Review: Farewell to Manzanar

I just finished reading the book Farewell to Manzanar for English class. Farewell to Manzanar is a biography written by a Japanese woman named Jeanne Wakatsuki who as a young girl was put in a camp for people of Japanese ancestry. The book took place during World War II. The book Farewell to Manzanar is filled with history and the experiences Jeanne Wakatsuki deals with while in Manzanar.

I really enjoyed reading Farewell to Manzanar. I’m not usually interested in history but this book actually made it interesting. The author didn’t go overboard with facts about the history which is good considering most kids get bored easily. Jeanne Wakatsuki was put in a camp for Japanese people and the living conditions were a step above an animal but I enjoyed reading how her and her family dealt with it. I liked reading how the Japanese people were outcasts pretty much because of their ancestry.

I also liked reading how Jeanne Wakatsuki had a hard time fitting in at school because she was oriental. Jeanne Wakatsuki fit in academically but not socially because most kids in her school were prejudice. But being oriental didn’t stop her because towards the end of the book, Jeanne Wakatsuki became Carnival Queen after a friend heard ladies in the office talk about the risks of an oriental girl becoming Carnival Queen. She stood up and beat the other girls in the competition. I liked how she overcame the fact that she was oriental and an outcast. It just shows that race doesn’t mean anything and that if you really want something, don’t let anything stop you.

The only part that I didn’t like of the book was some parts are hard to follow. Jeanne Wakatsuki is put into Manzanar with her family which included: her mama, papa, sisters, brothers, brother-in-laws, sisters-in-laws and her Grammy. It’s hard to keep track of who is who. If the author had told more about each character then it might have been easier to follow. Or if the author had used each character more often throughout the story, I might have been able to follow along better.

The book Farewell to Manzanar was overall a very good book. It’s filled with history of World War II and the story of a Japanese woman who overcomes being an outcast. Anyone interested in reading about wars, segregation, or overcoming the odds, would really enjoy Farewell to Manzanar.

By Brooklyn Dotts