Gaijin: American Prisoner Of War

Gaijin: American Prisoner Of War

3.85 (1,380 ratings by Goodreads)
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With a white mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly realizes that his home in San Francisco is no longer a welcoming one after Pearl Harbor is attacked. And once he's sent to an internment camp, he learns that being half white at the camp is just as difficult as being half Japanese on the streets of an American city during WWII. Koji's story, based on true events, is brought to life by Matt Faulkner's cinematic illustrations that reveal Koji struggling to find his place in a tumultuous world-one where he is a prisoner of war in his own country.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 186 x 236 x 20.32mm | 530g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • chiefly Illustrations
  • 1423137353
  • 9781423137351
  • 720,826

Review quote

In this graphic work of historical fiction, Koji Miyamoto turns thirteen the day the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, and the San Francisco teen finds his life spinning out of control. His Japanese-born father is overseas visiting family at the time, leaving Koji and his European-American mom to navigate the social backlash within their community and the directives regarding relocation of citizens of Japanese ancestry. Koji is mandated to relocate, and his mother isn't letting him go alone, so the two are assigned to the Alameda Downs Assembly Center, a converted racetrack. There he's plagued at night by continuing dreams in which his father is a fighter pilot for Japan, bullied by day for his outsider status as a gaijin (foreigner), and he's suspicious that his mother might be exchanging sex for favors from the camp administrators and guards. Thus, in a few short weeks, a Lone Ranger loving adolescent turns into a confused and angry young man. Frames are laid out with all the orderly crispness of a cleanly deployed executive order but are densely filled with figures that roil with emotion and colors that change to lurid red-streaked hues when Koji's nightmares and fears hold sway. The particular trials of a biracial internee add a fresh dimension to the canon of relocation-camp fiction, and an endnote offers background on the Faulkner family history that inspired this title. EB BCCB"
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About Matt Faulkner

Matt Faulkner, a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, is an acclaimed illustrator who has written and illustrated a number of children's books, including Gaijin: American Prisoner of War, The Moon Clock, Black Belt, and A Taste of Colored Water. Matt lives with his wife, Kris Remenar, an author and children's librarian, and their children, in southeast Michigan. Visit him at
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Rating details

1,380 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 30% (408)
4 37% (511)
3 25% (350)
2 5% (74)
1 3% (37)
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