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Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind

Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind


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A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.

When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children's librarian Clara Breed's young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences. Using excerpts from children's letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope.

" A beautiful picture book for sharing and discussing with older children as well as the primary audience" — Booklist STARRED REVIEW

"A touching tribute to a woman who deserves recognition" — Kirkus Reviews

"[An] affecting introduction to a distressing chapter in U.S. history and a brave librarian who inspired hope" — Publisher's Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623541118
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 242,220
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Cynthia Grady is a former middle-school librarian and the author of Like a Bird: The Art of the American Slave Song and I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery. She holds master's degrees in children's literature, library studies, and classics/philosophy/liberal studies.

Amiko Hirao earned a degree in art history in her native Japan and later graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. She has illustrated Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Tulip at Bat, and Just What Mama Needs.

Read an Excerpt

Katherine Tasaki returned a stack of books and turned in her library card. “We’ve got to move soon,” she said. “All Japanese, you know.”
            Miss Breed did know. The US government thought Katherine and all people of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast could be dangerous. They looked like an enemy of the United States in a complicated war halfway around the world, so the government ordered that they be imprisoned.
            Miss Breed gave Katherine a stamped, addressed penny postcard in exchange for her library card. “Write to us,” Miss Breed said. “We’ll want to know where you are.”

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