Young Adult Fiction

Japanese American Resource Library


Beacon HIll Boys, Ken Mochizuki (2002)
Like other Japanese American families in the Beacon Hill area of Seattle during the early 1970s, 16-year-old Dan Inagaki’s parents expect him to be an example of the “model minority”. But unlike Brad, Dan’s older brother, who has a 4.0 GPA, a college scholarship, and a white girlfriend, Dan is tired of being called “Oriental” by his teachers, and frusturated that no one in his family understands how invisibile he feels. Sharing Dan’s anger and isolation are his best friends, Jerry Ito, Eddie Kanegae , and Frank Ishimoto. Together, these Beacon Hill boys struggle to come of age in an America that would continue to see young Asian Americans assimilate rather than stir up the proverbial melting pot.

Extraordinary Asian Pacific Americans Susan Sinnot (1993)
Biographical information.

Farewell to Manzanar Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston (1973)
The true story of one spirited Japanese American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention…and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.

The Invisible Thread, Yoshiko Uchida (1991)
Growing up between two worlds. Growing up in CA, Yoshi knew her family looked different from their neighbors. Still, she felt like an American. But everything changed when America went to war against Japan. Along with all the other Japanese-Americans on the West Coast, Yoshi’s family were rounded up and imprisoned in a crowded, badly built camp in the desert because they “looked like the enemy.” Yoshiko Uchida grew up to be an award-winning author. This memoir of her childhood gives a personal account of a shameful episode in American history.

Japanese American Journey: The Story of a People JACP Inc. (1985)
Stories of Japanese Americans who have succeeded in the US with courage and tenacity. Contains an historical section to give the reader a sense of some of the significant events that took place in the lives of the Japanese in the US.
Grades 5-8.

The Journal of Ben Uchida Barry Denenberg (1999)

The Journey Painting and Text by Sheila Hamanaka (1990)
A brief account of the harrowing experience of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century.

A Time to Fight Back: True Stories of Wartime Resistance Jayne Pettit (1996)
In the years between 1939 and 1945, countless children in Europe and Asia suffered the hardships and horrors of WWII. Many of these children waged their own battles against forces of evil, in secret and often at the risk of their lives. Pettit has focused on 8 young boys and girls caught in the web of war: a deaf mute who rescued a downed fighter pilot, an 8-year old Belgian boy who distributed an underground newspaper, 2 children–a Japanese American girl and a British evacuee–displaced from their homes, and others on both sides of the struggle whose lives were touched and changed by the conflict. This book describes the experience of these remarkable young people, each of whom found the courage to fight the enemy on their own terms.