Kids & Parents
Teens & Tweens
Concentration Camps and the United States
I am an American : a True Story of Japanese Internment
Illustrated with black-and-white photographs. Young Shi Nomura was among the 120,000 American citizens who lost everything when he was sent by the U.S. government to Manzanar, an interment camp in the California desert, simply because he was of Japanese ancestry.
Farewell to Manzanar : a true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment
During World War II a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life. At age thirty-seven, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston recalls life at Manzanar through the eyes of the child she was. She tells of her fear, confusion, and bewilderment as well as the dignity and great resourcefulness of people in oppressive and demeaning circumstances. Written with her husband, Jeanne delivers a powerful first-person account that reveals her search for the meaning of Manzanar. Farewell to Manzanar has become a staple of curriculum in schools and on campuses across the country. Last year the San Francisco Chronicle named it one of the twentieth century"s 100 best nonfiction books from west of the Rockies. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Remembering Manzanar : life in a Japanese relocation camp
In this close look at the first relocation camp built for Japanese evacuees living on the West Coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, social historian Michael Cooper makes extensive use of the actual wordsfrom diaries, journals, memoirs, and news accountsof the people who were held behind barbed wire in the high California desert. Many were American citizens who felt betrayed by their country. They had to leave their jobs, their homes, and their friends and go live in crowded barracks, eat in noisy mess halls, and do without supplies or books for work or schooling. They showed remarkable bravery and resilience as they tried to lead normal lives, starting their own schools, playing baseball, attending Saturday night dances, and publishing their own newspaper. Archival photographs, some by Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, augment the informative text. Manzanar is now a National Historic Site and hosts an annual pilgrimage that is attended by former internees, their families, and friends. Endnotes, Internet resources, index. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Taken captive : a Japanese POW's story
"I do not know whether I dozed off or passed out, but the next thing I remember is gradually becoming aware of a blunt object striking my body over and over. Just as I realized it was a boot kicking me in the side, I felt my arm being grabbed roughly, and I returned to full consciousness. "One GI had hold of my right arm, and another had his rifle pointed at me, nearly touching me. "'Don't move. We're taking you prisoner,' the one with the rifle said." On January 25, 1945, Private Ooka Shohei of the Japanese Imperial Army was captured by American forces in the Philippines. Near death from starvation and acute malaria, he was nursed back to health by his captors and shipped off to a POW camp. Taken Captive is his powerful and poignant account of life as a prisoner of war. Long regarded as a literary classic in Japan, this extraordinary memoir is appearing in English for the first time. There are no epic battles or grand scale heroics. This is an intimate, gripping, and ultimately enlightening true story of a sophisticated, middle-aged scholar thrown into a primitive struggle for survival. It is filled with moments of sublime ordinariness-prisoners passing time by playing "20 Questions"-and heartstopping encounters-a lone soldier decides whether or not to shoot an unsuspecting enemy soldier. The harsh conditions, the daily routines that occupy a prisoner's time, and above all, the psychological struggles and behavioral quirks of captives forced to live in close confinement are conveyed with devastating simplicity and candor. Throughout, the author constantly probes his own conscience, questioning motivations and decisions. What emerges is a multileveled portrait of an individual determined to retain his humanity in an uncivilized environment. In Taken Captive, Ooka Shohei provides much more than an unprecedented look at the POW experience from a Japanese point of view. His stirring account offers a penetrating exploration of Japanese society, and its values, as embodied by the microcosm of his fellow POWs. Recalling his wartime experiences, Ooka Shohei has created a brilliant work of rare honesty, insight, and emotional subtlety. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Whispered silences : Japanese Americans and World War II
Historian Gary Okihiro recounts the story of the American detention camps to which 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them US citizens, were sent during WWII. His text is accompanied by photographer Joan Myers's stark b&w photographs of all ten of the camps where Japanese Americans were held. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
We were not the enemy : remembering the United States' Latin-American civilian internment program of World War II
The United States clandestinely funds the operation of a huge prison in Cuba. Men, women, and children are spirited away from their homes and imprisoned indefinitely. No charges are made; no legal counsel is allowed. Newspapers fill with stories of espionage and enemies. Current events? No.During World War II, the United States used tactics remarkably similar to those in use today against presumed terrorists. By 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt had covertly authorized J. Edgar Hoover's Secret Intelligence Service to begin surveillance of Axis nationals in Latin America. Believing that "all German nationals without exception are] dangerous," the United States surreptitiously pressured Latin-American countries to arrest and deport more than four thousand civilians of German ethnicity to the United States. There, many languished in internment camps, while others were shipped to war-torn Germany.As my parents, German-born Werner Gurcke and his American wife, Starr, began their lives together in Costa Rica, he was falsely labeled one of the country's most dangerous enemy aliens. Soon she, too, was considered "dangerous to the . safety of the United Nations." From newlyweds to parents, innocent civilians to dangerous enemies, prisoners to internees, "We Were Not the Enemy" tells their story.
Check the library catalog for more »
How to Participate
Subscribe to eNews
Authors @ kpl
Book Club in a Bag
Books and Reading Topic Guide
Staff Picks: Book Reviews