Farewell to Manzanar

Book Review of
Farewell To Manzanar

Author: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
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Publisher Summary:

During World War II a community called Manzanar was created in the high mountain desert country of California. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese Americans. Among them was the Wakatsuki family, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, who was seven years old when she arrived at Manzanar in 1942, recalls life in the camp through the eyes of the child she was.  First published in 1973, this new edition of the classic memoir of a devastating Japanese American experience includes an inspiring afterword by the authors.

Lynn's Review

Farewell to Manzanar

Farewell To Manzanar is a memoir of life in Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp during WWII. This book was published in 1973, and I can’t believe that I have never read it. I feel like this is a book that should be required reading in school.

It is a powerful story. It is also an important part of our history that we need to know about. If we don’t our history, we will repeat it. We can’t erase history, but we can remember it and learn from it so that it doesn’t happen again.

Farewell to Manzanar shares life in an internment camp through the eyes of a child. This is a book that I can’t stop thinking about. This book will be one that I am recommending for years to come.

2 thoughts on “Farewell To Manzanar”

  1. I heard about this book when a friend led the discussion of our book club pick, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (which I saw that you recently read. It’s one of my favorite historical fiction!). The friend’s grandmother is Japanese-American and was actually at Manzanar, so my friend interviewed her and shared the answers with us. Earlier this month, I shared some book reviews, including Hotel on the Corner to a group of older women from our church and afterwards found out that one of the women was a Japanese-American who was at an internment camp in Texas! My mind has been blown by hearing more about this part in our history that I did not know anything about until I first read Hotel on the Corner around five years ago. I really enjoyed The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner, who focuses on the camps from a teenage German-American’s perspective.

    • I had heard great things about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet but didn’t pick it up until recently. I can’t believe it took me so long to read it. I loved it! I knew a little bit about the camps on the west coast, but I had no idea about the internment camps in Texas until recently. I think it is part of history that not a lot of Americans know about. I have the ebook The Last Year of the War and hope to read it soon. I love learning about parts of history that I knew very little about.


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