Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II

Sandler expertly crafts a narrative that manages to explain the horror and incomprehensibility of locking up American citizens in prison camps simply because of their ethnic ancestry. Japanese American relocation has long been expurgated from school history texts about World War II, and here this delicate topic is handled with sensitivity and insight, providing an in-depth look at the full story, from anti-Japanese sentiments during the first wave of immigration through more current issues such as redress. A close examination of both the nation's feelings after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the political conversations that followed is an important part of the story that leads up to the actual relocation of hundreds of thousands of people. There is also a lengthy and moving section about the young Japanese Americans who served in the military in a variety of capacities, from actual combat to intelligence and translation services. Sandler makes it clear that these brave folks were battling prejudice and tyranny overseas while their families and friends were suffering under it back at home. The irony was not lost on them. Photographs help to further the narrative and yet tell their own story, offering rich detail and putting a human face on this tragic episode.

Age Level: 12-14