Dear Canada: Torn Apart
The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1941
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The harsh conditions of an internment camp become a reality for a young Japanese-Canadian girl.
It is 1941 and Mary Kobayashi, a Canadian-born Japanese girl enjoys her life in Vancouver. She likes school, she likes her friends, and she yearns above all else to own a bicycle. Although WWII is raging elsewhere in the world, it hasn't really impacted her life in B.C.
Then on December 7, 1941, Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. . . and everything changes.
Suddenly a war of suspicion and prejudice is waged on the home front and Japanese-Canadians are completely stripped of their rights, their jobs and their homes. Mary is terrified when her family is torn apart and sent to various work camps, while she and her two sisters are sent, alone, to a primitive camp in B.C.'s interior. Here Mary spends the duration of the war, scared and uncertain of how it will all end.
In Torn Apart, author Susan Aihoshi draws from the experiences of her own family during "The Uprooting" of the Japanese in B.C. during WWII. Through young Mary's eyes, readers experience this regrettable time in Canadian history firsthand.
- Scholastic Canada Ltd, January 2011
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