Books: Non-Fiction

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up

Book — Non-fiction. By Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi. Illustrated by Yutaka Houlette. 2017. 112 pages.
Story of Fred Koretmatsu, jailed for resisting internment by the U.S. government during WWII. He took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court twice.

Time Periods: 20th Century, 1920
Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Imperialism, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, US Foreign Policy

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's HistoryNot enough students learn about the internment (better described as imprisonment) of Japanese Americans during World War II in the United States. But of those who do, even fewer learn about resistance by Japanese Americans. Fred Korematsu believed that what the U.S. government was doing was unconstitutional and fought his internment all the way to the Supreme Court. That is why this story should be in every classroom. Filled with photos, primary documents, and illustrations, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up tells Korematsu’s story, including how the case was reopened in 1983 when lawyer Peter Irons found hidden documents at the National Archives. With discussions of a “Muslim registry” in the news, this book couldn’t be more timely. Middle school and above. [Review by Rethinking Schools.]

Fred Korematsu liked listening to music on the radio, playing tennis, and hanging around with his friends—just like lots of other Americans. But everything changed when the United States went to war with Japan in 1941 and the government forced all people of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to distant prison camps. This included Fred, whose parents had immigrated to the United States from Japan many years before. But Fred refused to go. He knew that what the government was doing was unfair. And when he got put in jail for resisting, he knew he couldn’t give up. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9781597143684 | Heyday Books