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Today at Book Off, I was walking past the English books and this happened to catch my eye. It's subtitled "A Memoir by the Author of The Best Bad Thing". I had heard of neither the author nor the book, but this sounded interesting and was a dollar so I grabbed it.

Yoshiko Uchida was born and raised in the Bay Area during the Depression. About half the book deals with her childhood, with short sections about her parents as well, and the other half is about life during the war (she was just weeks away from finishing college when Pearl Harbor was bombed). She later went on to write dozens of books about Japanese and Japanese-Americans, mostly children's books, but her later life isn't really covered in the book at all.

It's only about 130 pages and is aimed at children, but it's well-written and doesn't flinch from describing the racism she encountered growing up or the harsh realities of the concentration camps in WWII. Despite that, it's overall pretty upbeat and positive, and not a horribly depressing read (other than the general subject matter).

I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. If anyone's interested, I'm happy to pass on my copy as I don't reread and it appears to be out of print. E-mail me at with your address (US only, please, as shipping elsewhere would be too pricey for me right now) and I'll send it to you. ETA: Taken!


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