The Bracelet by Yoshiko Uchida

April 6, 2011

The Bracelet is a beautiful story that illustrates a dark time during American History – a time when Americans persecuted Japanese-Americans and placed them in interment camps.  The story begins with a young girl, Emi, reflecting upon how her home used to look.  “The house was like a gift box after the nice thing inside was gone; just a lot of nothingness.” Emi, along with her mother and older sister, are being forced to pack up their belongings to go to an internment camp, because they are Japanese-Americans.  A knock at the door has Emi hoping that a messenger has arrived.  Instead, her friend Laurie is at the door with a gift for Emi – a bracelet to remember her by.  Shortly after, Emi and her family are sent to a racetrack that has been converted to a dentention camp.  After her arrival, Emi loses the bracelet that Laurie gave her.  Emi eventually learns with her mother’s help that she doesn’t have to have the bracelet to remember her special friend.  In fact, you don’t ever have to have something to remember someone.  “Those are things we can carry in our hearts and take with us no matter where we are sent.”

The Bracelet includes an afterword that shines more light upon the historical events that led up to the creation of Internment Camps to imprison Japanese-Americans.  It also descibes the redress made by the US Federal Goverment. 

This story was of particular interest to me, because I love to study the historical events of WWII.  My grandfather served our country at that time, and I always think of  him when WWII is mentioned.  When I first learned about the internment camps created for Japanese-Americans, I was quite shocked.  I actually researched this topic as a sophomore in college and wrote a lengthy research paper over the information I learned.  I think it is important for Americans to be proud of all of the wonderful things our country has accomplished, but I also think that we should reflect upon the mistakes that have been made.  The Bracelet is not only a wonderful story, but it is also a great source to use when studying American History. 

If you liked The Bracelet, you should read these other titles by Yoshiko Uchida:

The Dancing Kettle

 The Invisible Thread

Images obtained from http://www.bookwizard.scholastic.com and http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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