By Cynthia Kadohata. Now in paperback!
Twelve-year-old Sumiko feels her life has been made up of two parts: before Pearl Harbor and after it. The good part and the bad part. Raised on a flower farm in California, Sumiko is used to being the only Japanese American girl in her class. Even when the other kids tease her, she always has had her flowers and family to go home to.
That all changes after Pearl Harbor. Other Americans start to suspect that all Japanese people are spies for the emperor, even if, like Sumiko, they were born in the United States! As suspicions grow, Sumiko and her family find themselves being shipped to a concentration camp in one of the hottest deserts in the United States. Sumiko soon discovers that the camp is on an Indian reservation and that the Japanese Americans are as unwanted there as they'd been at home.
But then she meets a young Mohave boy who might just become her first real friend...if he can ever stop being angry about the fact that the camp is on his tribe's land. With searing insight and clarity, Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata explores an important and painful topic through the eyes of a young girl who yearns to belong. Weedflower is the story of the rewards and challenges of a friendship across the racial divide, as well as the based-on-real-life story of how the meeting of Japanese Americans and Native Americans changed the future of both.
Hardbound: 272 pp. Ages 10-14