After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 many Japanese Americans were forcefully removed from their homes. They were forced to relocate to other states or internment camps. Japanese internment camps were cramped spaces surrounded by barbed wire. Japanese Americans were treated like prisoners who were only allowed to leave with permission from their wardens.
Paper Wishes follows the story of a young Japanese girl named Manami. This little girl is forced to leave her family home and head to an internment camp. On the way to the camp she loses her dog Yujiin. This has a very negative impact on Manami and she refuses to speak. Lois Sepahban takes the reader into the world of Japanese internment camps by explaining the difficulties for the people who live in them.
The story continues to tell Manami's story through 10 months of her life until her family leaves the Manzanar internment camp. This book has a bitter sweet ending that I felt was a great way to end the story.
I simply loved this book. I feel like our children have a limited understanding of what WWII was like for Japanese Americans. I think that Paper Wishes accurately portrays these hardships. This is an excellent addition to any library and is a wonderful example of historical fiction. I give this book a resounding 5 out of 5 stars.
Lois Sepahban bases her story on real events that took place at the Manzanar internment camp.