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Children's LiteratureEleven year old Joseph Hanada is a lot like other American boys: He loves sports, endures school, and enjoys hanging out with friends. However, on December 7, 1941, he discovers that being an American is not always easy, especially when your family is Japanese-American. The Seattle suburb where Joseph and his family live is quickly infected with tension and suspicion. To many Americans, Japanese immigrants (issei) and American-born Japanese (nisei) look like enemies. Joseph's father, in fact, is soon taken away by FBI agents. Federal authorities, looking for evidence of treason, ruthlessly search the Hanada home. Then, when President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, the fate of the Hanada family becomes inevitable: They are removed from their home—like 120,000 other innocent Japanese-Americans—and they are "relocated" to an internment camp for the duration of World War II. This powerful book is the story of Joseph's and his family's endurance in the midst of American paranoia and prejudice. Throughout his multi-year ordeal, Joseph finds strength through his family, a few friends, and his journal writing. In his journal, Joseph keeps a poignant record of his experiences, and he also writes beautiful haiku (many of which are included in the novel's narrative). Readers of all ages should enjoy reading this well-written fictional account of the Hanada family's ordeals during a shameful period in American history. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 8 to 14.