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Search tags: Jeanne-Wakatsuki-Houston
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text 2014-12-26 18:05
Amazon US Sale: A Children's Book about US History - Farewell to Manzanar
Farewell to Manzanar - James D. Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

I've had this book on my TBR list for years, but at $1.99 I snagged it immediately. It's used in California schools to teach children about the World War II internment camps, a subject that is too easily forgotten. In fact it's a subject that many, many Americans would really rather not discuss, even now.

 

Wikipedia: Manzanar:

"Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California's Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles (370 km) northeast of Los Angeles. Manzanar (which means "apple orchard" in Spanish) was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former camp sites, and is now the Manzanar National Historic Site, which preserves and interprets the legacy of Japanese American incarceration in the United States."

The book on sale is Farewell to Manzanar, and as I just wrote, many elementary schools in California have used it as a reading assignment. This is one of those little-thought-about facts about US education: you'll get a different perspective on US history depending on what parts of that history took place in your own state. Because those local places are what's going to be referenced in your class to give you the immediate story of your state, and then you'll move on to the larger image of your country. So for instance I had a different sort of history about the US, both the settlers and the Civil War, from learning it in Kansas schools. Since then I've read both state history books (some used to be part of state curriculum - I'm looking at you, Texas) and looked at reading lists for other states, and it's been a great way to learn. Not to mention observe changing perspectives.

 

Which brings me back to Manzanar - even in high school the US internment camps were glossed over in the World War II discussions - at my school anyway. So I applaud the idea of continuing to share this part of history.

 

I'm still disappointed that I never made it to see the national park area that Manzanar has now become. I'm glad it's been preserved.

 

Now having said all that, I've also not read the book myself, so I have no idea what it's like to read. But because of the price and the fact that I almost always find biographies/memoirs interesting, I'm going to start it later today. Hopefully.

 

Amazon US: Farewell to Manzanar

(Remember, that $2 is a US price.)

 

Wikipedia: Farewell to Manzanar:

"...a memoir published in 1973 by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. The book describes the experiences of Jeanne Wakatsuki and her family before, during and following their imprisonment at the Manzanar concentration camp due to the United States government's internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. It was adapted into a made-for-TV movie in 1976 starring Yuki Shimoda, Nobu McCarthy, James Saito, Pat Morita and Mako."

 

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review 2009-03-01 00:00
Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment
Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston;James D. Houston I bought this book in the "classics" section of a used bookstore. I wouldn't classify this book as classic but it's still a very nice read. The characters are a bit shallow and it's hard to feel anything for them because of it. The story held me enough to want to read more but also kept me from 'loving' it. A solid book about a Japanese American family during WW2.
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review 2008-12-15 00:00
Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston;James D. Houston 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.
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review 2007-01-01 00:00
Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston;James D. Houston Jeanne Watatsuki Houston recalls her family's internment in Manzanar, one of the Western camps to which Japanese citizens and non-citizens alike were evacuated after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Houston's story has a special poignancy because there were aspects of the camp that became familiar and comfortable to her. She describes her family's history before and after their years in the camp as a context for the interpersonal strains during their internment. In addition, she describes the phenomenon of not fitting in as a more general developmental issue, one made particularly acute in her case by the intersection of adolescence and racism.Since the research shows that most people who were interned in these camps did not discuss the experience with their own children, and that those who did have only a very brief conversation about it, Houston's account is all the more important and moving. Read in conjunction with Kessler's Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family and Wiesel's Night for comparison and contrast.
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