I've had this book on my TBR list for years, but at $1.99 I snagged it immediately. It's used in California schools to teach children about the World War II internment camps, a subject that is too easily forgotten. In fact it's a subject that many, many Americans would really rather not discuss, even now.
"Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California's Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independence to the north, it is approximately 230 miles (370 km) northeast of Los Angeles. Manzanar (which means "apple orchard" in Spanish) was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former camp sites, and is now the Manzanar National Historic Site, which preserves and interprets the legacy of Japanese American incarceration in the United States."
The book on sale is Farewell to Manzanar, and as I just wrote, many elementary schools in California have used it as a reading assignment. This is one of those little-thought-about facts about US education: you'll get a different perspective on US history depending on what parts of that history took place in your own state. Because those local places are what's going to be referenced in your class to give you the immediate story of your state, and then you'll move on to the larger image of your country. So for instance I had a different sort of history about the US, both the settlers and the Civil War, from learning it in Kansas schools. Since then I've read both state history books (some used to be part of state curriculum - I'm looking at you, Texas) and looked at reading lists for other states, and it's been a great way to learn. Not to mention observe changing perspectives.
Which brings me back to Manzanar - even in high school the US internment camps were glossed over in the World War II discussions - at my school anyway. So I applaud the idea of continuing to share this part of history.
I'm still disappointed that I never made it to see the national park area that Manzanar has now become. I'm glad it's been preserved.
Now having said all that, I've also not read the book myself, so I have no idea what it's like to read. But because of the price and the fact that I almost always find biographies/memoirs interesting, I'm going to start it later today. Hopefully.
Amazon US: Farewell to Manzanar
(Remember, that $2 is a US price.)
Wikipedia: Farewell to Manzanar:
"...a memoir published in 1973 by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. The book describes the experiences of Jeanne Wakatsuki and her family before, during and following their imprisonment at the Manzanar concentration camp due to the United States government's internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. It was adapted into a made-for-TV movie in 1976 starring Yuki Shimoda, Nobu McCarthy, James Saito, Pat Morita and Mako."