The ‘revolutionary Aunties’

The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice Edited by Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau and Preeti Sharma (Oakland, Calif.: University of California Press, 2021, 288 pp., $24.95, paperback) In every immigrant community, we can find skilled seamstresses and resourceful crafters. It’s a survival skill passed down in our […]

A pandemic mystery in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

AN ETERNAL LEI : A Leilani Santiago Hawai‘i Mystery By Naomi Hirahara (Altadena, Calif.: Prospect Park Books, 2022, 200 pp., $17.99, paperback) When what at first appears to be a giant jellyfish floating off the coast turns out to be a lady, Dani screams out to her sister Sophie for help. They drag the limp […]

A classroom favorite and must-have for families

Hello Maggie! Revised 2nd Edition By Shigeru Yabu, illustrated by Willie Ito (Camarillo, Calif.: Yabitoon Books, 2021, 42 pp., $19.95, paperback) “Hello Maggie!” is the true childhood story of author Shig Yabu and his best friend, a magpie named Maggie. It is also a chronicle of Shig and his family’s forced removal from their life […]

Finding hope behind bars

LOVE IN THE LIBRARY By Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Yas Imamura (Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2022, 40 pp, $18.99, hardcover) To many of us, the wartime incarceration is an impossible story. We thought we were free. We are American citizens with all the privileges that holds. So we find it impossible to believe that our […]

‘The American democratic and multicultural promise’

THE KINDNESS OF COLOR: THE STORY OF TWO FAMILIES AND MENDEZ, ET AL. V. WESTMINSTER, THE 1947 DESEGREGATION OF CALIFORNIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS By Janice Munemitsu (Self-published, 2021, 211 pp., $14.99, paperback) In 1949, when I was 10 years old, my family moved from New Jersey to Goleta, Calif., where I enrolled as a sixth grader […]

A JA’s story of overcoming the odds

MY JOURNEY THROUGH FOUR WORLDS: GROWING UP IN THE JAPANESE, DEAF, HEARING, AND AMERICAN WORLDS By Ronald M. Hirano (Savory Words Publishing: 2021, 159 pp., $19.95, paperback) “Picture if you will, a nine-year-old Japanese American boy with downcast eyes standing beside a tall white lady at a boarding stop as hundreds of Japanese Americans were […]

How Hawai‘i avoided incarcerating Japanese Americans en masse

INCLUSION: HOW HAWAI‘I PROTECTED JAPANESE AMERICANS FROM MASS INTERNMENT, TRANSFORMED ITSELF, AND CHANGED AMERICA By Tom Coffman (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2021, 384 pp., $24.99, paperback) Tom Coffman is a prolific scholar, journalist and filmmaker whose books “Nation Within” and “The Island Edge of America: A Political History of Hawai‘i” have shaped scholarly discourse […]

‘Composite history’ falls short

ENEMIES AMONG US: THE RELOCATION, INTERNMENT, AND REPATRIATION OF GERMAN, ITALIAN, AND JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR By John E. Schmitz (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2021, 430 pp., $65, hardcover) Author John Schmitz sets himself the daunting task of putting together a composite history of the wartime internment and incarceration of […]

Seeking happily ever after in Little Tokyo

FROM LITTLE TOKYO WITH LOVE By Sarah Kuhn (Toronto, Ontario: Viking Books for Young Readers, 2021, 432 pp., $24.99, hard cover) A clever, funny, romp of a story that is “not a fairytale” begins: “Once upon a time, a beautiful princess lived in the magical kingdom of Los Angeles. Always alone, she belonged to no one — and no one belonged to her. She dreamed of one day finding someone who shared her passions, […]

A classic collection of Japanese folk tales

FOLK TALES FROM JAPAN: FABLES, MYTHS, AND FAIRY TALES FOR CHILDREN By Florence Sakade, illustrated by Yoshio Hayashi (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2020, 80 pp., $14.99, hard cover) “Folk Tales From Japan,” compiled by Florence Sakade, is a delightful collection of stories that has been enchanting children for more than 60 years. Previously published as “More Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories,” it is part of a series “created to share the folktales and legends most beloved by children in the East with […]

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