001)—were named Carter G. Woodson Honor Books by the National Council for Social Studies.

The book is historically accurate for the most part. One major error appears in the timeline, a claim that the "relocation of Japanese Americans is declared unconstitutional," presumably a reference to the Endo Supreme Court case (page 48). [1]

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho


  1. While Supreme Court ruled in the Endo decision that Mitsuye Endo and other "loyal" Japanese Americans could no longer be held in concentration camps, their decision in the Korematsu case that same day upheld the constitutionality of forcibly removing Japanese Americans from the West Coast.
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Find in the Digital Library of Japanese American Incarceration

Children of the Relocation Camps

This item has been made freely available in the Digital Library of Japanese American Incarceration , a collaborative project with Internet Archive .

Might also like The Bracelet by Yoshiko Uchida; Blue Jay in the Desert by Marlene Shigekawa; Fish for Jimmy by Katie Yamasaki

Media Details
Author Catherine A. Welch
Pages 48
Publication Date 2000
Awards Carter G. Woodson Honor Book, Elementary Level, 2001