Wednesday, February 11, 2009

LIS 722: Week 6

Week 6: Nonfiction
Book: Dear Miss Breed by Joanne Oppenheim

Dear Miss Breed is a book about the Japanese-American relocation camps during World War II, and how one librarian, (that'd be Miss Breed)sent books and care packages to some of her young patrons. Yeah, that's the short version of it all.

I thought this book would be excellent for anyone doing a paper on the subject. It's not one that gets much fanfare when the subject of World War II comes up, that's for sure. Problem is, for about the first third of the book, the author shows her obvious bias for the situation. As the book unfolds, it becomes more balanced. Now I'm not saying that Oppenheim didn't have good reason to be biased--this episode of American history always makes me want to smack the people who came up with the plan to start off with. It's not just about the blatant racism; no, it's about the rampant stupidity stemming from fear, I think.

Dear Miss Breed isn't an easy or fast read. It's meant for grades 7-12, and isn't something that most YA/teens would pick up for a fun read. But, it's a story that needs to be told, and revisited every so often, because yes--that kind of thing can (and has) happen again if we're not vigilant.

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