Today I’m sharing a book review for Stealing Home, a graphic novel set in Canada during World War II.
Did you learn about the World War II Japanese internment camps when you were in school? The ones right here on American soil? I didn’t. I never even heard of them until I was an adult and read Farewell to Manzanar. That seems appalling to me.
Stealing Home is a graphic novel appropriate for kids that offers a glimpse into one Japanese-Canadian family’s life during World War II. While it’s set in Canada rather than the United States, from what I’ve read, the experiences of people of Japanese descent during that time were similar in both countries.
Graphic novels can be fun to read, but usually they slow the story down for me with so much going on in each frame. In Stealing Home the artwork is in sepia tones (rather than full-color) but it is appealing and uncluttered. The story is told in small blocks of text with occasional short dialog in speech bubbles. I found this format much easier to read than many graphic novels I’ve looked at.
I was fascinated with the extra details and backstory included in the Afterword, with suggestions for additional resources to learn more. That’s always a help to a homeschool mom.
Here’s more about the story…
From the back cover: Sandy Saito is obsessed with baseball–especially the Asahi team, the pride of his community in Vancouver, British Columbia. But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, his life, like that of every North American of Japanese descent, changes forever.
His friends start calling him names and chasing him from the baseball field. His family is forbidden from visiting certain areas of the city. Then the government starts rounding people up and sending them to live in remote and crowded prison camps.
Seemingly overnight, 21,000 Japanese-Canadians are stripped of their rights, their belongings and their homes. It isn’t long before Sandy’s family is among them. Though life in the camp is difficult, Sandy finds solace in baseball.
Stealing Home is a story about finding a way to deal with whatever is thrown at you, however you can…