A Scarf for Keiko

  • Title: A Scarf for Keiko
  • Author: Ann Malaspina
  • Illustrator: Merrilee Liddiard
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“t’s 1942. Sam’s class is knitting socks for soldiers and Sam is a terrible knitter. Keiko is a good knitter, but some kids at school don’t want anything to do with her because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and her family is Japanese American. When Keiko’s family is forced to move to a camp for Japanese Americans, can Sam find a way to demonstrate his friendship?”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I definitely think this book could be used in a history class and in a discussion of WWII. I do not think the internment of Japanese Americans is discussed frequently or at length in our classrooms, rather brushed aside as a few sentences. I think is important that we as educators do not go past a significant grievance (among many) that this country has enacted on its own citizens. I think this book could go a long way to helping children understand the situation and feel empathy. I found this teacher’s guide from Kar-Ben Publishing that would be helpful in using this book in the classroom.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I was glad an author’s note at the end of the book, with real photographs from the time that were depicted in the book. But also there is an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book from Malaspina about where she gathered her information to write this book, such as the Japanese American National Museum’s book Los Angeles’s Boyle Heights, which is the neighborhood this book is based in.

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