Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II

224p. bibliog. further reading. index. notes. photos. Holiday House. Apr. 2019. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780823441518.
RedReviewStarGr 5–8—When Norman Mineta was nine years old, he was living with his family in San Jose, CA. Like many boys his age, Norm was interested in baseball, comics, and joking with his friends. But when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, bringing America into World War II, Norm's life changed forever because he and his family were Japanese Americans. At first there were curfews and FBI searches of Japanese American homes. Then Norm learns that a neighbor was handcuffed and taken away. By connecting Mineta's story to the larger events of World War II and its impact on Japanese Americans, the author helps readers learn about a frightening historical injustice. They and thousands of other Japanese American families were forced from their homes, sent to desolate internment camps, and imprisoned against their will. Using more than 100 photographs and many quotes from Mineta, the author chronicles his family's experiences living in a camp in Wyoming, where he and his family lived in a single room shack, denied their privacy and freedom while being watched by an armed guard. Despite these conditions, we also learn that the family's loyalty to America was unwavering. The author continues the story beyond internment to tell about Mineta's career as a politician, serving 10 terms in the House of Representatives and as a cabinet member for two presidents. It is an inspiring story of character and endurance despite hardships. An important, well-told story.
VERDICT An excellent choice for social studies classes, literature circles, and libraries. Extensive back matter enriches understanding of this historical narrative.

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