Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese- American Evacuation by Yoshiko Uchida (1971)

topaz.jpgWhat was it like to be Japanese and living in the western United States when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941?  Yoshiko Uchida lived through that very scenario as a young, college-age woman.  She shares her personal experiences in Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese-American Evacuation, but she tells her story through the eyes of Yuki, an 11 year old Japanese-American girl.

The Sakane family are a first-generation Japanese-American family of four living a quiet life in Berkley, California.  But soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, father is arrested and taken away by the FBI.   Mother is quickly informed she must prepare to leave their beautiful home and relocate her family in an internment camp in the San Francisco area.  The family suddenly finds themselves living in a former horse stall, surrounded by strangers and living a strange communal existence.  Eventually they are re-located to a much larger camp in Topaz, Utah (15 miles west of Delta), where life only gets harder.

How does a family survive this extreme treatment and humiliation?   Can they rebuild their lives when the war finally ends?

Ms. Uchida’s powerful descriptions of internment camp life will open your eyes to this period of American history you may know little about.

Middle Grade Reading Level, 160 pages, Published in 1971.  






Middle Grade Reading Level, 160 pages, Published in 1971.


About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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