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The Internment of Japanese Americans (Enslow Publishing) (book)

Creators: Charlotte Taylor, Deborah Kent

Overview work on the Japanese American wartime removal and incarceration for middle school audiences that is part of Enslow Publishers' "Our Shared History" series. It draws heavily from Kent's earlier The Tragic History of the Japanese-American Internment Camps (2008) and can be seen as a slightly updated version of the earlier book.


The Internment of Japanese Americans has the same format and chapter structure as the earlier book. As with the earlier book, the opening chapter largely focuses on the experiences of the Matsuda family from the attack on Pearl Harbor to their imprisonment at the Pinedale Assembly Center taken from Mary Matsuda Gruenewald's 2005 memoir Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps . The next two chapters cover the prewar history of Japanese Americans and the chain of events leading to Executive Order 9066 , while chapter four looks at life in the War Relocation Authority (WRA) administered concentration camps. Chapter five looks at conflict in the camps and those who left prior to 1945, chapter six at the closing of the camps and the return to the West Coast , and the final chapter at the postwar story, redress , parallels and reaction to 9/11, and the memorialization of the former camp sites.

As with the earlier book, there are many sidebars on topics ranging from photography of the incarceration experience to the so-called MAGIC cables ; most of the topics are the same as in the earlier book, with a couple of new ones added (on the attack on Pearl Harbor and on the Hood River incident .)

The book also includes a timeline, glossary, and suggestions for further reading and is illustrated with historical photographs. While the timeline and glossary are virtually identical, many of the photographs and other visuals are different from those in the earlier book.

Additional Information

Co-author Deborah Ann Kent (1948– ) has written over one hundred books for young people. Her first book was a semi-autobiographical novel titled Belonging (1978), about the transition of a blind middle-school student from special to regular classes. Kent, who has been blind all her life, has written several other titles on the experiences of people with disabilities. She has also written many books on U.S. history and geography.

Co-Author Charlotte Taylor has authored or co-authored thirteen biographies for Enslow of artists and prominent African Americans. She also co-wrote two other books in the "Our Shared History" series, The Little Rock Nine and School Desegregation and The Underground Railroad .

The Internment of Japanese Americans draws on many sources and incorporates many Japanese American voices. But it retains nearly all of the errors and overgeneralizations of the earlier book and adds a few new ones. Among the new errors are mischaracterizing Nisei Amy Uno as an "immigrant" (page 31); referring to John Tateishi being three years old and seven years old at Manzanar on consecutive pages (60–61); citing Poston as having 14,000 people (its peak population was nearly 18,000), referring to Terminal Island as "San Pedro Island" (69) and, most seriously, placing the Heart Mountain , Wyoming, concentration camp in California (78). It does correct (or at least doesn't repeat) the assertion made in the earlier book that "[many] German and Italian citizens were also removed from the West Coast under Executive Order 9066"; the reference to the Santa Anita Assembly Center as "Arcadia Assembly Center"; and the classification of the Merced Assembly Center as a WRA "relocation center."

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho
Media Details
Author Charlotte Taylor, Deborah Kent
Pages 128
Publication Date 2016