Synopses & Reviews
Mary Matsuda is a typical 16-year-old girl living on Vashon Island, Washington with her family. On December 7, 1942, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and Mary's life changes forever. Mary and her brother, Yoneichi, are U.S. citizens, but they are imprisoned, along with their parents, in a Japanese-American internment camp. Mary endures an indefinite sentence behind barbed wire in crowded, primitive camps, struggling for survival and dignity. Mary wonders if they will be killed, or if they will one day return to their beloved home and berry farm. The author tells her story with the passion and spirit of a girl trying to make sense of this terrible injustice to her and her family. Mary captures the emotional and psychological essence of what it was like to grow up in the midst of this profound dislocation, questioning her Japanese and her American heritage. Few other books on this subject come close to the emotional power, raw honesty, and moral significance of this memoir. This personal story provides a touchstone for the young student learning about World War II and this difficult chapter in U.S. history.