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We Are Not Free: Book summary and reviews of We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

We Are Not Free

by Traci Chee

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee X
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
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About this book

Book Summary

"All around me, my friends are talking, joking, laughing. Outside is the camp, the barbed wire, the guard towers, the city, the country that hates us.
We are not free.
But we are not alone."

From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II.

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The individual tales are well crafted and emotionally compelling, and they resolve into an elegant arc. Ambitious in scope and complexity, this is an essential contribution to the understanding of the wide-ranging experiences impacting people of Japanese ancestry in the U.S. during WWII." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A compelling and transformative story of a tragic period in American history...Each voice is powerful, evoking raw emotions of fear, anger, resentment, uncertainty, grief, pride, and love...An unforgettable must-read.​" - Kirkus (starred review)

"Chee is a master storyteller...Here, she uses her own San Francisco–based Japanese American family's history to inform a blazing and timely indictment of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. Her passion and personal involvement combine with her storytelling talents to create a remarkable and deeply moving account of the incarceration…[We Are Not Free] should become required curriculum reading on a shameful and relevant chapter in U.S. history." - Booklist (starred review)

"The novel may be fiction, but it will be hard for readers not to fall deep into the harsh realities these teens face. The writing is engaging and emotionally charged, allowing the readers to connect with each character...Chee's words are a lot to take in, but necessary and beautiful all the same." -School Library Journal (starred review)

"A brilliant and intimate portrayal of several San Francisco teenagers during the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans in World War II. Chee's nuanced and unforgettable characters will serve to enlighten readers about this devastating and shameful piece of America's past. A beautiful, painful, and necessary work of historical fiction." - Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor winning author of The Night Diary

"Traci Chee masterfully weaves together harrowing truths about the mass incarceration of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII, and features a cast of friends whose honesty, strength, and love for one another will break your heart. With characters who need to have their stories told, and a history that should never be forgotten, We Are Not Free is powerful, moving, and so incredibly necessary." – Akemi Dawn Bowman, Morris Award Finalist and author of Starfish

"These powerful interconnected stories of incarceration during WWII told by Nisei youth will wrap around your heart like barbed wire. With deft touches of humor, heart, pathos, and anger, We Are Not Free by the talented Traci Chee is the best Japanese American incarceration novel I've read. I loved this book that epitomized gaman and will be buying a copy for everyone in my family." - author Debbi Michiko Florence

The information about We Are Not Free shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Traci Chee

Traci Chee is a New York Times bestselling author of the YA fantasy trilogy - The Reader, The Speaker, and The Storyteller. Shortlisted and nominated for multiple awards and accolades, Kirkus has also starred each of her previous trilogy titles, a rare accomplishment she shares of such authors as Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman and Lauren Oliver. In We Are Not Free, Chee changes gears, pulling from her own family history in this stunning and evocative novel, one that resonates so deeply against today's tumultuous political backdrop.

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