JOURNEY TO TOPAZ
This book, A Journey to Topaz, involves an eleven year old girl named Yuki Chan who lives in California. Up until this point she was a perfectly happy girl and had many friends. But then, one day, Japan bombed America and all of the Japanese were taken to camps, including Yuki. Her father is being taken to war while she, her brother Kenichi and her mother enter long years of camp. Yuki travels around the U.S. in buses and trains to different camps and goes through many tough times. When she first arrives at camp, she is told that she is going to be living in apartment quarters. Instead, she spends her days and nights in a horse stall that has been cleaned out although the smell still lingers. She meets a schoolgirl about the same age as she, Emi, who lives with her grandmother and father in the stall next to Yuki. They quickly become great friends! Kenichi is planning on getting out of camp by enrolling in college but does not because father is not back yet and they are being moved to another camp. He knows he can't leave his mother and younger sister behind to fight for themselves. Once they have reached their second camp, father comes home. Although Kenichi realizes he may now go off to college, he decides to stick with his family until the end. Emi, Yuki's friend, comes along to the following camp with her grandparents. Unfortunately, she becomes very sick and is kept in the hospital for an exceptionally long time. When Emi appears healthy again she returns to her barrack (housing) with her family. At the same time she arrives home, her grandfather is shot while walking along the perimeters. He had done nothing wrong, the guard just decides to shoot him from the watchtower because he is Japanese. The doctors are not able to retrieve him, he had been shot in the head.
Yuki's father is a man supporting his people and some gangs in the camp do not like it. They try to intimidate him and throw rocks through their windows and pick fights. He finally decides that he and his family must leave. He was let out on parole from Montana even though he isn't a criminal of any kind. This makes it harder for him to find a way out. He contacts many people who have connections and finally is on his way to Salt Lake City, along with Yuki, Kenichi and his wife, to find a new life!
This story was truly touching. Before reading this book I had very little knowledge of the Japanese war. It tells about all the tough times the innocent Japanese went through although they were as loyal to America as any American. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in history and historical events.