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Browse > Media Type > Books

223 articles

Southland (book)

  • Books
  • Widely available

Southland is a critically acclaimed 2003 novel by Nina Revoyr set primarily in the multiracial Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles. Part multi–generational family saga, part murder mystery, and part coming of age novel, the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans affects several characters directly and is a background part of the world of the novel's key figures, both African American and Japanese American.

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Silver Like Dust (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Power of the past, Role of women
  • Widely available

Memoir published in 2011 centering on the author's grandmother, who slowly tells the author the story of her life and incarceration at Heart Mountain , over the course of several visits with the author. Her grandmother's detailed narrative from the perspective of a young woman of twenty when the war breaks out—the happy childhood in Los Angeles, the shock of war and forced removal, meeting her husband at the Pomona Assembly Center , marrying in camp, and having her first child there, before resettling in Seabrook Farms , New Jersey—is contrasted with the author's vastly different life as a contemporary young woman of roughly the same age when she begins the project. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, apart from her grandmother in Florida, the visits also allow the two women to really get to know each other for the first time. The book includes various brief historical snippets that provide …

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Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Internment Writings, 1942-1945 (book)

  • Books
  • Non fiction
  • Disillusionment and dreams, Family - blessing or curse
  • Available

The incarceration experiences of Yamato Ichihashi , the first endowed chair of East Asian Studies at Stanford University, and his wife, Kei, as told through their own words.

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Journey of Heroes: The Story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Heroism – real and perceived, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Evils of racism
  • Widely available

A comic book version of the story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team told in the first person voice of a Nisei from Hawai'i.

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Family Torn Apart: The Internment Story of the Otokichi Muin Ozaki Family (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Communication – verbal and nonverbal, Facing darkness, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Power of words
  • Widely available

Family Torn Apart is the story of the wartime experiences of Otokichi Muin Ozaki, an Issei who was a Japanese language school teacher, tanka poet, and a leader within the Japanese community in Hilo, Hawai'i. While most incarceration accounts focus on the mainland experience of the English-speaking Nisei who comprised nearly two-thirds of the incarcerated population, Ozaki's story provides insight into the incarceration experience of Hawai'i island Japanese, many of whom authorities detained at mainland incarceration sites. While this book includes radio scripts of Ozaki's incarceration experience and his own accounts of camp news, it is also comprised of letters that family and friends wrote responding to his correspondence. The variety and frequency of these letters and other sources provide intimate details of Ozaki's incarceration that lasted nearly four years. This story highlights the uniqueness of the Hawai'i experience from the perspective of an Issei observer and the impact of …

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Fish for Jimmy (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Picture book
  • Growing up - pain or pleasure, Heroism - real and perceived, Family - blessing or curse
  • Widely available

Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family's Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp , written and illustrated by Katie Yamasaki, is based on the author's great-grandfather's family experience at the Granada camp in Amache, Colorado. This picture book for young readers which expresses in few words an older brother's act of kindness and daring that kept a family strong during their imprisonment.

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Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult
  • Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

Book aimed at middle and high school audiences on the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II, that focuses equally on the wartime incarceration and on military service.

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Fox Drum Bebop (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Family – blessing or curse, Immigrant experience, Power of words
  • Widely available

Novel by Gene Oishi that tells the saga of the Konos, a Japanese American farming family from coastal California, covering the years 1940 to 1982. Largely based on the author's own life and family, each chapter is a stand alone short story set in a particular time period. Early chapters covering the prewar years and the upheavals of World War II are told from the perspective of different family members, while later chapters covering the postwar years are largely through the perspective of Hiroshi, the character based on the author. Fox Drum Bebop was published by Kaya Press in 2014 and received the 2016 Association for Asian American Studies book award in the Creative Writing: Prose category.

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Kibei (book)

  • Books
  • Historical Fiction
  • Change versus tradition, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Facing reality, Identity crisis
  • Available

The saga of a Kibei Nisei confronting prejudice and his own conflicted identity as his and his family’s lives are irreparably transformed by the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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The Pigtail Twins

  • Books
  • Widely available

Children's book published in 1943 that may have been the first book-length work of fiction to mention the Japanese American exclusion and incarceration, if obliquely. The book was authored by Anne M. Halladay and published by Friendship Press.

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Betrayed Trust: The Story of a Deported Issei and His American-Born Family During World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Adult
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Heartbreak of betrayal, Identity crisis, Immigrant experience, Losing hope
  • Available

A Nisei shares his family's heart-wrenching experience of wartime incarceration and the complex background behind their decision to go to Japan instead of staying in the U.S. after the end of the war.

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Dandelion Through the Crack/Kiyo's Story (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Family – blessing or curse, Female roles, Growing up – pain or pleasure, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Wisdom of experience
  • Widely available

Memoir by a Nisei woman of farm life in Sacramento, her family's wartime incarceration, and their struggles to reestablish their lives after the war.

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Silent Honor (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Romance
  • Coming of age, Companionship as salvation, Everlasting love, Evils of racism, Loss of innocence, Will to survive
  • Widely available

Novel by bestselling author Danielle Steel about a Japanese American family in the San Francisco Bay Area and their wartime odyssey in American concentration camps, highlighting a romance between a niece recently arrived from Japan and a white college professor.

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In Search of Hiroshi (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Family – blessing or curse, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Power of the past
  • Available

Memoir by Nisei journalist Gene Oishi published by Charles E. Tuttle in 1988.

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We the People: A Story of Internment in America (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Evils of racism, Importance of community, Overcoming – fear, weakness, vice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Role of women
  • Available

Memoir of Florin, California-based Nisei educator and activist Mary Tsukamoto co-authored by Elizabeth Pinkerton and published in 1987 when Tsukamoto was seventy-two. Though the book covers her entire life, well over half of it focuses on her and her family's wartime confinement, their resettlement in the Midwest, and eventual return to California.

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Snow Falling on Cedars (book)

  • Books
  • Historical fiction
  • Coming of age, Convention and rebellion, Desire to escape, Displacement, Facing reality, Family - blessing or curse, Fear of other, Immigrant experience, Importance of community, individual versus society, Power of the past
  • Available

A World War II veteran reporting for his small town newspaper covers the trial of a local Japanese American man charged with murder while he struggles with his complicated feelings for the defendant's wife, his first love.

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A Fence Away From Freedom: Japanese-Americans and World War II (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Power of the past
  • Widely available

Book for young adults that tells the story of the wartime removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans through the oral history voices of those who were children and young adults at the time.

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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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Though I Be Crushed: The Wartime Experiences of a Buddhist Minister (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Displacement, Immigrant experience, Injustice
  • Limited availability

Translated memoir of an Issei Buddhist priest focusing on his wartime incarceration at several camps.

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My Life with a Thousand Characters (book)

  • Books
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Expression through art, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice
  • Available

The creator of numerous Hanna-Barbera characters including those from Scooby Doo tells his life story, including his childhood as a Nisei in Los Angeles and his experience incarcerated at Manzanar concentration camp.

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Japanese-American Internment in American History (book)

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

Non-fiction overview of the incarceration experience written for middle school readers. One of the relatively few such books written for this age group, it is part of Enslow Publishers' "In American History" series.

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Garden of Stones (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Historical Fiction
  • Role of women, Motherhood, Temporary nature of physical beauty, Power of the past, Facing darkness
  • Widely available

Popular novel by Sophie Littlefield centering on three generations of Japanese American women whose lives are dramatically shaped by the wartime incarceration of the elder two at Manzanar .

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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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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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Mei Ling in China City (book)

  • Books
  • Widely available

Mei Ling In China City (2008) by Icy Smith tells the story of 12-year-old Chinese American Mei Ling Lee who lives in China City, an "old Chinatown" in Los Angeles which does not survive today. Mei Ling is lonely because her best friend Yayeko Akiyama was sent to Manzanar . The girls write to each other over the course of the war—the book includes handwritten correspondence between them—but they lose touch after the war is over. The main focus of the story is Mei Ling's determination to raise the most funds for the United China Relief campaign, which sought funds for food and medical supplies for war victims in mainland China. Her wish is to present the grand prize to Yayeko upon her return to China City. Based on a true story, the real Mei Ling still hopes to find her friend Yayeko again someday.

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