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Farewell to Manzanar by James D. Houston

Farewell to Manzanar (original 1973; edition 1995)

by James D. Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki

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1,774275,919 (3.69)36
Title:Farewell to Manzanar
Authors:James D. Houston
Other authors:Jeanne Wakatsuki
Info:Laurel Leaf Books (1995), Mass Market Paperback, 203 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston (1973)

  1. 10
    The Fences Between Us : the Diary of Piper Davis by Kirby Larson (keristars)
    keristars: A rather obvious recommendation, but just in case: both books are about the Japanese-American Internment in WW2. One from a Japanese-American girl's point of view (and a memoir), the other is a fictional diary from a white American girl's point of view.

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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. ( )
  empress8411 | Feb 10, 2017 |
A memoir of growing up Japanese before, during, and after WWII and of life in the internment camp Manzanar, 1942–45. The parts that stuck with me the most were where Houston shows how internment tore apart her family psychologically, especially destroying her father, and how deeply she internalized the racism of that decision of the U.S. government as a pre-teen and carried that message through the rest of her life.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
a teen book. maybe this would be interesting if this was the first you'd heard of this government treatment. ( )
  mahallett | Jun 10, 2016 |
Interesting. And not heartbreaking. Of course our treatment of the people of Japanese heritage was reprehensible - but after all, Manzanar wasn't a concentration camp. This is much more than a story of the camp, it is a story of a family, and of two nations and their war. All in a relatively short read accessible to all readers from young teens through adult.

I particularly liked the father's response to an interrogation about his loyalty, whether it was to Japan or to the US. The examiner asks which nation the father would like to win, and is answered: When your mother and father are having a fight, do you want them to kill each other? Or do you just want them to stop fighting?"

The description attached to this edition is much more true to the book than the one on the back of the book, which is the one attached to the currently most popular edition, so I'm copying it below:

Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp. This 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 U.S.

" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Nick Landrum
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houstonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Houston, James D.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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It is sobering to recall that though the Japanese relocation program, carried through at such incalculable cost in misery and tragedy, was justified on the ground that the Japanese were potentially disloyal, the record does not disclose a single case of Japanese disloyalty or sabotage during the whole war...
Henry Steele Commager, Harper's Magazine, 1947

Life has left her footprints on my forehead
But I have become a child again this morning
The smile, seen through leaves and flowers, is back, too smooth
Away the wrinkles
As the rains wipe away footprints on the beach. Again a
Cycle of birth and death begins.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Viet Nam Poems (1967)
To the Memory of Ko and Riku Wakatsuki and Woodrow M. Wakatsuki
First words
On that first weekend in December there must have been twenty or twenty-five boats getting ready to leave.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553272586, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston relates her experiences of living at the Manzanar internment camp during World War II and how it has influenced her life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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