Friday, March 26, 2021

Displacement by Kiku Hughes - ADVISABLE

by Kiku Hughes
, 280 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL First Second, 2020. $18.
Language: PG (2 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG (kissing) Violence: G 



Her first displacement happened while 16yo Kiku and her mom were visiting San Francisco. Suddenly fog rolled in and Kiku was looking at the street her grandmother lived on in 1936, and there was a violin recital . . . but it only lasted a few minutes and Kiku was back. But it happened again. Even after returning home to Seattle, she was still displaced - time and place traveling to witness her grandmother's story firsthand. Kiku is sent to Tanforan incarceration camp, living near but not with her grandmother's family. Housed with another single woman, Kiku experiences the hardships of the camp and after 6 months she is moved to Topaz in Delta, Utah, where she attends school and is faced with the same questions and fears as other Japanese living in Topaz. 

I liked how Hughes accounts for the loss of Japanese culture in her generation, and the connections she makes to the current political climate. Very similar to "They Called us Enemy" by George Takai, I like that the interior illustrations were in full color - kids will be more likely to pick this up, but it lacks the power of personal experience brought by Takai for his graphic novel. I struggled with the time travel element as well, it just didn't work for me.

Lisa Librarian

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