Based on her award-winning adult novel, Obasan
, Joy Kogawa's Naomi's Road
takes younger readers on a remarkable journey into the life and times of six-year-old Naomi Nakane as she grows up in the shadow of one of the darkest moments in Canadian history. As Japan entered the Second World War on the side of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, thousands of Canadians of Japanese ancestry found their lives torn apart. Their property and belongings seized by the Canadian government, they were forced from their homes and put into internment camps, and later moved to disparate parts of Canada far away from other family members and friends. It is a story that Kogawa knows well--she herself was a child like Naomi who survived the humiliation and brutality that was shown to Japanese Canadians, and she poignantly relives her own childhood experiences as she takes us into Naomi's world. Through Naomi's eyes, we witness the terrible prejudice that faced Japanese Canadians and the wrenching pain of being displaced again and again. Kogawa is to be particularly commended for giving voice to the sense of confusion as Naomi watches her world come apart, never really understanding why these terrible things are happening. But Naomi's Road
is also a novel about the importance of family, the power of friendship, and the possibility of finding light even in moments of darkness. (Ages 8 to 10) --Jeffrey Canton
--This text refers to an alternate
From Publishers Weekly
Kogawa, who wrote the adult book Obasan, begins this with a letter to children, explaining the background for Naomi's storythat Canada was at war with Japan and so all Japanese-Canadians were placed in internment camps. Naomi and her brother first go to a camp and then to a farm; their mother has gone to Japan to nurse an ailing relative and isn't allowed to return to Canada. Naomi's point of view is singularly childlikefor her, war means missing her parents and not understanding why another girl, Mitzi, dislikes her. The writing is gently lyrical; when her father returns from a long absence and holds Naomi, "We are quiet as moon song. As quiet and still as resting swans. Into this quiet I fall like a lost feather returning." This is not a novel that bears malice for the injustices of the war, but relates instead a tale of unquenchable human spirit, undaunted by prejudice and unable to let go of hope. Ages 8-11.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.