Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Summary: A moving debut novel about a girl whose family is relocated to a Japanese internment camp during World War II–and the dog she has to leave behind.
Ten-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family’s life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat, but she is caught and forced to abandon him. She is devastated but clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can accept all that has happened to her family.
When Manami and her family is relocated to an internment camp, she is heartbroken when she must leave her beloved dog Yujiin behind.
Manami then loses her voice and can no longer find happiness. But finds solace in drawing pictures and writing letters, in hope that Yujiin will see them and find her.
Through Manami’s eyes we learn about resiliency, love, family/friendship, and finding your voice in dark,difficult times.
While this book was an absolute gem, it was also quite sad. It was heartbreaking to know that Yujiin was never found, but Manami by the end finds her voice and grows even more by the end of this novel.
Lois’s lyrical and immersive writing-style reminds us of an important part of history that should not be forgotten!
If you have read this book/plan to, let me know in the comments below 🙂