So Far From the Sea

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Seven-year-old Laura Iwasaki is returning to the Manzana Relocation Camp to honor her grandfather who was  buried there in 1943.  Laura's father's family, Japanese Americans, had been taken to this internment camp during WWII.   Over 10,000 Japanese-Americans were placed in interment camps in California during the war after the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

Laura's father shares his memories of the camp including the conflict and tension between the guards and the families and the sense of sorrow.  This is the last time the family will be able to honor their tradition of visiting the grandfather before they move to the East and Laura wants to learn all she can about the experience her family had and about her grandfather, a fisherman, who was ripped from his life and forced into the camp with the other families.

Told in the two voices of Laura and her father, the story is set in 1972.  The hardships and struggles of the families come to life through the experience of the father and the deep desire for understanding and information on the part of Laura.

Important history here.  "The past is prologue."

  • 32 pages     978-0547237527  Ages 7-11
  • Keyword:  Internment camp; Japanese Americans

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


"Laura Iwasaki and her family are paying what may be their last visit to Laura's grandfather's grave. The grave is at Manzanar, where thousands of Americans of Japanese heritage were interned during World War II. Among those rounded up and taken to the internment camp were Laura's father, then a small boy, and his parents. Now Laura says goodbye to Grandfather in her own special way, with a gesture that crosses generational lines and bears witness to the patriotism that survived a shameful episode in America's history. Eve Bunting's poignant text and Chris K. Soentpiet's detailed, evocative paintings make the story of this family's visit to Manzanar, and of the memories stirred by the experience, one that will linger in readers' minds and hearts. Afterword."--from the publisher

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