Biography, Books and Library

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

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Back of Book:
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.
My Review:
I have not read very many picture books about the Japanese camps in 1942. I believe that this is a part of history that all children should learn about. Write to Me is a beautifully written nonfiction look at one librarian who fought to ensure that the children had books to read. The illustrations are unique in that they show the letters written to librarian. They are soft and show the children in many different areas of the camps. The back of the book has an author note and photo of librarian Clara Estelle Breed with some of the students that she sent books to. There is also a very detailed timeline of Japanese people in the United States. All the information in this book makes it an excellent story for a history unit or book report.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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