Obaasan's Boots

  • Pages:160
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Themes:Japanese Internment, Japanese Canadians, Nikkei, anti-Asian hate, anti-Asian racism
  • Available:10/03/2023
  • Lexile:780L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:X

Cousins Lou and Charlotte don’t know a lot about their grandmother’s life. When their Obaasan invites them to spend the day in her garden, she also invites them into their family’s secrets. Grandma shares her experience as a Japanese Canadian during WWII, revealing the painful story of Japanese internment. Her family was forced apart. Whole communities were uprooted, moved into camps, their belongings stolen. Lou and Charlotte struggle with the injustice, even as they marvel at their grandmother’s strength. They begin to understand how their identities have been shaped by racism, and that history is not only about the past.

"Beautifully done."

– Joy Kogawa, bestselling author of Obasan, Naomi’s Road, and Naomi’s Tree

“A book that so beautifully captures the intimate and ongoing effects of internment on post war Japanese Canadian families. Bridger and Okihiro fully inhabit the idea that ‘history is not only about the past’ by tracing its present-day echoes and reverberations—in gardens, at dinner tables and through everyday familial relationships.”

– Kyo Maclear, author of Virginia Woolf and The Wishing Tree

"This book could also be included in a children’s literature class or in a thematic unit about works of literature that focus on the Second World War’s impact on people from different communities. Highly Recommended."

– Canadian Review of Materials

"A moving novel with much to recommend it to adult readers as well as to younger people."

– Historical Novel Society