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Uprooted

Cover of Uprooted

Uprooted

The Japanese American Experience During World War II
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Editor's Choice
On the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes a harrowing and enlightening look at the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II— from National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin


Just seventy-five years ago, the American government did something that most would consider unthinkable today: it rounded up over 100,000 of its own citizens based on nothing more than their ancestry and, suspicious of their loyalty, kept them in concentration camps for the better part of four years.

How could this have happened? Uprooted takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led one of our nation's most beloved presidents to make this decision. Meanwhile, it also illuminates the history of Japan and its own struggles with racism and xenophobia, which led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ultimately tying the two countries together.

Today, America is still filled with racial tension, and personal liberty in wartime is as relevant a topic as ever. Moving and impactful, National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin's sobering exploration of this monumental injustice shines as bright a light on current events as it does on the past.
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Editor's Choice
On the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes a harrowing and enlightening look at the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II— from National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin


Just seventy-five years ago, the American government did something that most would consider unthinkable today: it rounded up over 100,000 of its own citizens based on nothing more than their ancestry and, suspicious of their loyalty, kept them in concentration camps for the better part of four years.

How could this have happened? Uprooted takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led one of our nation's most beloved presidents to make this decision. Meanwhile, it also illuminates the history of Japan and its own struggles with racism and xenophobia, which led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ultimately tying the two countries together.

Today, America is still filled with racial tension, and personal liberty in wartime is as relevant a topic as ever. Moving and impactful, National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin's sobering exploration of this monumental injustice shines as bright a light on current events as it does on the past.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    8.2
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    7

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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book Prologue
    DAY OF INFAMY

    Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy— the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
    —President Franklin D. Roosevelt (December 8, 1941)


    On this bright Sunday morning, deck crews scurried about, hurrying to make final preparations. A huge flag bearing the red rays of the Rising Sun fluttered from the tall radio mast of each ship. These ships had graceful, poetic names: Misty Island, Shimmering Mist, Haze, Daybreak Cloud, and Wind on the Beach. Such names, however, belied the terrific firepower of the thirteen battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of the task force. At its heart were the six aircraft carriers they protected. The flagship, the 36,500‑ton carrier Red Castle, steamed ahead, followed by the Flying Dragon, Green Dragon, Increased Joy, Crane Flying in Heaven, and Lucky Crane. Their objective was a shallow harbor on the western coast of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands, the U.S. Navy's chief Pacific Ocean base. Native people called it Wai Momi (Pearl Waters) for the pearl-bearing oysters that once were plentiful there—Pearl Harbor.


    The coming attack was part of a grand scheme to make Japan the ruler of Asia. To that end, the country's forces had invaded China four years earlier, in 1937. However, to succeed, Japan's military rulers decided they had to destroy the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. They knew their action would ignite global war—a Second World War— for the armies of German tyrant Adolf Hitler were already rampaging across Europe. What they could not know was that the conflict would be the greatest war of all time, claiming the lives of over seventy million, mostly civilians. This number, however, is far from the war's total cost, which can never be known. Because for each person killed, we must add countless others wounded and crippled, widowed and orphaned.


    At 6:00 a.m., the carriers turned into the wind to launch their planes from a position 270 miles north of Pearl Harbor. At a signal from the Red Castle, pilots raced their motors. As the planes sped forward, deckhands shouted "Banzai!," meaning "Long life!," "Hurrah!," and "Forward!" Hours earlier, on the other side of the globe, in Washington, D.C., Operation Magic, a top-secret program for decoding Japanese radio signals, had told President Franklin D. Roosevelt that an attack was coming, but not where. So the War Department sent an alert to bases throughout the Pacific. Yet communication foul-ups prevented the message from reaching Pearl Harbor until after the attack.


    It was a normal peacetime Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor. The navy ships were at anchor and tied up at their docks. No bugle calls woke their crews. Sunday was a day of rest, and captains ordered "late hammocks," so the sailors could get up whenever they liked. That was good, since many nursed hangovers from Saturday night in Honolulu's saloons, dance halls, and "social clubs."


    At 7:55 a.m., early risers heard the drone of motors overhead. Moments later, 360 Japanese raiders—fighters, dive-bombers, torpedo planes—swooped down, each heading for its assigned target. Meeting little organized resistance, within a half hour they sank, ran aground, or severely damaged 18 warships. Three battleships became total wrecks, and 177 planes that had been parked on airfield runways were blown to bits, with a loss of only 29 Japanese planes and pilots. The enemy killed...
About the Author-
  • Albert Marrin is the author of numerous nonfiction books for young readers, including the National Book Award finalist Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy, A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery, Thomas Paine: Crusader for Liberty, Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives, and FDR and the American Crisis. His many honors include the Washington Children's Book Guild and Washington Post Nonfiction Award for an "outstanding lifetime contribution that has enriched the field of children's literature," the James Madison Book Award for lifetime achievement, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal, awarded by President George W. Bush. Visit him online at AlbertMarrin.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 5, 2016
    With masterful command of his subject and a clear, conversational style, Marrin (FDR and the American Crisis) lays bare the suffering inflicted upon Japanese Americans by the U.S. during WWII. Marrin delves into cultural, political, and economic strains leading up to Pearl Harbor, documenting extensive racist beliefs on both sides of the Pacific. Perceived as unacceptable security risks after the attack, Japanese immigrants living on the West Coast (issei) and their children (nisei), U.S. citizens by birth, were sent to desolate relocation centers. Only nisei trained by the military as linguists or who served in two segregated Army units in Europe were spared the humiliation of prisonlike confinement. Marrin admirably balances the heroism and loyalty of both groups with the hostile reception they received after the war and the legal battles of the few nisei who resisted; their convictions were only overturned in the 1980s. A prologue and final chapter questioning whether national security can justify the limiting of individual liberties, during wartime or as a response to terrorism, bookend this engrossing and hopeful account. Archival photos and artwork, extensive source notes, and reading suggestions are included. Ages 12–up.

  • Kirkus Reviews starred review "Historian Marrin (FDR and the American Crisis, 2015, etc.) writes with brutal honesty and conviction about a shameful period in American history. He constructs a detailed, well-researched narrative of horrific worldwide events leading up to the 'day of infamy'"
  • Publishers Weekly starred review "With masterful command of his subject and a clear, conversational style, Marrin (FDR and the American Crisis) lays bare the suffering inflicted upon Japanese Americans by the U.S. during WWII."
  • Booklist starred review "As with Marrin's Flesh and Blood So Cheap (2011) and FDR and the American Crisis (2015), this is a prodigiously researched, indispensable work of history, generously illustrated with period photographs. It belongs on every library's shelves."
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    Random House Children's Books
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Uprooted
Uprooted
The Japanese American Experience During World War II
Albert Marrin
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