The poignant and wistful cover perfectly captures her pain and longing as she leaves behind the life she knew and for reasons that are never quite clear to her, is confined to a hostile world of fences, barbed wire, tiny baracks, and dry red desert dust.
Her loss of is profound. Losing all that is familiar, especially her beloved family dog Yujiin affects her deeply and causes her to lose her voice.
Grandfather is like me
He is looking for Yujiin
He is waiting for Yujiin
It is my fault that Yujiin is alone on the mainland.
It is my fault that Grandfather has stopped laughing.
Maybe it is even my fault that Ron is with us in this prison/village
Importance of Identity
"But only my face and my name are Japanese,” I say. “The rest of me is American."
Understanding Surpasses Knowledge
In the morning, I show Grandfather my fan. He inspects it as if he has never seen it before.
“You know,” he says, “your father spent many hours making this for you.”
“You see,” he says, “your father thinks of the island just like you.”
“You understand,” he says, “your father loves you very much.”
A Barren Existence Produces It's Own Prison
Mother says “Desert. There’s no water. No green.”
Her cheeks are wet with tears.
“It is a prison,” she says.
Choking Sense of Loss of Empowerment
This wind pelts my face with dust. It glues my eyelashes closed until Mother presses a warm, wet cloth on my eyes to clean the dust away. It powders my hair until Mother brushes the dust free with her long strong strokes. It layers my tongue and throat. Too much for Mother to clean out. Not even two cups of hot water from the teapot can clean it out.
“This garden never had enough rain. So it had to grow deep roots.”
Power of Sensory Experiences
Ron is silent on our way to school. In his silence there is a big space that I fill up with more wet smells. I remember the itchy wet smell of sand sticking to my skin. I remember the sticky wet smell of fog. I remember the furry wet smell of Yujiin. I breathe this smell into my body.
Endings and Beginnings
“Look at the ocean,” Grandfather says, “Where does it end? Where does it begin?”
Fish for Jimmy: Inspired By One Family's Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp is a picture book adaptation of Katie Yamasaki's family experience.