Fighting For Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II

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A stirring account of Japanese Americans in World War II, based mainly on diaries, autobiographies, and the military records of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was known as the Purple Heart Battalion because of its bravery. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, all people on the West Coast of Japanese heritage, whether resident aliens or citizens, were forced to move into internment camps. But 1,200 young men from the camps, along with 10,000 other GIs of Japanese heritage, became some of the most ...

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Overview

A stirring account of Japanese Americans in World War II, based mainly on diaries, autobiographies, and the military records of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was known as the Purple Heart Battalion because of its bravery. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, all people on the West Coast of Japanese heritage, whether resident aliens or citizens, were forced to move into internment camps. But 1,200 young men from the camps, along with 10,000 other GIs of Japanese heritage, became some of the most decorated soldiers in the war as part of the 442nd. Author Michel L. Cooper tells of the remarkable bravery of these Nisei soldiers, whose heroism in battles in Europe contrasted with the prejudice that Japanese Americans faced at home. Chronology, end notes, suggestions for further research, index.

Examines the history of Japanese in the United States, focusing on their treatment during World War II, including the mass relocation to internment camps and the distinguished service of Japanese Americans in the American military.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Cooper provides a vivid account of the heroic WWII combat experiences of the many Japanese-American men who joined the U.S. Army to prove their loyalty. Their courageous feats overseas are juxtaposed with the anti-Japanese sentiment facing their families back home.
Horn Book Guide

"Cooper has a straightforward, empathetic style that seems ideal for young readers." The Washington Post

Children's Literature
Nine chapters filled with quotations from first person accounts and interspersed with documentary photographs trace the history of Japanese Americans during World War II, focusing on the massive forced relocation and on the bravery of Japanese soldiers in battle. Because of its broad scope, the book lacks the first-person emotional impact of books like Yoshiko Uchida's fictional and autobiographical accounts or Florence Crannell Means' novel The Moved-Outers (1945). There are no unifying introductory or concluding chapters, although paragraphs throughout attempt to put the experiences into a historical perspective. Four of the chapters concentrate on the Nisei soldiers, with separate chapters dedicated to the Purple Heart Battalion's battle at Monte Cassino and the rescue of "The Lost Battalion." More depth and less breadth would have made this a more readable history, yet this is a story that needs to be told, and it will be useful for students who need to write reports. The most memorable parts are the quotations from primary sources. Not all of the photographs are adequately captioned. There is a map showing the locations of the relocation camps, an index, source notes, suggestions for further reading and a chronology. 2000, Clarion, . Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Linnea Hendrickson
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-This explanation of the unfair circumstances and incredible heroism of first- and second-generation Japanese Americans during World War II is similar in tone and format to Jerry Stanley's I Am an American (Crown, 1994). What distinguishes Cooper's effort is the more extensive, descriptive, and sometimes grisly attention given to these soldiers' contributions to the military conflict in Europe. As an example, the Japanese Americans who served in the 100th/442nd battalion became "the most highly decorated unit in U.S. military history" at a time when most of their families had been forcibly removed from their homes and businesses in Washington, Oregon, and California. Cooper begins with a strong first chapter that establishes the extent of the American prejudice against these citizens and the post-Pearl Harbor hysteria that led to the establishment of the War Relocation Authority. The author then questions why this happened and responds with solid cause and effect examples, utilizing relevant archival photographs of these "barbed wire communities." On the war front, the descriptions of individual acts of bravery in Europe are drawn from first-person accounts and other sources, and while the geography is not introduced well, the battles' objectives, actions, and results are clear.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395913758
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1040L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael L. Cooper has written books on various aspects of American history for young adults, including a companion book, Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II, which was named a 2002 Best Book for Young Adults.

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