This book, while it takes place in America, made me think of my mother who grew up in Japanese occupied Korea―she was forced to give up her Korean birth name for a Japanese name; forced to go to Japanese school and bow to large portraits of Emperor Hirohito; forced into the war effort at age twelve only to lose a finger while sewing buttons onto Japanese Imperial uniforms; Meanwhile, in America, a similar and heart-wrenching story unfolds in Weedflower, a story of innocent Japanese Americans going about their lives when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, Japanese Americans are no longer considered American―they are the enemy.
Twelve-year-old Sumiko has always struggled to fit in, but when the war breaks out, struggles turn to fear for her and her family, so much so, they have no other choice but to burn all precious possessions from Japan including photos of family members to prove their alliance to America; forced to erase all history of motherland Japan. And yet, after all of that, they’re still sent to a dreaded internment camp. This is a breathtaking, tear-jerking portrait of one of the thousands of Japanese American families who suffered and sacrificed everything during World War II. Sumiko, Japanese. My mother, Korean. Two girls who were victims of world powers.