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Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment

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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 popu 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.


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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 popu 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.

30 review for Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tammy King Carlton

    The scene where Jeanne's mother throws her china dishes onto the floor - one by one - in front of a salesman who wants to buy them for an offensively low price, just because he knows she has no choice -is one of the best moments of triumph of the human spirit over injustice that I have ever read. I will never forget it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    Re-reading this as research for my writing. It was while reading this book during my "Narratives of Interment" course in college that one of my classmates asked the fateful question, "Can we go to California?" "We'll see," our professor replied. He shocked us all a few days later by explaining that the American Studies department would foot the bill for our class to go to Manzanar. We were ecstatic. It was the most moving experience I have ever had. It was totally worth the red eye flight and sle Re-reading this as research for my writing. It was while reading this book during my "Narratives of Interment" course in college that one of my classmates asked the fateful question, "Can we go to California?" "We'll see," our professor replied. He shocked us all a few days later by explaining that the American Studies department would foot the bill for our class to go to Manzanar. We were ecstatic. It was the most moving experience I have ever had. It was totally worth the red eye flight and sleepless night on our return trip, even before we boarded the bus to the camp, for we were going on the annual pilgrimage to Manzanar with former internees.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com FAREWELL TO MANZANAR is the chilling autobiography of a Japanese-American girl who survived the interment camps during World War II. When I began reading this book I had no idea what the "internment" camps were. This is a subject that not many know about and is not a very well-known time in history. "Internment" camps were camps that the American government put together after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor to house all of the Japanese-Americans who lived Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com FAREWELL TO MANZANAR is the chilling autobiography of a Japanese-American girl who survived the interment camps during World War II. When I began reading this book I had no idea what the "internment" camps were. This is a subject that not many know about and is not a very well-known time in history. "Internment" camps were camps that the American government put together after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor to house all of the Japanese-Americans who lived on the west coast. The people were forced to go and didn't have a choice, even if they were born in America and only had Japanese ancestry. The camps were in the middle of the desert, so that the people wouldn't be able to leave. At first I didn't like the book very much. But as I kept reading I began to like it. I can't say that I loved it, because I didn't; it's not a "loving" type of story. I enjoyed learning about something that I knew nothing about. I think all Americans should read this book so that they know that this happened. It is not something that is often talked about, but it should be, so that every American citizen knows about this part that the government played in World War II.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erin Reilly-Sanders

    Reading as an adult, I think I enjoyed the book much more at the beginning. Initially, the story is intriguing, specific, and personal, setting the reader in the moment. It's strength is that it tells a particular and true tale of the Japanese Internment that is not just a story that happens during the time period, but a personal experience and the connections to events before and after the years in Manzanar. Compared to the horrible stories of human atrocities heard from other parts of the worl Reading as an adult, I think I enjoyed the book much more at the beginning. Initially, the story is intriguing, specific, and personal, setting the reader in the moment. It's strength is that it tells a particular and true tale of the Japanese Internment that is not just a story that happens during the time period, but a personal experience and the connections to events before and after the years in Manzanar. Compared to the horrible stories of human atrocities heard from other parts of the world, Jeanne's trials are comparatively not so bad although she does attempt to explain why they affected other members of her family more by assaulting her father's honor and her mother's dignity and the social institution of family. However, in order to keep the book short, the experiences seem to become further apart and less well connected more into the book. While it is a nice memoir, and certainly appropriate for kids, this is not a kid's book despite being about a child. It evolves into much more of a nostalgic look into childhood from an adult perspective and the effects of such a childhood on an adult. I think that the overall piece would have been much stronger had it settled on one particular idea such as dissolving family conditions or dealing with racial shame. Instead, the book does what it attempted to do, help an adult deal with childhood memories while providing a historical document for family members. I would likely recommend other books on the Japanese Internment to children instead of this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leona Petrovic

    Not one of my 800+ Goodreads friends has read this book and I find that very sad. This is definitely a book everyone should read and an injustice everyone should be aware of. Let's learn from history, so we can make sure that certain atrocities are never repeated. This book is fantastic and I am thankful to my dad for giving it to me for my birthday. ❤

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Although I've read a lot of stories written by Holocaust survivors, this was the first book that I have read about the Japanese-American internment camps. This is a part of American history that many, many Americans seem to know nothing about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston has given the reading world a rare and beneficial gift with her historically relevant, emotively rich memoir - Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment. Memoirs, by their very nature, can be quite fickle. Swinging wildly between two distant camps: glossed-over polished affairs or maladroit sensationalized sagas. Jeanne's recounting of her coming-of-age experiences during WWII as an ostracized Japanese Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston has given the reading world a rare and beneficial gift with her historically relevant, emotively rich memoir - Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment. Memoirs, by their very nature, can be quite fickle. Swinging wildly between two distant camps: glossed-over polished affairs or maladroit sensationalized sagas. Jeanne's recounting of her coming-of-age experiences during WWII as an ostracized Japanese-American citizen, interred with her family at Camp Manzanar, is one of the most perfectly balanced, down-to-earth memoirs I've ever read dealing with sensational circumstances. She blends countable facts with personal reflections (some hilarious, others quite painful) in such a quiet, non-abrasive tone. It felt like I was listening to a friend revisiting her memories aloud for understanding, clarification, and healing closure. Truly, a wonderful reading/learning experience in so many ways. Frankly, I'm surprised it isn't more highly rated and more widely read by an adult audience. Apparently, it is widely utilized in classroom curriculum's. But just because Jeanne's memoir focuses on her coming-of-age war experience, that, in and of itself, doesn't make it a juvenile exclusive book. I don't know about other library systems, but San Diego doesn't even label it as juvenile non-fiction. Even if it were, I would still recommend it to young and old alike. FIVE ***** Historically Relevant and Non-abrasively Honest, Memoir ***** STARS

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathrina

    There's a lot of baggage associated with this title -- It pops up frequently on required reading lists for schools. Oh, the irony of being forced to read a book about people being forced against their wills. Also, the work was one of the first published narratives documenting the internment experience, and the author's intended audience, as she explains in the afterword, was not specifically for young readers (although, of course, she welcomes its popularity in classroom curriculum). I don't lik There's a lot of baggage associated with this title -- It pops up frequently on required reading lists for schools. Oh, the irony of being forced to read a book about people being forced against their wills. Also, the work was one of the first published narratives documenting the internment experience, and the author's intended audience, as she explains in the afterword, was not specifically for young readers (although, of course, she welcomes its popularity in classroom curriculum). I don't like the historical tendency in publishing to attach a "young reader" label to a work, simply because the narrator is a young person. That seems to be changing in the last few years, but when this work first hit the scene in the early 70's, it was instantly labeled a work for youth, and therefore missed an audience, for decades, and maybe still, that should have been familiar with it, especially since there remains a relative lack of Japanese-American internment narratives in print. The fist half of the work is an easily accessible description of life before and during the internment; but the second half is a mediation on the effects of the experience on the rest of her life, a pilgrimage to the desolate geography of the camp, and a reckoning with her father's memory. Young readers required to read this for a class are likely to lose interest at this point, and the adult readers who might find this narrative rewarding might never discover it as material appropriate for their demographic. The empathic turn has been too sharp for most readers, and requires a really deft teacher to pull them through. Parallels to current racist tendencies, as the author relates her narrative to 9/11, might be good opportunities to ease readers through the turn.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I was incensed at the government for the first time in my life after reading this at age 11. That was the first time I looked at the myths of our country critically. I think it's sad that they only way children learn about the Japanese internment situation is through reading outside of school.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    3.75 stars This is the memoir of a woman who lived in a Japanese internment camp when she was very young (age 7-11). While the internment is a key part of the book, it’s also about family and how events like this shaped them for years to come. It’s not very long and feels like it was written for a younger audience, though Jeanne says her goal was just to make it accessible to many ages. It’s kind of hard to rate. I have family in Tulelake on the Oregon-California border. I was much older before I k 3.75 stars This is the memoir of a woman who lived in a Japanese internment camp when she was very young (age 7-11). While the internment is a key part of the book, it’s also about family and how events like this shaped them for years to come. It’s not very long and feels like it was written for a younger audience, though Jeanne says her goal was just to make it accessible to many ages. It’s kind of hard to rate. I have family in Tulelake on the Oregon-California border. I was much older before I knew there had been an internment camp there, and I went and saw it a few years ago. Not much is left. Part of me can’t believe something like that could happen — Asians weren’t even allowed to become citizens until the 1950s — yet every once in a while I see on social media calls to round up “those people,” usually referring to people with different opinions. This should probably be required reading for junior high; it often is. Book Blog

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terri Lynn

    Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston really breathes life into history with this book which tells the real-life story of her internment in a relocation camp during World War 2. It is no secret that the USA is a racist country and always has been. Asians met with the same hateful behavior that Native Americans, blacks, etc have faced. I was glad to see the point made in the book by a person who sued the US government for being imprisoned during the war without having committed any crime nor undergone due pro Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston really breathes life into history with this book which tells the real-life story of her internment in a relocation camp during World War 2. It is no secret that the USA is a racist country and always has been. Asians met with the same hateful behavior that Native Americans, blacks, etc have faced. I was glad to see the point made in the book by a person who sued the US government for being imprisoned during the war without having committed any crime nor undergone due process or court trial that both Germany and Italy were our enemies during the war yet there was no interment camps for German-Americans nor Italian-Americans (maybe they were too white?) . This is something my own father used to rant about when I was a child. He had been drafted as a young man into the war and sent to the Pacific where he nearly fell victim to Japanese kamikaze pilots and was at one time a prisoner of war of the Japanese and brutally tortured and abused yet remained refreshingly non-racist and spoke out against the internment as being racist and against our murdering and injuring Japanese housewives, babies, toddlers, grandmas, school kids, nurses, etc at Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the Japanese had attacked a military installation and we brutally and viciously acted like barbarians and murdered innocent civilians on purpose. Jeanne and thousands of other Japanese-Americans, almost all who had been born in the USA and who mostly had never even been to Japan were essentially rounded up like the Nazis rounded up the Jews, based on being of Japanese heritage. They were herded into desert areas into squalid conditions that would cause a landlord to be deemed a slum lord and held prisoner for years with no charges of any crime leveled against them and no recourse. They lost their homes, businesses, and everything they owned. Jeanne's story is about one family, her family, and what happened to them. I am richer emotionally from having read her story. This book reads like a conversation between friends. It was like she was talking directly to me. Even after they were freed (many just tossed out of the camps after the war with no where to go and everything lost) , it was as if there was still barbed wire between them and the rest of society as racism took the place of the barbed wire as a very real barrier they had to overcome.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    I saw this movie way back in junior high, but I couldn't remember having read the book. A straightforward, easy to read, first-person account of something that never should have happened here in America. The author was only seven years old at the time her family went into the camp. It's interesting to read her views of the situation as a child, then later in the book to see her perspective looking back, when she realizes the long-term effects of that early experience.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grace, Queen of Crows and Tomes

    A good look at a part of American history that many Americans may not know about, the internment camps during World War II that housed Japanese Americans for about three years. This story tells about life in one of the camps, Manzanar, and how it affected the author and her family. It also tells about the after effects that staying at the camp had on the author long after she left. Highly recommend 👍

  14. 5 out of 5

    RJ from the LBC

    The author's memoirs of her coming of age years, centered around time spent with her family in a WWII Internment Camp. I read this along with my daughter's 8th grade English class and learned a lot about this regrettable period of American history. The book is written to be accessible for a YA audience while also remaining interesting to adult readers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    An incredible book that taught me a lot about the Manzanar internment camp, which I wasn't very familiar with. It explores the effect of this on Jeanne and her family during this time, and also after. It's quick, easy to follow and well worth the read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    FreeFormLady

    Also see my thoughts in this BookTube video https://youtu.be/mQg1U7pOca0 3.5 STARS I read this book shortly after reading When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. That book gave me all the FEELS and I gave it 4 stars. I really enjoyed this book, but I could not give it 4 stars because it did not provoke my emotions like the previous book. However, this book did give a lot of facts from history. I liked the timeline given at the front of the book. I also liked the fact the author explained a lot Also see my thoughts in this BookTube video https://youtu.be/mQg1U7pOca0 3.5 STARS I read this book shortly after reading When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. That book gave me all the FEELS and I gave it 4 stars. I really enjoyed this book, but I could not give it 4 stars because it did not provoke my emotions like the previous book. However, this book did give a lot of facts from history. I liked the timeline given at the front of the book. I also liked the fact the author explained a lot of the laws surrounding the internment camps. This story also goes into how Jeanne's life was affected after leaving the camp which was very interesting. I STILL HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. I absolutely enjoyed reading a first hand account of this experience. I also love learning about points in U.S. history that are neglected because they don't fit into the pretty picture that many like to believe about its history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    It would have been good, but we read Night right before we read it. Night makes Farewell to Manzanar look like summer camp.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    One of the many atrocities committed by the U.S. Government was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the Pacific coast. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Many consider the internment to have resulted more from racism than from any securit One of the many atrocities committed by the U.S. Government was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the Pacific coast. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Many consider the internment to have resulted more from racism than from any security risk posed by Japanese Americans. Hopefully, this will never happen in our country again but the current atmosphere regarding Muslims and terrorism may prove that things haven't changed. Farewell to Manzanar tells the story of the Wakatsuki family before, during, and after their forced internment at Manzanar located in Owens Valley at the foot of the Sierra mountains in California. The story is narrated by Jeanne, the youngest Wakatsuki member who at age 7 was moved along with her family from their life in San Pedro California where her father, Ko, was a successful fisherman. Ko was arrested as a collaborator and sent to a camp in North Dakota while the rest of the family was sent to Manzanar. They could only take what they could carry and many possessions had to be left behind. Rather than sell her expensive china set to a salesman at a ridiculously low price because she has no choice, Jeanne's mother smashes her dishes onto the floor in front of him...one of the best scenes in the story! Jeanne tells how her life really began at Manzanar which left her self-conscious about her race and identity for the rest of her life. The book details the poor conditions they faced when they arrived and how they eventually made Manzanar their home. At the end, they were reluctant to leave because of the fear of being outcasts in post-war society. Overall, a very effective and touching memoir that I would recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book really changed my life as a youth. My parents both encouraged me to read it. Specifically my mother who is not that Japanese side of my heritage. My great grandparents on my father's side were originally from Japan. My grandfather who was full blooded first generation American fought in WWII. My great uncle however did not and was with his family put into a Japanese internment camp. It gave me a view into what my family went through. Brothers divided on the idea of the war and the susp This book really changed my life as a youth. My parents both encouraged me to read it. Specifically my mother who is not that Japanese side of my heritage. My great grandparents on my father's side were originally from Japan. My grandfather who was full blooded first generation American fought in WWII. My great uncle however did not and was with his family put into a Japanese internment camp. It gave me a view into what my family went through. Brothers divided on the idea of the war and the suspicion that my family had to endure simply for the fact that their parents were from Japan. It is something that is not exactly spoken about in my family, I only have little bits and pieces to go off of but this book opened my eyes to what life might of been like for my great uncle and his family. I really should re-read it now that I'm older.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    "I smiled and sat down, suddenly aware of what being of Japanese ancestry was going to be like. I wouldn't be faced with physical attack, or with overt shows of hatred. Rather, I would be seen as someone foreign, or as someone other than American, or perhaps not be seen at all." I knew quite a bit about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII going into this book, but this was a really important and honest look into what everyday life was like for the internees. I would definitely encour "I smiled and sat down, suddenly aware of what being of Japanese ancestry was going to be like. I wouldn't be faced with physical attack, or with overt shows of hatred. Rather, I would be seen as someone foreign, or as someone other than American, or perhaps not be seen at all." I knew quite a bit about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII going into this book, but this was a really important and honest look into what everyday life was like for the internees. I would definitely encourage more people to read this!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara H

    This is the tragic story about how the US government treated its own citizens in WWII. Thousands of Japanese American people, many of whom were born in this country, were placed in internment camps to "protect" the American people. Is this hindsight or were people actually deluded into believing the Japanese Americans were a threat? Judge for your own opinion on this controversial topic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Reading about the WW II internment camps for American citizens from a child’s point of view maybe and probably is a simplified example of what actually happened and how it harmed the lives of those involved. But Ms. Wakatsuki did a great job. The story is well written and informative, an easy recommendation. This is a subject that has intrigued me since elementary school. Too young to be overly prejudiced I found it incredible that the government could imprison its citizens. Lesson learned? Gove Reading about the WW II internment camps for American citizens from a child’s point of view maybe and probably is a simplified example of what actually happened and how it harmed the lives of those involved. But Ms. Wakatsuki did a great job. The story is well written and informative, an easy recommendation. This is a subject that has intrigued me since elementary school. Too young to be overly prejudiced I found it incredible that the government could imprison its citizens. Lesson learned? Government is not always good or benevolent, but is a power that can do both good and also cause great harm. I’ve never been trustful since.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rade

    So you got Jeanne, a very young girl who is thrown into a world full of confusion, racism, and prejudice, all of which she does not understand right away. On the other hand, you got her father who drinks a lot and expresses his hatred toward their situation as well as his disagreements on the way Japanese people have been treated. He is very traditional. believing in honor, courage, and respect, a ways of life which have not only been challenged but also are slowly disappearing from his children So you got Jeanne, a very young girl who is thrown into a world full of confusion, racism, and prejudice, all of which she does not understand right away. On the other hand, you got her father who drinks a lot and expresses his hatred toward their situation as well as his disagreements on the way Japanese people have been treated. He is very traditional. believing in honor, courage, and respect, a ways of life which have not only been challenged but also are slowly disappearing from his children, making him highly unstable and about to go off on a verbal rampage at any mention of his children trying to assimilate to the US culture. This was evident few times throughout the book, but mostly during the time when Jeanne mentioned she wanted to join a Catholic church, as well as when she mentioned she wanted to be a sort of a prom queen at her school, an honor unheard off during this time among the Oriental people. Her father drank a lot and her mother, while a rather timid person in nature just sat back and tried to avid physical violence that could be inflicted on her by her a violent drunk of a husband. This also scared all the children to a point where they hid in their room and hoped for the best. She was a more of a calm and rational person who wanted her children to be something and enjoy life as much as possible. Besides her family, you got Jeanne, a naive little girl who does not seem to fit anywhere due to her background. At school she does not seem to fit anywhere and at home she gets discriminated against due to her Oriental background. Once she went to a real school the first question her classmates asked her was , "you can speak English?". In a way this was very similar to my upbringing when the kids not only asked me whether I can speak English but also tried to get me in trouble by teaching me to say "fuck", "shit" and plenty of other forbidden obscenities. Anyway, I am totally shitfaced (out partying too long) right now but this book was overall a rather dull attempt to portray a life of struggle and a need to fit and feel accepted. During many times I felt sorry for this girl and her family (as well as others around her) because she is not only pushed away but she is also prevented from enjoying life as a young girl should be able to do. This is coming from me, a person who was thrown into a school full of strangers who spoke a language that could not be more foreign to me. Trust me, I know all about this but on a smaller level. Jeanne experienced a hatred far harsher than me but the important thing is that she manged to overcome it, even if it always stayed with her as a reminder of hatred projected from one race to another. Even at the end she had a nerve needle in her mind that was a reminder that life can change in second, for better or worse.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    It's been about six years since I read this, but I remember it fondly. The internment camps of the WWII era tend to get overshadowed in the study of history, which I find to be disgraceful. Yes, the Holocaust and the atomic bomb are vital events in the history of the world, and I'm not suggesting that we ignore them by any means. But the internment camps need to be talked about: if they're glossed over or ignored, Americans run the risk of forgetting that our country was at war with two other nat It's been about six years since I read this, but I remember it fondly. The internment camps of the WWII era tend to get overshadowed in the study of history, which I find to be disgraceful. Yes, the Holocaust and the atomic bomb are vital events in the history of the world, and I'm not suggesting that we ignore them by any means. But the internment camps need to be talked about: if they're glossed over or ignored, Americans run the risk of forgetting that our country was at war with two other nations but only shut immigrants from one up in camps... if that's not racial profiling, I don't know how you'd define it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Great memoir that tells the story of Japanese internment through the eyes of a girl who was 7 when she arrived there. Great for history buffs and even more so for history teachers. The author describes her experiences at the camp in vivid detail and - even more powerfully - explains the impact of those experiences on her after she left the camp. Teachers of adolescents can do amazing things with passages from the book that relate to identity and self-image. Good, quick read that can be read on m Great memoir that tells the story of Japanese internment through the eyes of a girl who was 7 when she arrived there. Great for history buffs and even more so for history teachers. The author describes her experiences at the camp in vivid detail and - even more powerfully - explains the impact of those experiences on her after she left the camp. Teachers of adolescents can do amazing things with passages from the book that relate to identity and self-image. Good, quick read that can be read on many different levels!

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Schmalz

    This is the heart warming story of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and her family's relocation to the camp Manzanar. It was a touching book that made me shed many a tear for the tragedy that we call World War Two. Farewell to Manzanar lets you feel the obstacles that plagued the Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. It starts with one of the only tastes of normal life Jeanne had before Manzanar and even this was not quite normal. All in all I'd rate this 4 out of 5.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karina Escajeda

    A tough book to read, and a great read-aloud history lesson for the ELL high school classroom.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    A first person account of a Japanese Interment Camp during the WW2 epoch. I highly recommend.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    3.5/5 You cannot deport 110,000 people unless you have stopped seeing individuals. I'm not sure when I first learned about the Japanese internment camps in the US, but it was long enough ago that it seems rather odd that it took me this long to read an official book on the matter. Admittedly, Obasan crossed my path a while back, but there's a sharp difference between creative invocations of trauma in lands where names that, while physically nearer than Japan, are still foreign to me, and strai 3.5/5 You cannot deport 110,000 people unless you have stopped seeing individuals. I'm not sure when I first learned about the Japanese internment camps in the US, but it was long enough ago that it seems rather odd that it took me this long to read an official book on the matter. Admittedly, Obasan crossed my path a while back, but there's a sharp difference between creative invocations of trauma in lands where names that, while physically nearer than Japan, are still foreign to me, and straightforward recountals that include mention of locations I am intimately familiar with: Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Jose, the last of which I'll be attending university in in a few short months. The book was informative to the point that I could have happily read on about Woody Wakatsuki's re-connection with his aristocratic relatives and the vast space of decades between Jeanette's homecoming queen march and her revisiting of Manzanar with a husband and three children in tow, but that story will have to be guesstimated through the reading of other accounts, fictional and non. I found Wakatsuki-Houston's framing of her narrative watered down compared to 'Obasan', but when one is composing a narrative in a 'civilization' that is still fully capable of locking you away at the drop of a hat, I understand the need to choose one's battles. In addition to the traditionally racist organizations like the American Legion and The Native Sons of The Golden West, who had been agitating against the west-coast Japanese for decades, new groups had sprung up during the war, with the specific purpose of preventing anyone of Japanese descent from returning to the coast—groups like No Japs Incorporated in San Diego, The Home Front Commandoes in Sacramento, and The Pacific Coast Japanese Problem League in Los Angeles. We live in dangerous times. There are (once again) children in concentration camps, Nazis in video game chat servers, and a petty know nothing fascist who threatens the lives and loves and hopes and dreams of billions through his mere existence at one of the pinnacles of power of this mortal plane. Wakatsuki-Houston's memoir is a lesson in the mundanity of genocide, as there was nothing in place to guarantee that any of the interned would make it out of the camp alive. The litany of names of white supremacist organizations that the author supplies, some more innocuously phrased than others, goes to show what happens when the mainstream values the free build up of toxic waste over the right of all human beings to be human beings, both in public and in private. Pacifists are sustained only when the eye of the media has invested various states with the incentive to protect certain groups free of charge, and tell me, how long will that last in a world where water is threatened with privatization and child labor is praised in clickbait articles?If only Wakatsuki Houston's was simply a memoir. If only it weren't yet another warning for those who insist on making peace until the world burns them all down. Jeanne Wakatsuki-Houston survived. She got out, got through, and even thrived in some people's definitions. However, there are many instances where she talks about how the concentration camps broke the spine of the spirits of her father, her family, her culture, and her self, as well as the origins of the obsessions the US has today with sushi, otakus, anime, and all the rest of a country it bled to the point but not quite of bleeding out. This is what has made the world go round, in varying degrees, for the last five hundred years, and there is nothing magical about the more sizable disasters that are bred on such circumnavigational atrocity. There is merely the build up, the crescendo, and the fallout. The problem is, this putrid mainstream bred on tales of heroism and moral dichotomies wants to be heroes the easy way. It's too bad that this guarantees they're well on their way to becoming a, if boring and predictable, villain. "What do you think of the attack on Pearl Harbor?" "I am sad for both countries. It is the kind of thing that always happens when military men are in control."

  30. 4 out of 5

    Xian Xian

    If you guys are wondering why I'm reading more non-fiction than I usually do, it is my goal for the year to read more non-fiction books and also because I'm taking an online history class as an elective. This book was short and the font is pretty darn big since it's apparently a young adult book. Like, literally on the back cover it literally has the website link, www.Randomhouse.com/teens. This is a memoir about Wakatsuki Houston's childhood as a Japanese American during WWII. She writes about If you guys are wondering why I'm reading more non-fiction than I usually do, it is my goal for the year to read more non-fiction books and also because I'm taking an online history class as an elective. This book was short and the font is pretty darn big since it's apparently a young adult book. Like, literally on the back cover it literally has the website link, www.Randomhouse.com/teens. This is a memoir about Wakatsuki Houston's childhood as a Japanese American during WWII. She writes about her experience as a teen and after they left the camp. The Manzanar Japanese internment camp is something I've never heard about in history textbooks or anywhere else. I do remember reading a novel that takes place in a Japanese internment camp when I was in elementary school. It was written through the perspective of a young Japanese boy, if you're interested in that novel, it was called The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559 Mirror Lake Internment Camp, which came from a spin-off series of Dear America. Of course, a lot of what went on in that novel is nothing compared to this memoir. It's heart breaking, really, and this still occurs today all throughout the world. Since this is a memoir, is is focused on the writer herself, but you still do learn some historical information you would never learn unless you were interested in the topic and had the motivation to do some research instead of randomly stumbling upon it. I remember reading about the Fred Korematsu V. United States case multiple times throughout the school years, but I never knew that the man went under the knife to change the shape of his eyes and changed his name to an English one to escape the persecution or how Japanese Americans didn't become naturalized American citizens until 1952. Farewell to Manzanar focuses a lot on the strength and value of family in the state of dysfunction. What do you do when suddenly everything is stripped away from you? What do you when people persecute and wish harm on you just because you look a certain way and speak a different language? Will people learn from the damage done and not allow it to repeat in the future? I'm kind of lost for words on this and I've rated this three stars because I knew this was not an easy book to write. I felt underwhelmed by it, but I knew that with memoirs it is expected to write what would captivate the audience. I hope this book was a form of healing for her. And I'm also new to memoirs, I believe this is my first one. If people place their selves in her shoes, in this situation, then hopefully people would understand.

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