Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

In California, Tetsu, a second generation Japanese American, is an average 12 year old American boy who loves baseball and his family. And then Pearl Harbor happened. Tetsu’s family was banished to a Japanese detention camp. This is the story of how he made the awful life he was given in the internment camps feel a bit more normal. He and other families did it through the creation of a baseball diamond where they played baseball. This book showed the humanity and normalcy despite the surroundings. It also revealed the love and pain of being part of a family and the choices we make as children, as his choices affected his sister’s choices. Then his guilt and reactions altered his choices and impacted his friends. The story of his experience at the camps is a powerful tale.

I liked this book because it dealt with the awful treatment of Japanese people by the American government honestly and without pulling punches. It also showed the beauty of these same Japanese that had been so poorly treated. That is what was difficult for me about this book. These people were badly mistreated and they still considered themselves American and loved their country. I loved this book because of it’s honesty and because it also made me angry.  This outrage is useful because if I felt it, hopefully others do as they read it.