Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Home of the Brave"

Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He is an author/illustrator of many children's books. One of my favorite books of his is called, "Grandfather's Journey".

My friend Jane has just written that she is reading, "Journey to Topaz" to her 10 year old grandson's class. She said it was an eye opener to these young children to learn about the background of internment camps during the World War II era of our country. She asked if I knew any other books that might further the children's insight into this subject matter. In fact there is a beautifully illustrated and sensitively written book by a wonderful artist/author. His name is Allen Say and the book is titled: Home of the Brave.

Here is an excerpt from the Publishers page:
During World War II, more than 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese descent living in America were incarcerated in internment camps by the United States government. Now, sixty years later, Caldecott medalist Allen Say eloquently depicts this dark moment in history with Home of the Brave. This timely and provocative book is the story of one man's confrontation of his own family's imprisonment in these remote and inhospitable sites. Say's paintings capture the bewilderment of the young man on a surreal journey and the desolation and loneliness of the children residing in the camps. His prose is haunting and provokes the reader to reflect on what these camps mean in the scope of American history.

"What Say does so successfully here is to show how displaced children feel; how, through some unnamed strength, they manage to survive and find their way home . . . The story's real focus is not so much the reexamination of America's historical past as the recollection of its emotional past — a past we become a part of through Allen Say's intense dreamscape." — New York Times Book Review

"Say here enters the realm of dream — or rather, nightmare. Say's use of light and dark has a haunting effect . . . the images create an internal logic of their own, as emotionally convincing as any waking experience." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Say's use of darkness in the portrayal of childhood innocence is a poignant interpretation of what children, whatever their culture, must feel when so tiny and scared and far from where they long to be." — Los Angeles Times Book Review


Jane said...

Barb, thanks for this book. I am going to go to the library and see if it will be another good book to read to the class. What do you think?

barb cabot said...

I think it would be a wonderful book to share. Though I have not brought "Home For the Brave" into a classroom yet, if the opportunity is appropriate to the lessons I will keep it in mind. I have read "Grandfather's Journey" to 3rd graders and it is a wonderful way for children to start to think of their own heritage and how their ancestors ended up coming to America.

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