I fell in love with this author while doing some research for a short story contest called the SELTI, Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative, check them out here.
The Invisible Thread was the story of young Yoshiko Uchida and her family’s heartbreaking experience during WWII. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the government ordered all people of Japanese decent to be placed into Internment Camps, see more here.
The story is told through the younger sister’s, Yoshiko, eyes. As she and her sister grow up during these formidable years in the different camps, Yoshiko determines she wants to become a teacher. As WWII comes to a close, she finally escapes the camp and is able to fulfill her dreams.
This is a story of a young girl becoming a woman of purpose during a most frightful and discriminating time.
As I began my own story, An Unlikely Hero, I took a different approach. I chose to use the view point of an orphaned and troubled American boy who finds refuge with a Japanese family when no one else would extend him help.
As news spreads that the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor, the townspeople point their hatred at the Japanese family who have done nothing wrong. In the midst of all the chaos, my main hero loses his courage to take up for his adopted Japanese family and leaves them to an angry mob. He spends the rest of his life trying to reconnect with them and make up for his grave mistake.
Reading is a necessity to great writing. For most of the reading I do, I choose Middle Grade books. I enjoy Middle Grade Readers because they harness the innocence of uncorrupted childlike faith and turn it into a catalyst for courage to change or make a change.
I hope you will look into the many other books by Yoshiko Uchida, especially with the 70th Anniversary of D-Day this year and the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of WWII (September 1, 1939). For a history timeline on WWII, click here.
My story, An Unlikely Hero, placed 6th in the SELTI contest and gave me the idea to pursue it further as a possible novel. To find out more about the annual SELTI, click here. For more information about those who created SELTI and its purpose, click here.
Mobile Bay SELTI Tourism Writing Contest Official Results
First Place – “Raisin’ Cain” by Mary S. Palmer
Second Place – “Remembrance” by Natalie Welch
Third Place – “The Mother of Mystics” by Steve Joynt
Fourth Place – “The China Doll Heads” by Susan Milling
Fifth Place – “Henry and the Ren Faire” by Carroll Dale Short
Sixth Place- “An Unlikely Hero” by Cindy M. Jones
Here are a few other suggestions for Middle Grade reading about the Interment Camps.
By: Yoshiko Uchida
Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family
Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese-American Evacuation
A Jar of Dreams
Baseball Saved Us by: Ken Mochizuki, D
Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp by: Katie Yamasaki
Barbed Wire Baseball by: Marissa Moss
Take What You Can Carry by: Kevin C. Pyle
I Am An American by: Jerry Stanley
For more resources from The Best Children’s Books, please click here.