for Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler
A striking juxtaposition opens this history of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II: Japanese American soldiers liberating prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany while "tens of thousands of their relative and friends back home ... were being held against their will." Author Martin Sandler then provides background information on the Japanese coming to America starting at the turn of the twentieth century-the racism they faced as well as the roots they established, especially in California agricultural communities. The detailed accounting of what happened following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor is enriched by vignettes about and stories from individual Japanese Americans who were held captive by their government. Discussion of the political climate and response documents the few courageous enough to speak out against the imprisonment, like the governor of Colorado at the time, and the many who jumped on the bandwagon of hysteria. Sandler draws on many oral histories and a wide range of other source material, all clearly documented, in this standout history that concludes with a chapter that looks at efforts of Japanese Americans to reach out to Muslims in America following 9/11. (Ages 11-14)
CCBC Choices 2014. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014. Used with permission.
While Americans fought for freedom and democracy abroad, fear and suspicion towards Japanese Americans swept the country after Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Culling information from extensive, previously unpublished interviews and oral histories with Japanese American survivors of internment camps, Martin W. Sandler gives an in-depth account of their lives before, during their imprisonment, and after their release. Bringing readers inside life in the internment camps and explaining how a country that is built on the ideals of freedom for all could have such a dark mark on its history, this in-depth look at a troubling period of American history sheds light on the prejudices in today's world and provides the historical context we need to prevent similar abuses of power.
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