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Dear Miss Breed
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Dear Miss Breed
Ture Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration
During World War II and
A Librarian Who Made a Difference

By Joanne Oppenheim
2006, 287 pages, Hardback.
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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

To Americans of Japanese ancestry, World War II came like a hurricane that swept away their security and freedom. On December 7, 1941, they woke up as citizens and by nightfall, after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, they were the enemy who could not be trusted. In a matter of months they would be imprisoned by their own government. Their only crime was having the "wrong" ancestors.

While wars are usually told in terms of great battles and major victories, the true story of war is often reflected in quiet acts of courage. Dear Miss Breed is the account .of how a remarkable librarian became a lifeline to "her children," as she called the middle- and high-school-aged Japanese Americans of San Diego whom she had come to know and love.

Joanne Oppenheim's narrative is woven with the voices of the incarcerated-the experiences, struggles, and challenges they faced before, during, and even long after the war. Thanks to the books, gifts, and mail sent by Clara Breed, they held on to their faith in better times to come. Told through letters, student essays, and recent oral histories with survivors of that dark time in history, this is a cautionary tale about what fear and hysteria can do even in the world's greatest democracy.

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Background on the Author

Joanne Oppenheim is the author of more than fifty books for and about children. Her children's books have won IRA's Children's Choice awards and Child Study Association of America Children's Books of the Year, have appeared on Outstanding Science Book lists, and have been featured in Children's Book-of-the-Month Club and the Junior Literary Guild. In addition, she is the president and co-founder of Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Inc. One of the country's most highly regarded child development experts, Joanne is seen regularly on NBC's Today, where she is a contributor. She lives in New York City with her husband and is the mother of three grown children and grandmother of seven.

Dear Miss Breed came about when Joanne began looking for a Japanese American childhood friend online. She not only found her classmate but a story that needed to be told.

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