Gaijin: American Prisoner of War
Using stunning images (I mean, just look at this cover!) and a simmering narrative, Matt Faulkner creates a masterpiece of visuals and story about a shameful era in American history. Based on a true story, it’s about 13-year-old Koji Miyamoto, a child of a white mother and a Japanese father who struggles with his identity in 1941 San Francisco. This graphic novel begins when Koji and his mother are listening to the radio one night and get news of the Pearl Harbor bombing. They’re then forced into an internment camp where Koji learns that it’s as troublesome being half white (Gaijin) in the internment camp as it is being half Japanese in San Francisco.
Read this moving coming-of-age story with your child and it will spark a great discussion. Highly recommended for ages 9-100.