Google+ Bookslingers Blog: Dear America

Dear America

An excellent Bill Campbell critique of Dear America: The Diary of Piper Davis is circulating that highlights the dangers of telling one group's history or story through the eyes of a sympathetic white protagonist. Bill Campbell says it much better than I but this is not about attacking the quality of a specific book but rather examining the trend's potential damages and deficiencies.

In children's publishing it may wrongly reasoned that by viewing the events through the eyes of a witness, it puts distance between the reader and the traumatic events suffered by the victims of crimes like Japanese Interment.

But this is doing a disservice to children who despite their age and the age we live in, are still enduring racism, bigotry, cruelty and hatred. It isn't a thing of the past. And there should be book for them as well. Books where the oppressed endure.

Some excellent books that tell authentic stories about the Japanese Internment are:

Obasan by Joy Kogawa

Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi by Susan Aihoshi

 Home of the Brave by Allen Say

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai