Cover Image: Displacement


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Displacement is part memoir, part magical realism with a whole lot of ancestral historical fiction thrown in. Readers are introduces to teenage Kiku as she's on tour in San Francisco with her mom. They're looking for where Kiku's grandmother once lived before moving to the East coast. Then things get a little weird and Kiku begins to be pulled back in time. By the time Kiku is back at her family home after her vacation to San Fran, she thinks the trips into the past have ended. Then one afternoon she's pulled back again into the past and this time for so long that she doesn't know if she'll make it back to her own time. In the past, Kiku watches her grandmother's life as a young teenager living in the Japanese-American incarceration camp and experiences it first hand. Hughes brings readers into an experience many haven't learned about before and does so in a way that leaves you breathless. 

I fell into this story and couldn't stop reading until I was finished! The story was captivating and hard to read in some places--that we as America could actually do this (& still do this) is something I struggle to comprehend--but, it was an important story to read and experience through these characters. The Japanese-American displacement into incarceration camps is a part of history we usually gloss over in America and I'm glad I was able to read this one experience of this time in history and that these stories are now being told. 

Kiku was learning and experiencing this history with us which really pulls the reader in and makes the story approachable and easier to connect with the main character and other characters presented. Kiku was inquisitive and brave to adapt to her new time and environment. But it was more about the secondary characters for me in this story. I think that harkens back to Kiku being an entryway for the reader as both us and Kiku meet and interact with the secondary characters and the experiences within the camps. I enjoyed meeting these characters and seeing how their stories/lives evolve during the period that Kiku was in the past. 

I also really liked how Hughes brought in different perspectives from those in the camp--those wanting to resist and those complying to survive because they weren't sure what was going to happen to them. I appreciated that Hughes seemed to make the decisions to comply positive ones. It wasn't an easy decision and I cannot imagine having to make it. I just don't think anyone should ever be shamed for their decision to comply & survive vs. resisting. I think Hughes handled this aspect of the story and of history really well. 

I also enjoyed witnessing how the Japanese-Americans in these incarceration camps adapted--they set up schools, jobs, a council, and a newspaper with information to keep people informed. They weren't just surviving--they did what they could to create a sense of "normalcy" even though they all knew how wrong it was what was happening to them. That type of strength is incredible to witness. 

Lastly, I liked how Hughes showcased and touched on the generational impacts to events like the Japanese-American displacements. Readers saw how Kiku's grandmother being in the incarceration camp affected the generations that came after (Kiku's mom and Kiku herself). Kiku's grandmother never moved back to the West coast. Kiku's family lost the ability to speak Japanese and part of the Japanese culture began to fade away as within families. This was all due to the sense or need to "assimilate" into "American" culture because their Japanese culture made them a target and different and a cause for displacement and incarceration into a camp. That fear and anxiety that it could happen again or even as a result from it happening that first time leads to the culture erasure seen in Kiku's family and America as a whole.

My one and only complaint is that I really wanted to see more of Kiku's grandmother while Kiku was in the past. While we got to meet and experience a lot of amazing secondary characters and of course this story is about Kiku's experience of this time in history, I would have loved some more observations of her grandmother. 

Overall thought, this was an amazing read! I wouldn't be surprised if it won any awards. The artwork was stunning, the story important and approachable, & it's easily able to be read in one sitting--all wins in my book! (especially for any younger readers picking up this graphic novel). This is a must read in my book and one that I think everyone should pick up! The displacement of Japanese-Americans into incareration camps is a black spot on American history and one that needs to be taught fully and openly so that everyone can learn of these brave people and so that we are reminded of our mistakes so that we might never do them again. Go read (and/or) buy this book! You won't be disappointed!
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I've been so excited to read this graphic novel since first hearing about it earlier in the year and it did not dissapoint. The history of internment camps in the US is extremely blurred and many people don't learn about it during their education, which is a disservice to the people who endured that period of time. Brilliantly educational with a note of hope among the reality of history, I highly recommend this book.
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I received this Advance Reader Copy from @netgalley. Here is my honest review of this #graphicnovel. 

What side of history do you want to be on? This question has been running through my mind during the past few years. We've learned extensively about the Holocaust and the horrors that occurred in concentration camps. I am embarrassed to admit that I was well into my teen years before even hearing about the Internment of Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. What about the people who are currently being detained in Detention Camps on American Borders?

We all want to assume that we would reside on the right side of history. Standing up to these human rights atrocities is considered illegal, but legality rarely determines morality. In Displacement by Kiku Hughes, readers will be transported to arid desert of Utah in the Topaz Internment Camp. Teenager, Kiku, is visiting California for the first time when she experiences a "displacement." She soon realizes that she's able to move through time, following the movements of her grandmother as her family is forced into internment camps.

The family history and pride in her Japanese heritage that Kiku learns provides her with a better understanding of her past and encourages her to advocate for the rights of others. This graphic novel is sure to be a hit with secondary students. Displacement easily connects to They Called Us Enemy by George Takei and Internment by Samira Ahmed. 5 out of 5 stars!
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I just recently read o book about internment camp that was in Texas, so I was eager to read Displacement which is a graphic novel on the same topic. I liked the way the author took you back in time so her main character could experience first hand what it was like to live in one. I know my middle school students will enjoy reading this book.
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Received digital ARC
Really great book! I love how the novel uses the issues of the past to discuss current day issues. Very well done.
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In her debut graphic novel, Kiku Hughes uses history and a fictional plot to explore family history in a unique way similar to the first Back to the Future movie. The main character, based on Kiku herself, experiences these mysterious displacements that take her back to the 1940s, and she comes in contact with her grandmother who lived in the internment camps in California and Utah. Kiku experiences life in the camps first-handed, which grants Kiku insight on a part of her own family's history that she really didn't know. While remaining historically accurate, and filling in some of the gaps of her own family's story, Kiku creates an engaging plot while educating the reader about a horrific experience that many families had to face. I would recommend this book for middle school students. I can find many ways to connect the book with social studies curriculum, but I could also see this book being used to spark discussion of family history. This book would add diversity and inclusion to any reading list, as well as encourage students to become curious about this part of US history that is rarely brushed upon in most school curriculums..
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Displacement by Kiku Hughes is an amazing analysis of the events that surrounded the Japanese internment camps in America during the second world war. I read this graphic novel before George Takei's own graphic novel memoir over the same topic, and I found that Displacement really did give me a lot of background knowledge that I wouldn't have had before. 

Kiku is a teenager who goes on vacation to San Francisco, and all of the sudden, she finds herself "displaced." She has traveled through time, and is now experiencing the Japanese internment camps. While she's displaced, she is alone, but somehow always ends up where her grandma's family is. She learns things about her grandmother that she never knew before, and it opens her eyes about a time in history that wasn't talked about within her family. 

Not only does it give the reader background knowledge about this period of time that is just now being written about more frequently, but Hughes connects the tragedies that surrounded her family during that time with many of the events we've recently witnessed in our own history. Although it's written about a time many years ago, most of the themes are unfortunately still relatable.
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Displacement is the story of Japanese Incarceration Camps that happened in the United States in the 1940s.  I do not remember learning about these camps until I was well out of school. It was interesting how the political climate in the last few years was woven into the story.  I'm not normally a big fan of graphic novels, but the way this story was told fit perfectly in this format.
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Kiku Hughes uses dreamy pastels to tell this memoir of life in the Japanese internment camps in a blend of magical realism and historical fiction. Kiku travels to San Fransisco with her mother, who is trying to trace their family's roots in California before her mother's family was relocated to a detention camp. While trying to find her grandmother's old house, Kiku experiences her first displacement, traveling back to see her grandmother as a young child.  These displacements send Kiku back to experience many of the things her grandmother did, giving her a picture of the challenges facing Japanese-Americans.  

I love the dreamy palette, which really highlights the harsh environment in the racing stables and later internment camp. The was real historical figures are highlighted within the narrative that shows Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans struggling with what type of rebellion  was appropriate for them, showing LGBTQ people's role in resistance, and adding so much complexity to the story of both internment and later the "model minority" narrative that many Asian-Americans took on to reintegrate into society. I absolutely love that this book shows that LGBTQ+ people have always been here, and that they form a central part of history beyond LGBTQ+ civil rights struggles.  A powerful book that diversifies the narrative of Japanese internment camps--I think it's important that this book shows a camp other than Manzanar, because that narrative has been so dominant, and we know there risks in having only a few voices. Seeing Kiku and her mother discuss these experiences and how they continue to affect their family  really made this book stand out.

 Overall, this is an excellent and accessible choice to tweens and teens who may not be up to They Called Us Enemy, and a standout work in acknowledging the contributions and many stories that exist within these larger historical narratives.
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Teenager Kiku travels to San Francisco with her mother to look for the place her grandmother, Ernestina, lived before she and her parents were sent to an internment camp during World War II. Kiku's mother wants to learn more about her mother's life pre-camp; Ernestine wasn't given to talking about it often. As Kiku traipses alongside her, she finds herself being transported back in time, living alongside her grandmother as she, too, becomes a displaced person living in two Japanese internment camps. Powerfully written and beautifully illustrated, Displacement tells the story of the Japanese-Americans who were forced out of their homes and their established lives and stripped of their civil liberties. Kiku - and we - learn things from observing the day-to-day life in camp like human rights abuses that are quickly hushed up and the acts of resistance some engaged in, like the "No-Nos", who answered "No" to two controversial questions on a loyalty questionnaire the Army had all incarcerated citizens answer. A tribute to the power of memory and, sadly, the power of intergenerational trauma, Displacement belongs with George Takei's They Called Us Enemy and Art Spiegelman's Maus in the canon of great graphic novels that belong on every reading list and every shelf.
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Kiku travels back in time to the Japanese internment camp that held her grandmother during WWII. The setup of "girl traveling back in time to important historical event" comes off as contrived in the beginning, but makes more sense by the end of the book as it ties into important themes about cultural assimilation and lost family history. Bringing in the current political environment and treatment of immigrants in Western countries helps bridge the gap from historical to contemporary fiction. A solid option.
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Kiku is exploring where her grandmother lived in San Francisco when the first displacement happened. She was somehow transported back to 1940 and the Japanese-American Internment camp that her late grandmother was forced to live in.  The displacements happen a few more times before she is more permanently displaced in the Tanforan Assembly Center with her grandmother and her family. Through being displaced, Kiku learns more about American History and her family's history than she would have ever learned in school. 

Personal Opinion: 

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. The images are stunning and very well done. This tells a story that I personally feel is under represented in literature and in history in general. The touch of magical realism with the time travel is also well done and adds a really unique touch to the story. This graphic novel will be an excellent addition to any school or classroom library for students ages 12 and up.
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Displacement by Kiku Hughes was an incredible graphic novel full of history and magical realism. It's a book I look forward to sharing with kids this fall!
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Kiku is on a trip to San Francisco with her mother to visit the neighborhood her grandmother grew up in.  When they finally find the area, they discover that the houses had been torn down and a mall was put up in its place.  Kiku’s mom takes the opportunity to visit the mall and Kiku waits outside.  What she doesn’t expect is to be “displaced” back in time to when her grandmother was a child.  That displacement didn’t last long, but a second and third displacement soon follows.  During these trips back in time, Kiku discovers that her knowledge about what happened to people of Japanese descent in America during World War II is very incomplete.  

Displacement is a graphic novel that is partly based on Kiku’s family during World War II and other times.  Hughes knows that we can’t know everything that was happening during these turbulent times, so she created a storyline that allows for gaps in the narrator’s knowledge also.  I read this graphic novel in two sessions, so even the most reluctant reader can enjoy the story and the history that is included.  I feel this book would even be enjoyed by those who normally don’t read graphic novels, but enjoy unique historical tales.
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Displacement by Kiku Hughes is a very good book, and it certainly has a place in libraries and classrooms.  It was an easy read, with a very nice flow to the story.  I was immediately pulled into the story, and at first felt it would capture me much like Octavia Butler's Kindred.  I din't quit meet those expectations in the end, but that isn't to say the book fell short in any way.  I learned a great deal reading this book, and the artwork is, hands down, exceptional.
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"Displacement" is amazing. Hand teens this book alongside George Takei's "They Called Us Enemy" for a perfect pairing!
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During a time where civil rights of certain American citizens are being pushed against, and when an administration is trying to ban people from different ethnic and religious groups, DISPLACEMENT feels like a relevant tale. What I liked most about this book is that Hughes finds a way to take a modern day perspective, one that many teens today would have, and transports it back to the time of Japanese Internment, and lets the audience see it the way that the protagonist would. Hughes credits KINDRED by Octavia Butler in her acknowledgements, and I definitely see the influence, but I also see similarities to Jane Yolen's THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC. Hughes is able to put a serious and heavy history lesson into a very readable and understandable text for teenagers, and I really loved how she incorporated modern day disgraces of our country's policies and leaders and shows how we are, in many ways, repeating history all over again. She breaks down the Internment policies and experiences of her grandmother, as well as many Japanese Americans living on the West Coast during this time. 

DISPLACEMENT is a book that I would encourage educators to put in their collections and curriculums. It has a lot to say in a way that many people can understand and relate to.
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While visiting San Francisco with her mother, Kiku travels the streets and stories of her family's past. Bored and angsty as many teenage girls are, she is swept up by a fog into the 1940s where being Japanese of any fraction was a crime punishable to an undetermined sentence at the internment camps (which Hughes names incarceration camps to combat the erasure of the real and traumatic history of them). She travels alongside her grandmother and witnesses what it was like to live through this awful experience.

Nor does this issue remain in the past, as Hughes illustrates drawing parallels to the WWII camps to the ICE detention centers during Trump's presidency. Incarceration camps, as the author rightly calls them, exist globally to this day (check out China's incarceration of the Uyghur Muslims in the past few years...). The themes of racial oppression, generational racial trauma, and advocating for one's rights will resonate with audiences reading in 2020.

I'd describe this book as a mix of Octavia Butler's "Kindred" and George Takei's autobiography, "They Called Us Enemy", but for a middle-grade audience. The layout is simple to follow for younger graphic novel readers and the artwork is aesthetically pleasing. This would be a great book to introduce into the classroom for a unit on race or social justice.
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When beginning Displacement, I started with an expectation that I would learn something important about a difficult and relevant time period in American history. I did not expect to have my heart broken into a million pieces and be sitting here sobbing in my office. I share this as an example of just how poignant, how hard-hitting, and how important of a read Displacement is in this broken, unjust world in which we live, I cannot possibly recommend reading this enough. Also the art is both realistic and stunning. Please read.
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I received a temporary digital advanced copy of Displacement by Kiku Hughes from NetGalley, First Second Books, and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kiku visits San Francisco with her mother; on the last day of their trip, the two look for Kiku's grandmother's home. Unfortunately, her former home has been turned into a mall. While her mother is in the mall Kiku waits outside and is transported, or displaced, into the past where she sees her grandmother playing violin. She is quickly transported back to the present; however, the experience rocks Kiku. She realizes she knows little of her grandmother and of her time in Japanese internment camps during the Second World War. Kiku is transported back in time two more times, each time learning more and more of the horrors Japanese Americans were faced with in the internment camps, and the resolve they built while in the camps. 

Displacement is a gorgeous graphic novel. The author deeply researched Japanese internment camps and pulled from her own grandmother's experiences to write the novel. I highly recommend the novel for any age group, and to teachers to use in their classrooms as it is engaging, historically accurate, and makes connections to today's society and current administration.
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