Dear Miss Breed

Dear Miss Breed

True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and A Librarian Who Made A Difference

Book - 2006 | 1st ed.
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In the early 1940's, Clara Breed was the children's librarian at the San Diego Public Library. But she was also friend to dozens of Japanese American children and teens when war broke out in December of 1941. The story of what happened to these American citizens is movingly told through letters that her young friends wrote to Miss Breed during their internment. This remarkable librarian and humanitarian served as a lifeline to these imprisoned young people, and was brave enough to speak out against a shameful chapter in American history.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780439569927
Branch Call Number: TEEN 940.5317 OPPENHE
Characteristics: 287 p. : ill., map ; 27 cm.


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Dec 24, 2009

After Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese in 1941, attitudes towards Japanese Americans turned very ugly indeed. In 1942, the U.S. government made the decision to round up all people of Japanese origin and descent on the west coast and place them in ?relocation camps? for the duration of World War II. For three years thousands of people, many of them American citizens, were crowded together because of their race, even forced to cram their family members and all their possessions into horse stalls at converted racetracks. For all that, not a single Japanese American was ever found to be involved in any anti-American war effort. In San Diego, a public librarian named Clara Breed was devoted to her young patrons. When the orders came for Japanese American families to pack up and leave their homes, Miss Breed responded with characteristic generosity and support. Exchanging letters with ?her children,? Miss Breed sent supplies, treats, and above all, books to the internment camps to keep up the spirits of the young people whose lives were indefinitely on hold. Author Joanne Oppenheim presents a book chock-full of research supported by the real letters and lives of Miss Breed and the youngsters who wrote to her. The life of forced deprivation and humiliation in the camps is highlighted, but it is the determined attempts of Miss Breed?s teenage friends to make the best of any situation that stands out as exemplary. The optimism of these young people contrasts dramatically with the shameful treatment they received, driving home the message that racism is never acceptable and giving voices back to victims. Dear Miss Breed is not only a unique resource about this period in American history, but it is an excellent read as well.


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