During World War 2 when the US was at war with Japan, people of Japanese heritage were moved to internment camps. Uprooted from her lovely home to an ugly desert camp with barbed wire fences, ten-year-old Manami is traumatized when soldiers force her to leave Grandfather’s beloved little dog behind. This is a hard look at war from a child’s point of view but gentled by the love of her family. Partner Paper Wishes with Naomi’s Road, a story about the Japanese internment in Canada from a child’s point of view. Both are excellent reads and filled with hope in spite of the privation.
I seem to be a magnet for books about young girls and their dogs. Authors who write these kinds of books and I always seem to connect instantly, and Lois Sepahban's book is not exception. Mind you, this book also focuses on the Japanese internment camps, something I admit, I knew about, but didn't entirely understand the lengths of.
This book is simple, if beautiful written. It looks at the story of a girl who is whisked away from her normal life and thrown into an internment camp due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Many Japanese families are forced into these camps under levels of suspicion, but when our heroine Manami is torn away from Yujiin her dog, let's just say I bawled.
Then when other dogs started to hang about the camp, yet Manami was still dreaming of Yujiin, I bawled again.
Manami's simple narrative carries the reader through this rough historical period in a way that is very honest and quite blunt. You get a sense that her innocence has been completely lost, and all she has now to gain is experience. She's so young to have her innocence taken from her due to the threats of war, but you understand (as she does) that there is more than meets the eye in her current situation.
This book beautifully illustrates family, companionship between a girl and her dog, friendship, and it does it all in a way that is both easy, yet powerful to read. This book is so short, yet it packs such a large, hard hitting punch. It makes you come to terms with how history has a way of displacing people and making them feel like even if they are innocent of a crime, the world doesn't necessarily see it that way. I felt for Manami and her family, but mostly I spent a lot of the book just wishing and hoping that Manami and Yujiin would be reunited.
Paper Wishes is a beautiful and melancholy novel. It doesn't ask a lot of the reader, but it wants to paint the picture of displacement in a way that many can understand. I highly recommend this book if you love learning about Japanese history or you want a touching middle grade tale.
The little girl had a fierce spirit that was smothered when forced to leave her home. However what I couldn't help but see was how people's fear repeats the same ugly mistakes.
A touching and heart wrenching story that makes you want to cry with sadness and shout with joy. A girl named Manami is sent to a camp in the desert because her town is needed by the army. She tries to smuggle her dog with her, but cannot get him past security. She tries to lure her dog, named Yujiin, back to her by drawing pictures of him and sending them into the air. It gets happier towards the end, but stays slightly sad throughout.
A somewhat slight book, with very simple writing, but effective in communicating to a young elementary audience the plight of Bainbridge Island Japanese families relocated to the Manzanar Resettlement Camp. Young Manami sorely misses her dog, but there is little resolve by the end of this title regarding his situation, or how her family fares.
Japanese-American Manami and her family are evacuated from Bainbridge Island and sent to Manzanar. Their dog is lost, and Manami struggles with her sadness and the new surroundings. A beautifully told story with local interest for Washington State.
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