Author Matt Faulkner's graphic novel GAIJIN: AMERICAN PRISONER OF WAR gives readers a unique view of America's version of the WWII concentration camp.
It is 1941 and the Japanese have just attacked Pearl Harbor. Living in San Francisco, Koji Miyamoto learns that being the son of a Japanese father and a white mother comes with a cost. As emotions build in the U.S. after the Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese Americans are rounded up and sent to internment camps supposedly for their "protection."
Koji and his mother are sent to the Alameda Downs Assembly Center. It is an abandoned horse-racing track turned into a camp housing over 8,000 Japanese Americans. Conditions are poor for everyone, but life is especially difficult for Koji as he is teased and taunted for being "gaijin" or "half-caste."
Using simple, direct dialogue and his detailed, colorful artwork, author Matt Faulkner takes readers back to WWII to illustrate its powerful impact right here in the United States. With so much focus on German concentration camps, many teens don't realize the horrors visited on U.S. citizens who never left our own country. GAIJIN is a must have for any library or classroom collection.