Synopsis: Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp--with 10,000 other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons and a dance band called the Jive Bombers who would play any popular song except the nation’s #1 hit: "Don't Fence Me In." Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese-American family's attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States. (from the back of the book)
Review: Told from the viewpoint of Jeanne Wakatsuki, this covers her experience as a child in the Internment camps for Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. Jeanne left California at seven and spent over three years in the camps. Not only does she speak about the trip there, and life in the camps, but she speaks intimately about how being in the camps effected the rest of her life. This is what makes the book so powerful. Not only to we walk through the camps with her, but we walk through the camps after. Several times she states that her Father died in the camps, although he lived for twelve years after. This is a profound statement in that illustrated how the camps followed those imprisoned there long after the camps were reduced to rubble and dust. When I learned about this part of our history, we never spoke about life after, so this was the first time I understood the lasting effects of what our government did to our citizens. Given today’s particular social and political climate, this book is a vital read.
Bookmarks: 4 of 5
Year Published: 1973
Date Finished: 2-8-2017