This title is part of the "In America" series, which includes portraits of different immigrant groups. This book features the fascinating but painful history of Japanese immigration to the United States. Goldstein opens with a good, brief overview of Japanese history, leading into an account of Japanese immigration to America, including the story of the estimated 5,000 "picture brides" who came to the U.S. to marry men known to them only through their letters and pictures. Many readers may be shocked to learn that according to an 1875 law, only whites and African-Americans were eligible to become U.S. citizens; Japanese immigrants were thus denied U.S. citizenship for decades, further disadvantaged by the Alien Land Law of 1913 which banned the purchasing of farmland by anyone who was not eligible for citizenshipa cruel, racist double-whammy. Next, of course, followed the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, movingly illustrated here with period photos of a Japanese-American-owned business bearing a sign declaring, "I AM AN AMERICAN," and of Japanese-American women cheerfully sewing an American flag in a relocation center. This valuable and sobering offering includes brief bios of a gallery of famous Japanese-Americans, a time line of Japanese-American relations, a glossary, a directory of sites to visit, scholarly source notes for each chapter, a bibliography, and an index. The series is further supported by Lerner's regularly updated companion website, www.inamericabooks.com. 2006, Lerner, Ages 8 to 12.
Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Gr 4-7-This book briefly describes how Japan first became open to Western influence and trade, closed its doors to outsiders for many years, and forged a tenuous relationship with the United States. The first immigrants came to America in the 1800s. Goldstein discusses their various job opportunities, "picture brides," the difficulties of assimilating, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the resulting internment of thousands of Japanese Americans. The postwar era brought new, favorable laws and, by 1990, redress came to surviving evacuees. The text examines modern-day Japanese Americans and acknowledges that immigrants are still arriving to pursue education and careers. Also covered is Japan's influence on American culture, including the anime and manga craze, the popularity of Japanese cuisine, and the importation of electronic goods. Appended are brief biographical profiles of famous Japanese Americans, including Ann Curry, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Isamu Noguchi. Joanne Mattern's more comprehensive Japanese Americans (Chelsea House, 2003) is aimed at slightly older readers. The attractive layout, black-and-white and color photographs, and clear writing make Goldstein's title a useful addition for reports and browsing.-DeAnn Okamura, San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.