Displacement by Kiku Hughes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Family History, WWII
This story, and these illustrations—the entire book, really—took my breath away. I read it in one sitting and there is no chance I could have taken a break from reading it. I didn’t even dare try. I felt like the author needed to talk about her family history and she needed me to be there to listen to her and try to understand.
I’m not widely familiar with American History because my Canadian high school taught us about Canadian History and only briefly discussed American History when appropriate and needed. I know the main events that have happened that are still somewhat being discussed today. I had no idea the lives of the Japanese Americans in the US were altered, controlled and treated with little respect because of and during the Second World War.
Kiku doesn’t know much about it either even if her grandmother lived in those camps when she was younger. It’s only when she is inexplicably sent back in time to the 1940s that she starts to learn more about the lives of Japanese Americans in internment camps back then with more detail and how these places have affected her grandmother as well as her own mother.
It’s such a touching story. The melancholy, quiet and calm atmosphere, combined with the very elegant illustrations, made this an impactful and memorable reading experience for me. It isn’t just that the topic was important; it’s that it was discussed in a way that made me care, sympathize and want to know more. Flawless execution.
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