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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award Finalist

From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese-American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass US incarcerations of World War II.

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.

©2020 Traci Chee (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: 10 Audiobooks to Listen to on the Day of Remembrance


In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, mandating the removal of Japanese Americans from their homes. Nearly 120,000 Japanese immigrants and native born Japanese Americans were imprisoned in concentration camps for the duration of World War II. We need to bear witness to the atrocities committed by the United States government and the pain our leadership caused innocent men, women, and children of Japanese heritage.

What listeners say about We Are Not Free

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A must read for anyone and everyone!

These stories are amazing to hear. Not much I can say but just pick it up and start reading!

2 people found this helpful

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Heart-wrenching

Tragic telling of the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent from the perspective of teenagers. Although the book is fiction, it is based on actual experiences of the author. Made my heart ache.

1 person found this helpful

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We should not forget

We just bought a several copies for our students. Calling with different names something doesn’t make right or forgotten.

1 person found this helpful

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Brought me to tears.

The author has taken a subject that many “boomers” were shielded from hearing in history class and brought it to its heartbreaking, gut wrenching life. Toward the final chapters, I wept as the story unfolds to the point where the characters all intersect.

It was moving, exceptionally well performed by the readers and I will never pass an internment camp again without pausing to remember the atrocities that occurred on that soil.

You should get this book. Don’t hesitate

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Sorry to be harsh

I don't think the author knew what story she wanted to tell, friendship internment, family, or war. in the end she didn't tell any of them well.