#cbr12bingo Book Club
I am 100% cheating on this Bingo Block as I can’t find a Book Club book that I really want to read right now. However, this book should be 1000% in a book club. We need to remember a piece of our own history and how history is currently repeating itself.
Displacement by Kiku Hughes was not a perfect read for me. As much as I loved this book, I needed a bit more. It is a beautiful story about family, history, culture, love, hate, fear, memory and never allowing it to happen again. There is minimal art and text but they are full and complete. They are perfectly fitting the message/story. The story does not pull punches; you know what is going on. But also, is not “in your face” allowing it to be adapted to most ages. I would feel comfortable giving this to as young as 10 (who is a strong reader) and all the way to adult. However, as there is a death mentioned and Kiku finds a bit of love with another female prisoner, the more sensitive reader might not be the audience. (Therefore strong 10 to 15. And of course, adults.)
Kiku the character’s story is loosely based on Kiku the author’s life and family. Of Japanese American descent, Kiku (character) is transported back to 1940’s California where her grandmother and great-grandparents are sent to a Japanese interment holding camp and finally their “home” for several years in Utah. Life there is not easy, but Kiku is inspired by how these people survived under harsh conditions. She is proud to be part of these strong, determined people. She tells us how life in camp was with the physical and emotional conditions, plus how the politics of camp play out. One piece of history is how the older generation (those who emigrated from Japan) and the younger generations (the first and second generations born in America) differ. How tradition and culture do or do not play a part in their lives is explored and how this shapes next generations to come. Finally, we see how Kiku’s own life which had holes in her knowledge of her mother’s family and culture change. And how she and her family start to fight back to make sure it never happens again as it was the day her adventure started (2016 and a man named Trump started his presidency).
I have had the pleasure of growing up with a Japanese American aunt. When I first learned of the camps, I was interested in learning more as one of the pieces of information that stood out was, my aunt (born in the US), her family (her mother, a few aunts and uncles born in Japan, living in the US) and my cousins (and their cousins, all born in the US) would have been forced to go (as Hughes mentions how much (or really, little) “Japanese blood” meant you were incarcerated), but like Kiku finds, sometimes the research is hard. Though I am now happy to see books like this (and They Called Us Enemy by George Takei). In reading this book I remembered Summer of My German Solider by Bette Greene and from Goodreads comments learned how other peoples were incarcerated during the war years in Canada. Set against the backdrop of 2016 and Trumps election, promises, and the hate filled actions, this graphic novel is a quick, but powerful read that allows us to learn that sometimes we cannot forget. This book would be a great young adult book club or a club with parents and child. Or it could be your own person springboard to learn about a piece of history that is all too currently current events.