Citizen 13660

13660 was the number given to the author family as they were inducted into the japanese internment camps.

This book is unusual, different from any other book I’d read because it was highly illustrated. Mine Okubo wrote the book about her experience in a Japanese internment camp. She is a talented artist, and naturally, she didn’t stop being a talented artist in the internment camp.

What’s with camps? Concentration camps, gulags, internment camps…It seems like the WWII era was all about camps. Everybody had to have one.

Okubo made drawings of the things that happened in the camps. She starts the book before the camps, a really dramatic place to start. She lived in the San Francisco area and was just about her business. It was hard for her to believe that the camps would be happening.

But they did.

She drew herself into almost all the drawings. The pictures are very cartoon-like, and have the same sort of impact as a comic book. THe expression on her face (it’s hard to draw the right expression!) tells so much about the story. Her writing is very factual, Since the story is so dramatic on it’s own, she doesn’t need to get on a soapbox about how she felt or how it was wrong or what should have happened.

It’s a great book. It’s probably a really great book to give to Jr. High students or high school students to learn about history. Because the book is presented plainly, and with a lot of respect for the reader. You are definitely allowed to make up your own mind.

I am far more interested in history when I can associate a story with it. This book does that very well.

One thought on “Citizen 13660

  1. Hi Murphy. A nice write-up on Citizen. I think her work is more pertinent than ever before (especially since that (North Carolina?)congressman recently suggested that internment was a good idea in WWII and would work great with our Islamic citizens now too. Yay!