Saturday, October 18, 2014

MG Historical Fiction: Dust of Eden by Mariko Nagai

18378823Mina Masako Tagawa lives in Seattle with her mother, father, brother and grandpa.  Home has always been a mixture of Japanese and American influences.  Grandpa grows his roses and dad is a newspaper writer,  everything was going well for them until the bombing of Pearl Harbor.   Afterwards, Mina's father was taken away and the rest of the family was relocated to Camp Harmony in Washington and then to Minidoka relocation camp in Idaho. Life in the internment camp presents challenges to the entire family.  

The story is told in verse and relates the families experiences in being separated and taken from their home and relocated.   Not only is the story a glimpse at one families life, but it includes views from three different generations.  Their views and ideas are presented through Mina's poems and letters that she writes to her friend back in Seattle, to her father while he is imprisoned and later on to her brother when he enlists.  In return, Mina receives letters back from them detailing their own experiences, so that a broader picture of the impact on the family is felt.  Dust of Eden also delves into the idea of what it means to be an American,  a question that is raised as a writing assignment in Mina's school.  Mina's brother Nick, believes it means joining the US military to prove his loyalty and devotion to the country.  Mina at first uncertain comes to her own conclusions that include that being American means that America is her home.   Included at the back of the book is an authors note providing more of the historical details of the Japanese American internment camps as well as the inspiration for the story.  

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a good, good book. Looking forward to reading it.