By Janis Bridger Lara Jean Okihiro

Second Story Press

October 3, 2023



ThemesAAPI VoicesFamily and FriendshipHistory

Age / Grade 8-12 / Grades 3-6

Content Racism and/or racial slurs

“They had everything taken from them because they were Japanese.”

Cousins Lou and Charlotte don’t know a lot about their grandmother’s life. When their Obaasan invites them to spend the day in her garden, she also invites them into their family’s secrets. Grandma shares her experience as a Japanese Canadian during WWII, revealing the painful story of Japanese internment. Her family was forced apart. Whole communities were uprooted, moved into camps, their belongings stolen. Lou and Charlotte struggle with the injustice, even as they marvel at their grandmother’s strength. They begin to understand how their identities have been shaped by racism, and that history is not only about the past.