Read by Mizuo Peck, Allison Hiroto, Kurt Kanazawa, Andrew Kishino and Jennifer Ikeda
About The Book
Four starred reviews! A Kirkus Reviews Best YA Nonfiction of 2021
In this “riveting and indispensable” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) narrative history of Japanese Americans before, during, and after their World War II incarceration, Susan H. Kamei weaves together the voices of over 130 individuals who lived through this tragic episode, most of them as young adults.
It’s difficult to believe it happened here, in the Land of the Free: After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States government forcibly removed more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from the Pacific Coast and imprisoned them in desolate detention camps until the end of World War II just because of their race.
In what Secretary Norman Y. Mineta describes as a “landmark book,” he and others who lived through this harrowing experience tell the story of their incarceration and the long-term impact of this dark period in American history. For the first time, why and how these tragic events took place are interwoven with more than 130 individual voices of those who were unconstitutionally incarcerated, many of them children and young adults.
Now more than ever, their words will resonate with readers who are confronting questions about racial identity, immigration, and citizenship, and what it means to be an American.
Susan H. Kamei received her JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. She teaches at the University of Southern California on the legal ramifications of the incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and how they apply to constitutional issues, civil liberties, and national security considerations today.
Mizuo Peck is a versatile actress and native New Yorker. She is internationally known for her role as Sacajawea in the 20th Century Fox movie, Night at the Museum, and its sequels. Her other film and television credits include Madam Secretary; A Case of You; Almost in Love; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; and All My Children. Her stage work includes 365 Days/365 Plays at the Public Theater and All’s Well That Ends Well as a company member of their exclusive Shakespeare Lab Program. Mizuo’s on camera commercial and voiceover work has been for many brands including Levi’s, Suave, Verizon, KitchenAid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Glade, and Oil of Olay. For photos, interviews, reels, and more please visit her website, MizuoPeck.com.
Why We Love It
“I can’t stress enough how moving this book is and what a huge impact it will have. This history of the relationship between the US and Japan is riveting, but what makes this book truly special are the firsthand, diary-like accounts from the young people who spent years imprisoned by their own country—people born here who loved and respected this country and who instead of being treated as US citizens, were treated as enemies. It’s impossible to read these accounts and not be moved. There are very few books, especially in the YA genre, on this sobering chapter of American history, which is particularly relevant right now.”
—Krista V., Senior Editor, on When Can We Go Back to America?
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (September 7, 2021)