Journey To Topaz
Yuki Sakane is just a normal American girl until tragedy strikes the country causing panic. This story shares the heartbreak, love, friendship, and strength of Japanese Americans through the internment of their people.
"They say the government is going to move all the Japanese from the West Coast," he explained.
..."Don't be foolish, Kenichi," Mother scolded. "Why would the United States ever do a thing like that? We are not spies or traitors. And besides, you children are American citizens, You were born right here in California. How could they do anything like that to citizens?"
Journey to Topaz is about the experiences of the Sakane family and their time before and during World War 2 in the internment camps of the Tanforan Assembly Center and Topaz . It is told in the perspective of eleven-year-old Yuki and follows her first-generation (Issei) Japanese American parents and her older brother forced to move from their home in Berkeley, California to a desert location in Utah abandoning all of their homes, possessions, jobs and civil liberties regardless of their U.S. citizenship. Her father is in a Prisoner of War camp in Montana for a majority of the book, as well as numerous other Japanese men because of their involvement in the Japanese community. Yuki's brother Ken is studying to become a doctor before the War and by the end he decides to join a 'special' all-Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) unit and fight in the War. Yuki makes friends with Emi and her grandparents whom live next door to her in Tanforan and in Topaz and always tries to see the best out of her situation even when tragedy strikes and her world is turned upside-down.