Write to Me, Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write to Me, Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind
by Cynthia Grady, illustrated by Amiko Hirao
Charlesbridge, 2018

A little-known true story of one person’s friendship and generosity and the impact it made to her recipients.

When Japanese citizens were sent to internment camps during World War II, Clara Breed, a librarian, said good bye to her patrons at the train station, where she handed out penny postcards and encouraged the children to write to her. She visited them at their temporary camp in California and sent boxes of books to the children when she could. In time, postcards from the children began arriving.  When the internment camps were closed, a few children returned to Clara’s library.

An Author’s Note tells of how when she moved to a retirement home, she found a box of more than 250 letters and postcards she had received. She was honored in 1991 at a reunion for Japanese Americans who had been imprisoned in Poston, Arizona.  More than seven hundred people gave her a standing ovation.

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