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31 Reviews
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I read this book and I only set the book down once. The farther I read into the book, the more I wondered why we were treating them like prisoners. I am only sixteen so I did not live through this, but I still think it was completely wrong. This was a great memoir which I think everyone can learn from.
Published on September 2, 2000

versus
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting- but mostly boring!
I am just 11, but I love to read, and there are few books I don't get through. When I started reading this, it went nowhere. It just stayed very boring the whole time. Yes, I did enjoy learning about it, but overall, I really didn't enjoy this book. I'm not much of a biography person, so maybe someone who enjoys biographies would like this better. I was very surprised...
Published on May 7, 2002


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, September 2, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
I read this book and I only set the book down once. The farther I read into the book, the more I wondered why we were treating them like prisoners. I am only sixteen so I did not live through this, but I still think it was completely wrong. This was a great memoir which I think everyone can learn from.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Walking an invisible thread, May 24, 2004
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
The delicate balance that must be maintained in non-fiction children's books is this: While we cannot pretend to ignore or beautify the ugly events that have happened in the past, at the same time we must make these horrendous occurrences palatable to the young reader. In the case of Yoshiko Uchida, the notable Japanese-American children's author has made her career in writing about Japanese, Japanese-Americans, and their place in history. With "The Invisible Thread" the author has decided to write a work that is a little more personal. This autobiography marks a departure for Uchida, leaving behind the fictional past for the real one. In it, kids learn first-hand about a particularly shameful (and shamingly recent) chapter in America's history: the degrading Japanese internment camps.

A good author writing about a catastrophic event leads up to the moment cautiously. If you're showing a difficult moment in a person's (or persons') life, you don't just run headlong into the moment without giving a little background first. In this way, Uchida sets the stage for the reader. Yoshiko grew up as a second generation Japanese-American in California in the 1930s. Born of parents that had both immigrated to the United States separately, Yoshiko was privileged to live in a fairly well-to-do area in Berkley, California. Living with Japanese ancestry in the U.S. at that time was not an easy thing, but Yoshika was hardly about to challenge the system. As we watch the author grows up, goes to college, and makes numerous friends. Her life, such as it was, was fairly uneventful. Then, just about halfway through the book Pearl Harbor is bombed and everything changes. Yoshiko and her family are sent packing from their beloved home (and dog) to temporary quarters in an old racing track. The story picks up as she learns to teach and exist in her new environment, detailing the dehumanizing effect that such living has on human beings.

What I liked about this book was the real sense one got of the difference the America of that time and the American of today. Uchida puts it best herself in a passage found in the chapter, "Prisoner of My Country". In this passage she writes:

"Resistance or confrontation such as we know them today was unthinkable, for the world then was a totally different place. There had been no freedom marches or demonstrations of protest. No one had yet heard of Martin Luture King, Jr. No one knew about ethnic pride. Most Americans were not concerned about civil rights and would not have supported us had we tried to resist the uprooting".
Educators using this book today could easily point out that though we are not interning people of Middle Eastern descent today, we are certainly not making America a place that is much more hospitable today than it was for the Japanese at that time. The book is a useful tool for placing a moment in American history within its context. I was especially thrilled to find that there are additional resources and books listed in a neat bibliography for both kids and adults wanting to know more about Japanese internment camps. What is remarkable is that the book makes the event real to the reader, allowing us to feel a little of what the author, her family, and friends went through at the time. In the end, Uchida is an accomplished writer that knows exactly how to bring children into a dangerous past without horrifying them with too many of the details. It is a delicate line to walk and Uchida treads it with the utmost care.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book about a shameful time in history., November 24, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
Yoshiko Uchida vividly tells about growing up a Japanese American in California and being sent to a concentration camp during World War II. I found this book very interesting and couldn't put it down. It was interesting to read about the Japanese customs and holidays that her family observed and to learn more about something that should not have happened in our history.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, July 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
This is a telling story of one girl in a concentration camp. The twist is that the camp was run by Americans, imprisoning Japanese-Americans "for their own safety" during World War II. Intriguing for all ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable life lessons, July 28, 2002
This review is from: Invisible Thread (Library Binding)
Because this is an autobiography, the reader should not expect a commercialized plot that is conjured just for effect. In its place, we get a true story of an American girl and her family who are trapped in the beaurocracy of war. Yoshi, her sister and her parents are imprisoned in Japanese internment camps during World War II and she describes the injustice, embarassment and blatant racism her family and over 120,000 West Coast Japanese Americans endure. The story evokes emotions concerning issues such as human rights vs. national security and ethnicity vs. patiriotism. Uchida writes in candid clear language with vivid decriptions that manage to convey the complex issues surrounding racism without being didactic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so invisible any more, thank goodness, June 26, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
In addition to her writings about the Japanese and Japanese-American culture, Yoshiko Uchida wrote several fiction books that drew from her experiences as a Japanese American during World War II. The Invisible Thread, written for young adults, is an autobiography that tells of her life before, during her family's internment in a camp in Utah.

Although her parents were Japanese citizens, Yoshi and her sister were born in the United States. They were as American in their speech and culture as the Swedish family next door to them. Yet, because of their appearance, they faced discrimination even before the war. The American government violated the Japanese Americans' constitutional rights when they removed them from their homes. The conditions under which they were forced to live were deplorable.

The author chose not to dwell on the horrors of that period of her life. Although she clearly describes their relocation and the stable and barracks they lived in, her emphasis is more on family life and the positive things they did to keep their lives as normal as possible. She does a fine job of describing her own confusion, her loyalty to her family and friends and her loyalty to the government that betrayed them.

This book is on our local school system's 2005 Summer Reading List. With the current backlash against Arab Americans, this is an important book for children to read. It is only through education and tolerance that we have a hope of avoiding past mistakes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and insightful., February 5, 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
I read this book, and found it VERY insightful. it describes her life in honesty, and with an uncensored style. But it was un-condemning. Which is good. I would reccomend it because it is written in a clean, and easy to follow style. It is well worth reading if one wishes to study up on the Japanese-American lifestyle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and fun to read, November 30, 2005
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Invisible Thread (Library Binding)
I read this book for a oral book report but found it so inspiring and a very good book. Yoshiko is a girl who doesn't want to be who she is and says her face betrays her. When Pearl Harbor is attacked Yoshiko and her family are sent to a concentration camp just because they looked like the enemy. Yoshiko wasn't even born in Japan she was born in the USA. A very good book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Service, April 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Hardcover)
I purchased a book for my sons school work. He had to write a review on this book, and we could not find it locally. We purchased it through Amazon and it arrived in about a week. It was used, but in great condition and worked well for his report. We are very pleased with our experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, November 9, 2007
By 
Golden Lion "Reader" (North Ogden, Ut United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Invisible Thread (Paperback)
Home Building & Loan Assocation verses Blaisdell, the court stated, an emergency does not create power; an emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved; an emergency may furnish the occasion for the exercise of power; the war power of federal government is not granted by the emergency of war, but is the power given to meet the emergency and it is the power to wage war successfully; even the war power does not remove constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties; the general clauses of the constitution grant and limit power of the federal government; the general clauses set specific prohibitions constraining power.

The invisible thread explores the connection between Japan and America for the Uchida family. The central nexus is a missionary university in Japan. Yoshiko's mother Iku gained her education at the Missionary University, worked for a professor, and was introduced by the professor to Takashi. The introduction lead to an arranged marriage after Takashi advanced significantly in his career. In ten years, Takashi had gained an admirable job working for the Mitsui Company. Iku studies included advanced American Literature studies. Takashi work ethic, knowledge, and skills distinguished him as a brilliant student and a masterful businessman. The transplant of such talent enriched America. The industrial enterprises of Japan on American soil provide jobs, productivity, and economic growth. Yoshiko talks extensively about how her parent included her and her sister Keiko on many outings, such as plays, musicals, concerts, and movies. Yoshiko was a part of the emerging cultural explosion of the early forties. The connection to the Christian Church in Japan remained strong and cross cultural exchanges allowed Japanese ministers to arrive at the Uchida home where Japanese food was prepared, hot baths provide, letters exchanged, and ideas communicated. The invisible thread binding the family to the Japan was a constant theme in Yoshiko's early life. The warm Japanese culture provided a sense of meaning and stability against the constant racism that bombarded the family.

The safeguarding of "essential liberties" was guaranteed by the constitution were preempted for the Japanese, a bloody war with millions dying, pearl harbor feeding fear upon Americans and escalating potential violence, and anti-foreigner sentiment statement became common. It was claimed that five thousand Japanese Americans refused to denounce the Emperor of Japan, a God in the flesh personage; Japanese Americans never had any loyality to the emperor to begin with; but the names of the individuals were not circulated nor confirmed; a case of compelling real danger was not demonstrated; no militia was required too suppressed a rebellious Japanese uprising; the Japanese American was a loyal, hardworking, and honest person with Christ-like attributes. The Japanese were very sensitive too their American communities and many heartfelt gestures were extended.

Did the court prove a connection between the Japanese American and a military crisis? No. The Supreme court applied separability and did not address connectability.

A person may not be able to define Justice, but that individual definitely understands when an injustice has been committed.

Takashi was sentenced to prison because he worked for a Japanese company and the family was separated. We see that when the "general clauses" of the constitution are relaxed the people suffer. The contractual bounds of the law were relaxed and the constitution then failed to protect the Japanese American's from being stripped of their property, expelled from lucrative business dealings, and driving behind wired fences.

The economic drain on California must have been immense. The specific prohibitions of political power was designed to limit government from intruding upon the civil liberties of the citizen. Legal precedence often opens doors of power. The preemption of Japanese civil rights started with court cases starting with creditor and home foreclosure acts which the court ruled against where a emergency power extending the payment terms was not rule unconstitutional. If the emergency power was ruled unconstitutional and the borrowed allowed to move into foreclosure the precedence would have been far better for the Japanese American.
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The Invisible Thread
The Invisible Thread by Yoshiko Uchida (Paperback - Sept. 1995)
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