Welcome to Scholastic Booktalks where we recommend brand new Scholastic books that we think you will love. Today’s booktalk is an all new title in the Dear America series: The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson.
13-year-old Piper Davis has been given a diary. She’s never used one before, but because of everything happening in her life, she’s glad she has one. It’s 1941 and Europe is at war. Even though Piper and her family live in Seattle, Washington, there is talk that America might become involved with the war.
Piper’s dad is the minister of the Seattle Japanese Baptist Church. Piper and her family have always been close to her dad’s congregation. But when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, the Japanese-Americans in Piper’s town start getting harassed by some of the white townspeople. Even at school, Piper’s friend, Betty, suffers from a humiliating attack by her classmates.
When President Roosevelt orders all residents of Japanese heritage to be put into internment camps, Piper’s father decides to move also, to be closer to his congregation. Piper doesn’t understand why they have to move. The war will be over soon and the Japanese-Americans will be able to return home. But Piper quickly finds out this is not the case. These temporary camps seem more permanent. And the barbed wire and the watchtowers make it feel more like a prison, not a camp.
Why can’t anyone understand that the people in these camps aren’t the bad guys? They are good people who love America and would never do anything to hurt it. Will the war end soon? Will the Japanese community be able to return to a normal life? Find out in Dear America: The Fences Between Us.
Download a sneak peek excerpt right now!
— Jen, Scholastic Booktalker