Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1594
important read that brings incarceration camps to life for modern readers
Overall rating
Writing Style
DISPLACEMENT is a fascinating graphic novel that transports the main character and the reader to the 1940s internment/incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent and Japanese Americans. Kiku is in San Francisco with her mother when discussions about regulating immigration by religion and/or race are occurring (present day) when she finds herself transported back to the time of World War II and sees her grandmother at a concert, along with signs of discrimination against Japanese Americans, even those several generations removed immigration.

She writes it off as a strange dream, but then it happens again and she returns with a physical reminder of her trip, which she dubs a displacement. The third time it happens, Kiku is forced into the incarceration camps and the experience her grandmother also had as a teenager during this terrible time. The book presents a well-researched portrait of the time and the difficult decisions that those inside had to make, all while fearing for their safety.

The book really brings this experience to the reader with insights into decisions and the feelings, fear, and trouble that permeated these life experiences. I also really appreciated the end discussion that Kiku has with her mother that ties in the ways that the internment shaped future generations, their connections to their culture, and the "model minority" myths.

DISPLACEMENT is a really powerful story, told largely in narration alongside images, but it works perfectly for this story. The book is quite moving and really important to read in the present. I also really loved the inclusion of the author's own story and that of her family at the end, which inspired the book. The difficulty of the incarceration camps and treatments of the race come to life in a real way through this compelling read. Highly recommend this important read.
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