A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother's experiences in World War II-era Japanese internment camps. - (Baker & Taylor)
A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother's experiences in World War II-era Japanese internment camps in Displacement, a historical graphic novel from Kiku Hughes.
Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II.
These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself "stuck" back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class. She witnesses the lives of Japanese-Americans who were denied their civil liberties and suffered greatly, but managed to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive.
Kiku Hughes weaves a riveting, bittersweet tale that highlights the intergenerational impact and power of memory.
- (McMillan Palgrave
In a nod to Octavia Butler's Kindred, Hughes meditates on generational trauma and her grandmother's experiences in incarceration camps during WWII. Kiku's exploring San Francisco with her mother when she first travels back in time, but her longest displacement occurs when her grandmother, Ernestine, is imprisoned first at Tanforan and then Topaz, in Utah. Kiku finds herself stuck there, too, observing her grandmother and experiencing first hand not only the struggle to survive but the undercurrent of fear, the difficult choices faced by the Nikkei in the camps, and the sense of community they cobbled together. Spare, fine-lined artwork in muted earth tones emphasizes the flat desert landscape and echoes the staid, somber tone of the narrative overall, which is dense with voice-overs reflecting on the reverberating impact of the camps on her family and the Japanese diaspora in general. Hughes powerfully places this story amid the onset of Trump's Muslim Ban and incarceration of refugees at the Mexican border, potently reminding readers that racism still permeates the fabric of our society. Grades 7-11. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.