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on September 27, 2014
This is a wonderful memoir. The author as an adult interviews her Japanese grandmother, whom she never really knew that well while she was growing up. As she spends time with her, she comes to know, understand, and love the old woman. She learns the details of the difficulty those Americans of Japanese extraction faced after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in WWII and the subsequent distrust, prejudice, and ultimately imprisonment of many of them as the war played out. Kimi's grandmother was a teenager when her family was forced to rid themselves of their home, most of their worldly goods, and their relationships after many years living in California. They could take with them only what they could carry, and were placed on a bus to an internment camp in Pamona, CA, and then to a camp in Wyoming which was to be their 'permanent' home until....? They didn't know how long or what would become of them later. Her young grandmother meets a boy in the camp, and they soon become engaged. Once married, they tried to make as normal a life as possible in the camp, and faced an uncertain future. The book is very well written, and brings to life a shameful time in our country's past. We learn about the hope and resilience of the internees, who continue to love America even while being imprisoned there. My only negative comment is that I wish the author had included some pictures. She describes several photographs in the narrative, but I would love to have seen them in the book.
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on September 6, 2012
I really loved this book! It is a not often told story of the resilience of some of our Greatest Generation.

Many are not familiar with the Japanese interment during WW II and how our citizens of Japanese ancestry were treated.

The author's sensitivity to her grandmother's story and their relationship made the story profound for me
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on January 4, 2017
I had a friend in junior high and high school who was born in a Japanese relocation camp in Albuquerque NM. She didn't, of course, remember much about it, and her parents never talked about, certainly not to her friends. I remember feeling embarrassed that this has happened in my town. Learning more about that time and the people
that we're affected, has helped me realize again that we Americans must not repeat this. An entire culture or ethnicity must not be blamed and punished for the acts of some members of that culture.
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on August 6, 2016
I just finished Silver Like Dust and also went to Heart Mountain to view the Relocation Visitor Center. The book was accurate to what was shared at the visitor center. An easy to read novel that told of a time in our american history that has been kept very quiet. The author includes other pieces in her book that are not directly related to her family but tell of life in the camp. It was just what I was looking to read before visiting Heart Mountain. I was raised around the area and really never had any real understanding what it was all about.
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on March 2, 2012
What makes this book so important and beautiful is the author's ability to NOT make this book simply a criticism of the U.S. government's decision to imprison (the euphemisms are "relocation" and "internment") over 100,000 Japanese who were living legally in this country, and the prejudices & discrimination the Japanese experienced. She certainly covers those terrible things in appropriate measure: "Three days before Christmas of 1941, Life magazine ran an article titled "How to Tell Japs from the Chinese". Nor does the author try to portray her family as super-humans who courageously endured a terrible chapter in American history. Instead, the author stays on course and brings us into four generations of her family. A family with personalities and differences and weaknesses and frustrations.

The imprisonment of her grandparents during WW II wasn't discussed when she was a child. During college, the author began spending more time with her widowed grandmother. A hard-working woman of few words, the grandmother didn't suddenly open up and let loose with something she had bottled up for over sixty years. The author's multiple year journey in talking to her grandmother, along with the attitudes of the subsequent generations, are as much a part of this book as the events that took place in the Wyoming camp. And that's why I think this book is so well done. The stories of the relocation and internment are astounding: We learn not only about the pains of life in the camp, but how her grandparents dated, married and began a family while imprisoned. We also learn about how the attitudes and experiences carried on well after the imprisonment and affected subsequent generations. The author allows herself to wonder how she personally, and others of her generation, would react in the face of a similar experience. Does the attitude of "shikataganai", surrendering to one's fate, have a place in our lives today?

Your heart will ache when you read about how Americans threw stones at the busses that were relocating families away from their homes. You will get angry when you hear how the author's family, including her very ill great-grandmother, was housed in a fairground barn before the Wyoming camp was built. But more importantly, you will get to know a family who endured all of this.
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on September 26, 2017
A horrifying tale of one Japanese-American's stay in an interment camp in the United States during World War II. I am ashamed of our country.
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on December 6, 2012
Although America and Americans have done many things to be proud of, we also have done some things for which we should be very ashamed. Our immigrant ancestors took away the land and livelihood (as well as destroying the culture) of Native Americans in the process of settling America. They used black slaves and indentured servants to achieve personal riches. They discriminated against other immigrants (the Irish, the Italians, etc.) as they arrived here to make a better life for themselves and their families by using them as cheap labor in factories. And they kept Japanese immigrants (to whom they denied citizenship) and their American born children (American citizens by birth) in "internment" camps during World War II depriving them of their homes, livelihoods and culture. The reason given was they might aid and abet the Japanese during the war although it was later admitted there was never a real threat. The author, whose grandfather was a Japanese immigrant and whose grandmother was Japanese American, documents their lives during that time. She brings to life the struggles of families being forced to leave their homes and possessions on short notice, of having to whole families live in a single room not much larger than an average bedroom, of working as cheap labor in order to have money for small things, of how they tried to rebuild their lives (from scratch) after their release. Thanks to Kimi Cunningham Grant for telling "the rest of the story".
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on July 16, 2015
I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book on several different levels. The story of the grandmother's life as a Japanese who lived in the internment camp as a prisoner during the war was interesting and entertaining. I liked how it was told through the granddaughter and how her perspective of her grandparents is changed. There were many interesting facts about this time that was woven into the story. I believe I'll go back and reread it to glean more from the historical events.
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on October 9, 2014
Lots of students read it and hated/disliked it. Personally, when I got past the rather drawn out sequences b/w Obaachan and Kimi, the story was almost like a movie visualization, t least for me. It kinda had that "Kid with the Striped Pajamas" feel when thinking about the setting and atmosphere. However, I recommend this book/novel/memoir to anyone who wants to read something a little different, but with a compelling story about the 1940's and the Japanese internment camps.
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on March 12, 2013
This book shows us to take the responsibility for the internment camps and never forget how such a supposedly wonderful country, land of the free,etc could possibly put , people many who were American citizens, in camps!And to top it off, make the men join the armed forces! The pay was not equal and the book goes on and on in a gentle way to tell the story of the atrocities shown to the Japanese people during World War IIThe author told the story in a wonderful way and I think everyone should read about a subject that is spoken little about and barely touched upon in schools today!
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