I had forgotten I had a copy of Stealing Home by J. Torres, with illustrations by David Namisato. I knew when I saw the online copy, I wanted to read it, had wanted to for a while, so, I read it. It was not until the day after I finished, I found my hardcover copy. So, what joy for me! I can read it again. And this is one book you do need to read more than once. There is a lot going on, a lot of emotions and twists. This is not a book about a family living in a Japanese Canadian internment camp. It is a story of family, honor, and doing what is right, and much more.
This is a sadly beautiful story of a young Japanese Canadian boy and his family during the years after Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese. It is also about the internment camp they were sent to. But is also about a son and his father. It is also about a father who is a doctor who knows “where he is needed the most” might not be at home with his family. And it is about how the theme of baseball (how it brought communities together, the Japanese and white fans, as well as the metaphor of “life throwing things at you”) is the backdrop of the story told from the eyes of a child just wanting things to be normal again.
The fact that we had camps in the US should not be a surprise (horrible for certain, but sadly not a surprise) but in Canada? Why would that happen? And, like the States, a thriving community felt the results of prejudice and racism. But our main character has baseball, his one link that shows how to be strong, stand up in the face of adversity, adapt and take what is thrown at you and do your best with it.