Day: January 12, 2016

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Manami loves her home on Bainbridge Island where she can walk with her grandfather and his dog on the beach. Everything changes when Pearl Harbor is bombed in 1941. Manami and her family along with the other Japanese Americans are gathered up and forced to move to internment camps far from the sea. Manami’s grandfather has arranged for someone to care for his dog, but Manami cannot bear to leave him behind so she hides him in her coat. But she is not allowed to bring the dog with them. Heartbroken, when they reach the camp, Manami stops speaking entirely, unable to force words past her dusty throat. Manami keeps hoping that their dog will find them, sending pictures on the wind to him.

Told in spare and elegant prose, Sephaban captures the devastating impact of World War II policies on Japanese Americans. Losing all of their property and belongings except what they can fit into one suitcase each, the families work to put together a semblance of a life for themselves and their children. Sepahban sets this story in a prison camp that had a riot break out and one can feel the tension building. This novel manages to show the impact of loss of civil rights and also be a voice for moving forward to embracing diversity and differences.

Manami is an amazing character. Her pain is palpable on the page, her voice buried under guilt and compounded by their internment in the camp. Everything changes for her in one moment, taken from the place she loves, removed from the life she has been living. Manami has to find a way to make a new life, but it is devastating for her as she is unable to forgive herself for what she has done.

Beautiful writing, a complex heroine and a powerful story make this short historical novel worth reading and sharing. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from e-galley received from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Edelweiss.

2016 Amelia Bloomer Project Top 10

The Amelia Bloomer Project has recommended 58 titles this year with the following being their top 10. Books are selected by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. They must have significant feminist content, excellent writing, appealing format and be age appropriate for young readers. Here are the top 10 titles:

African American Women The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu

African American Women: Photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu by Kimberly Burge

The Boston Girl Devoted

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space 18378913

Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space by Tam O’Shaughnessy

Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda

22747807 We Should All Be Feminists

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie