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We Are Not Free Kindle Edition
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From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II.
Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.
Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.
Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.
In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.
From the Publisher
A Conversation with Traci Chee, author of WE ARE NOT FREE
What was your inspiration behind We Are Not Free?
In 1942, a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into WWII, the federal government evicted more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry from their homes on the west coast and imprisoned them in incarceration camps without charges or trial. This part of American history is actually part of my own history, because my grandparents, who were teenagers at the time and American citizens by birth, and their families were incarcerated for three years in these camps. It’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for years—it just took figuring out how to actually do it!
What made you decide writing from 14 points of view?
I’d been trying to figure out how to write a book about the incarceration for years, but the more research I did, the more impossible it seemed.
There were just so many stories, so many complex accounts and reactions, that I just could not figure out how to get all of them into a single novel from a single perspective! But then I realized I didn’t have to write just one main character… I could write fourteen. I could try to tell this kaleidoscope of experiences and perspectives, and once I understood that, I knew how to begin.
Since this book is based on a very personal topic, was it difficult to write about it?
Absolutely. As part of my research, I interviewed a number of relatives who’d been in the camps, and many of their stories ended up inspiring moments in We Are Not Free. (One of my great Auntie Mary’s stories even inspired the title!)
The whole time, I felt like it was such a privilege to have access to these stories, and that meant I also had this huge responsibility, even as I transformed these experiences into fiction, to tell them as authentically and respectfully as I possibly could. The whole process was such a gift, and I’m so grateful for it.
What is one piece of advice that you would give others that want to know more about their family history during difficult times?
I loved learning from my relatives and would encourage others to sit down with their families in the spirit of sharing and good conversation, but I also think difficult times can be equally difficult to talk about, even decades after those times are over. It might be time for some of those old stories to be told. It might not be. If it is, then I think that approaching a conversation from a place of love, humility, and respect is a pretty good place to start.
★ Chee is a master storyteller.... Here, she uses her own San Francisco-based Japanese American family's history to inform a blazing and timely indictment of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. Her passion and personal involvement combine with her storytelling talents to create a remarkable and deeply moving account of the incarceration.... [We Are Not Free] should become required curriculum reading on a shameful and relevant chapter in U.S. history.-- "Booklist, STARRED review A brilliant and intimate portrayal of several San Francisco teenagers during the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans in World War II. Chee's nuanced and unforgettable characters will serve to enlighten readers about this devastating and shameful piece of America's past. A beautiful, painful, and necessary work of historical fiction. --Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor winning author of The Night Diary "Traci Chee masterfully weaves together harrowing truths about the mass incarceration of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII, and features a cast of friends whose honesty, strength, and love for one another will break your heart. With characters who need to have their stories told, and a history that should never be forgotten, WE ARE NOT FREE is powerful, moving, and so incredibly necessary."
"[We Are Not Free] should become required curriculum reading on a shameful and relevant chapter in US history."-- "Booklist (starred review)" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
About the Author
Traci Chee is a New York Times bestselling author of the YA fantasy trilogy- The Reader, The Speaker, and The Storyteller. Shortlisted and nominated for multiple awards and accolades, Kirkus has also starred each of her previous trilogy titles, a rare accomplishment she shares of such authors as Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman and Lauren Oliver. In We Are Not Free, Chee changes gears, pulling from her own family history in this stunning and evocative novel, one that resonates so deeply against today's tumultuous political backdrop. Twitter: @tracichee, Instagram and Facebook: @TraciCheeAuthor, http: //www.tracichee.com.
Dan Woren is an American voice actor and Earphones Award-winning narrator. He has worked extensively in animation, video games, and feature films. He is best known for his many roles in anime productions such as Bleach and as the voice of Sub-Zero in the video game Mortal Kombat.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B07T4LWHM6
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Illustrated edition (September 1, 2020)
- Publication date : September 1, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 37709 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 401 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #29,547 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Each one of the character's stories were so unique and yet it was crazy to think about the thousands of stories still left untold from that time. Every one of the teens came alive so vividly in my head and I found them all so relatable. Their everyday teenage emotions were balanced so perfectly with the confusion and fear that the incarceration ensued and when I was reading it felt like there was no barrier between me and the past and that I was living right there along with them. I loved how each of the chapters bled into the other and when you reached the end of one the person that I most wanted to hear from was the one heading the next chapter.
I think that Shig and Twitchy's chapters were my favorite. Their friendship with each other as well as their relationships with the other characters were so genuine and I was left wishing for them as the older brothers I never had. The girls' chapters were also special as it was easier for me to put myself in their shoes and experience the story first-hand. The one character that didn't really fit for me was Kiyoshi. I did enjoy his chapter but I don't think it would have made a huge difference had he been left out. Overall this is another historical favorite for me and one that I would definitely recommend to anyone, not just lovers of the historical genre. Happy Reading :)