This week’s recommendation comes from:

Sara DeMartino smiling with the Cathedral of Learning far off in the background

Sara DeMartino 

English Language Arts Fellow 

Sara says, “There is work to do with this novel. Each chapter provides a different character’s perspective on their experiences while providing the reader a window to see the harsh realities that people of Japanese ancestry faced during this time. The novel offers the opportunity for cross-content work, providing a text for ELA teachers and history teachers to co-plan with at the high school level.”

We Are Not Free

Traci Chee

Don’t do anything that’ll make them come down you, he says. Don’t give them any excuse. And I haven’t. Until today.” – Excerpt from We Are Not Free

When Pearl Harbor is bombed and America enters World War II, the United States government forced Japanese Americans and immigrants living on the West Coast to relocate to camps where they had to swear allegiance to the United States or be confined to living in an incarceration camp. Chee’s novel follows the lives of a group of teenagers of Japanese ancestry as they are removed from their homes in San Francisco and forced to live in squalid conditions.