After Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor, over 100,000 Japanese Americans were ordered to leave their homes. The government was afraid that because they looked like “the enemy,” they might be spies. One American, librarian Clara Breed, was heartbroken and outraged. As the San Diego Public Library’s Children’s Librarian, Miss Breed was close to many of the children who were evacuated. She went to the train station the day they left, handing out postcards and telling them to send her letters. During the years the children were in camps, she sent letters, books, supplies, and treats. She became someone the children could count on and someone they could talk to outside the crowded, dirty camps.
Award-winning author Joanne Oppenheim was inspired to write this story after being reunited with a childhood Japanese American friend who was evacuated.
©2006 Joanne Oppenheim (P)2008 Recorded Books
“...Deserves commendation for its sheer quantity of accessible, exhaustively researched information about a troubling period, more resonant now than ever, when American ideals were compromised by fear and unfortunate racial assumptions." (Booklist, Starred Review)
This is and isn't all at the same time. It is the story of a Caucasian San Diego Librarian who befriended local Japanese American children during the internment, and it is their stories as well. Yet, it seems like there is so much more to tell about her life and those of the internees. I enjoyed it very much, and thought it well written. I did so want to know more about this extraordinary woman, who certainly risked her job taking on an unpopular position. I think the story was handled well overall. I am glad to see more material, and perhaps, as a Native Son, I am gladdened to see that not all Californians were swept up in anti-Japanese hysteria.
Once the tempo of the book was stable, it became much more enjoyable. the story itself is well written and able give the general experience of the Japanese internment.
Miss breed is the star of this book, but the young children in the camps are the real heroes.
The pace of reading is very slow and some of the time with a bit over acting. I heard the book at 1.5 times pace.
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