When I first heard about Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban I was eager to purchase a copy for my family. I’ve read No-No Boy, Obasan, and Farewell to Manzanar, but those are books about Japenese Internment camps meant for older readers or adults. Paper Wishes is geared towards kids. I want my children to learn the dark side of American history as well as the light, but would this book capture my ten year old’s attention? He read it in one afternoon! Here is my fifth grader’s review:
Paper Wishes is a compelling historical fiction read for kids who are in third grade on up to middle school. It tells the story of a young girl named Manami on her desperate need to console herself after losing one of her best friends, her dog Yujiin. Manami and her family are shipped away to a Japanese internment camp shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her family is Japanese American. The dog can’t come with them. While in camp, Manami creates artwork featuring her beloved dog Yujiin.
Before I read this book I knew all about Japanese internment camps but now I can fully realize the pain and longing that went on inside them. I have tons of Japanese American friends and I would flip if this happened to them.