Cover Image: Stealing Home

Stealing Home

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Member Reviews

3.5 stars
This is a comic I would have read and reread when I was a bookish child in the 1970s. It’s difficult for me to know how much appeal it will hold for comic readers in 2021. The ratio of text to illustration, the pacing, and historical content are very good. Perhaps a vintage feel will serve well.
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It's 1941, and Sandy Saito is a happy Japanese boy, living with his family in Canada, and a big baseball fan. He obsessively follows the Asahi team, a Japanese-Canadian baseball team, and the pride of his community. But the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in December, and Sandy's life as he knows it is forever changed: he and his family are moved to an internment camp, and separated from their doctor father, who's placed "where he needs to be". As Sandy and his brother try to adjust to their new life, they find some comfort in their favorite sport; Sandy tries adopting the mindset of taking whatever pitch comes your way.

An emotional graphic novel, Stealing Home may be an awakening for some readers who thought that only Japanese Americans were put into internment camps; this was not the case. Canadian families were also separated more often than American families; males were often relocated to labor and POW camps. In Stealing Home, Doctor Saito was initially relocated to a camp where he could look after men at these labor camps; after being reunited his family, he continues working as a physician to the camp community. Hope and baseball intertwine throughout the story as Sandy tries to cope with his family's new life, his mother's grief, and his father's continued distance from his children. Baseball is a beacon of hope and, ultimately, the great uniter. Sandy reflects, looking back, that "Baseball did not discriminate against us. It did not impose any limits on us. It helped us forget everything that was wrong in the world, even if just for one moment in time".

Back matter by author and former internee Susan Aihoshi looks at the history of the camps, the racism Japanese Canadians endured, the Asahi, and further resources. An excellent graphic story and companion to novels like George Takei's They Called Us Enemy.

The University of Washington has excellent resources available on the Japanese Canadian internment, as does the Canadian Encyclopedia. offers a lesson plan on the Asahi baseball team, and you can visit the Asahi Baseball Association's website to learn more about the team.

Stealing Home is a first-round CYBILS middle grade graphic novel nominee.
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This is a historical fiction graphic novel about a Japanese Canadian boy whose family is forced to move to an internment camp during World War II. The boy, Sandy, loves baseball and his local Japanese Canadian team. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, his family is subjected to discrimination, curfew, and confiscation of property. They are eventually moved to an internment camp, where the story focuses on his attempts to find some normalcy in his life and desire to keep his family intact. This book would be great for children as young as 8 to able to view the impact of discrimination and the far reaching consequences of the mistreatment of others. Sandy is a very relatable character, and I think other children would be able to empathize with the situation his family finds themselves in. The illustrations are clear and beautifully colored, and the story moves at a fast pace with a perfect balance of text per illustration for children. This story would be a good resource for facilitating conversations with children about race, appearances, kindness, and discrimination.
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Reading about Japanese internment during World War II is awful. We weren’t taught about it in high school (not that I can remember atleast), so my first experience with finding out about it is from George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy. What I loved about his book is that it taught us not only what the internment camps in the US were like, but also much more after the ending of them. I think that last bit was lacking from Stealing Home.

While I love knowing that baseball saved him, I want to know what J Torres went on to do after. I’ll just do the research, but I only subtracted 1 star for that. Other than the ending, I loved this book!
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This was excellent. I laughed, and cried, and learned something about baseball! I really love the illustrations and the voice.
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A year or so ago I read They Called Us Enemy by George Takei and it was one of the most enlightening books I have ever read in my life, the whole time Canada and the United States have 
criticized and condemned the Nazi concentration camps, the whole time they have acted as though they weren’t something but the other side of the coin, acted as they would never do something like that, but oh surprise! They already did it to the Japanese people for the same reason the nazis did it to the Jews.

It was not until recently that I discovered, browsing through Wikipedia, the reason why the Germans were against the Jews in World War II and it was the fact that they thought the Jews did something to made them lost the war, that they sabotaged them and that's why Hitler did what he did. After the Pearl Harbor attacks by the Japanese, the Americans and Canadians panicked, they thought that anyone who was Japanese could betray or sabotage them out of loyalty to Japan; They were so scared that they forbade descendants of Japanese, Japanese Americans and others from enlisting in the army (then they lifted this when they realized they needed soldiers), they took away their jobs, houses, savings and belongings and even made them renounce to their citizenship and deport them to Japan just because they didn’t trust them, they called them their "enemies".

Ever since I read They Called Us Enemy last year I have thought about that, the fact that years later Canada and the United States wanted to get away with it and “compensate” for its mistakes when they caused so much pain, when they punished Canadians and Americans for their inheritance (which nowadays is still a reality, but that's for another book), when they betrayed the people who emigrated looking for a “better” life and took everything from them, people who worked as hard as everyone there. When years later they gave them money, asked for forgiveness and smiled saying that they were sorry when in the same war their enemy did exactly the same with a different group, when they condemned what others did when they did the same.

Concentration camps may not be entirely comparable, but the treatment, pain and betrayal of the people they say they were trying to protect is simply being hypocritical. This book touches all this but softer, but it hurts the same, and it is part of a story that is not taught enough because it doesn’t make them look good. How many times have you heard about this? Until a year ago, I never did, and I’m just saying this because of the name of Canada and the States in Latin America
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This is a Historical Fiction Middle Grade Graphic Novel. This book follows a young Japanese boy that lives in Canada. This book takes place during WWII right after Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. I loved the pictures in this Graphic Novel because it takes you back to that time period. This book is written in away that Middle Grade readers can understand how hard it was during this time period without upsetting the readers to much. I loves that the boy we follow loves baseball because the main characters love of baseball help tell the story without overwhelming the young readers. This was a great Graphic Novel. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Kids Can Press) or author (J. Torres) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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Sandy Saito isn’t much concerned with current events, except how his beloved local Vancouver Asahi baseball team is doing. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, current events come barging down the Saito family’s door. First, their radio, camera, and car are taken away since the family is of Japanese heritage. Then, his physician father is taken to help “where he is most needed,” and finally, Sandy, his little brother Ty, and his mom are taken to an internment camp deep in the wilderness where they have to make do with very little and the one bright spot is baseball.

This historical fiction graphic novel is based on real experiences but the back matter doesn’t mention any one person specifically. There are some pages with further information on what happened to Japanese Canadians and Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and about the Japanese baseball leagues before then and the role baseball played in internment camps. There have been more and more books bringing awareness to the injustices Japanese Americans faced on the West coast during WWII, but this is the first I’ve read or even heard of about the experiences of Japanese Canadians. I did not know till reading this that the Canadians also interred West Coast citizens of Japanese heritage. It is important that these injustices are talked about so the people who suffered are honored and that the past doesn’t repeat itself. I wish this had been in color, but the cream and black do help give more of a historic feel to the graphic novel. It was interesting to learn about the historic Asahi team and how they inspired people. Definitely a historical fiction graphic novel recommended for middle grade library shelves.

Notes on content [based on the ARC]: No language issues. No sexual content. Some illnesses, injuries, and deaths mentioned (most about patients of Sandy’s father) but absolutely nothing graphic or disturbing on page, the worst thing on page is some coughing and the poor conditions of the housing in the internment camp.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a very well written graphic novel sharing the perspective of a young Japanese Canadian boy, Sandy, following the events of Pearl Harbor. I'm Japanese American, and my own family members were sent to the camps in the United States during this period of time. But I never realized that Japanese Canadians were also sent to internment camps. I had mistakenly thought that the mistreatment of those of Japanese descent was American only.

So while I am familiar with the history, learning about it in Canada was something new. The hardships in the camps, while similar, had differences too. My family members were sent to the Gila River camp in Arizona. They had to deal with extreme heat in the summers. Sandy's family in Canada, and the others at their camp, had to deal with the extreme cold in the winters.

I recommend this book for young readers. There is a lot of empathy woven into the storyline. I love how baseball plays such a pivotal role in all of this. How it unites people who love the sport no matter what situation they are in.
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This book was beautifully done. The delivery of a part of history was well done. I can see the target market really enjoying the book. If an individual goes into the book not knowing anything about the actual history this book is a great way for readers to have some idea about it. It's relatable. The graphics of it was really well done. The dad reminded me of Atticus Finch.
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I received a gifted copy of Stealing Home by J. Torres and David Namisato from Kids Can Press in exchange for an honest review.

I did not learn about the WWII Japanese internment camps in the US and Canada until well into my high school years. There were not a lot of literature - fiction or otherwise - that brought this part of history to my attention. In the past few years, I have noticed an increase in stories that focus on what happened to thousands of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians during WWII. Stealing Home is the first middle grade graphic novel that I have read that tells the story of a young Japanese Canadian boy during these times. It was a simple yet effective read that will allow middle grade readers to learn about this part of Canadian history and to empathize with Sandy as he and his family lose their rights, their belongings and their homes. It will allow for discussion into this injustice at home that was happening to the Japanese Canadians.
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I would like to thank NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the chance to read and review this book.

I gave this book 5 stars. It is a short Graphic novel about the interment camps in the Us and Canada. This book took place right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It goes through a little boys life for the first year of interment camp and how his family ended up there.

The pictures were great and the information and how it was told was right on.

This book is fast and simple to read and an easy way for children to learn history.
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This was very similar to George Takei's They Called Us Enemies in terms of history and graphics (the writer did research the book while writing this). It is highly reminiscent to WWII history and a story of resilience amidst adversity and discrimination. 

Thank you #NetGalley and Kids Can Press for giving me the opportunity to read this.

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I enjoy graphic novels like this that have a story set in an important historic time especially this one based in Canada which is a little bit different to other famous ones set in the US Japanese internment camps. I think many people don't even know that this was happening in Canada and where they were being sent but they did eventually get taken from the West Coast to ghost towns further inland which use to be mining centres.
This one has a bit of a different focus in that it has a more baseball focused theme at times as that is what the main character loves more than anything in life. It was an interesting way to tell the story and I enjoyed it.
Where this book is let down is that I feel like the ending is very vague and abrupt where I thought they could have included a more thorough ending that showed the end of the war.
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Sandy loves baseball.  He and his father play whenever his father has time.  On December 7, 1941, the United States is bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  That event changed the life of Sandy, his family and all the Japanese in the U.S. and Canada.  This story shows how that event effects each of his family members.  They are forced to live in a Japanese internment camp, often away from his papa.  Sandy just wants to play baseball.  After healing from tuberculosis, Sandy learns that a baseball diamond has been erected in the camp.  While it wasn’t like watching the Asahi players at home, it was still an escape from their worries for a couple of hours.

This book is very informative.  It shows what occurred in 1942 to those with Japanese heritage.  It portrays the stress to the parents and the tension the grew within the family.  The authors show that moving to the internment camp was like being in a prison for those who could not leave.  The book is well written.  It is written as a graphic novel and easy to read.  The illustrations are black and white which serves to enhance the seriousness of the subject matter.  

I received an ARC from Kids Can Press through NetGalley.  This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.  I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.
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Thank you NetGalley for letting me read this!

This is the story of a Canadian Japanese family during World War II, following in the specific a young boy named Sandy who likes football, playing it with his dad and a Japanese baseball team called Asahi.
After the events of Pearl Harbor all of Japanese living in Canada were forced to move to remote internment camp and then is were Sandy and his family life changes forever.

I really like this graphic novel and the story it tells!
Honestly I knew very little about the events in it and it was really interesting to read a different side of the history I already was familiar with.
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Stealing Home joins the ranks of several recent graphic novels about the internment of people of Japanese ancestry in North America during World War II.  This title is unique in a couple of ways:  it takes place in Canada and it uses baseball as a tie-in.  It could easily be paired with the picture book, "Baseball Saved Us".  Although this is for the same age reader as George Takei's "They Called Us Enemies", because it's fiction, it isn't quite as impactful as that story.  Still, a good addition to the growing body of literature about this shameful historical event.
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A necessary book telling a story from Japanese internment in Canada during World War II. This book moved along quickly, but still conveyed the emotion of the situation well. We need more books on the Japanese experience during WWII, so I am glad for this one.
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Stealing Home by J. Torres was about a young boy's struggle to grow up during WWII while being displaced to a Japanese internment camp after the attack at Pearl Harbor. Sandy Saito has a passion for baseball and misses his absent father who is forced to be elsewhere for the duration of the war. 

This graphic novel was a very good introduction to the historic reality of the Japanese internment camps for a middle grade level. It was a coming of age story that was a bit about baseball without being too much about baseball, and captured a basic understanding of what young children of Japanese descent may have experienced during this forced incarceration that happened across North America in the 1940's.

Stealing Home was reminiscent obviously in subject matter but also a bit in illustration style of They Called Us Enemy by George Takei but again, Stealing Home is directed towards a middle grade audience. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend this book for middle grade classrooms and a must read for history if homeschooling.
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Book: Stealing Homes
Author: J. Torres
Illustrator: David Namisato,
Publication date: 05 October 2021
When a boy struggles after moving to a Japanese internment camp during WWII, baseball shows him another way to approach life. Sandy Saito is a happy boy who reads comic books and is obsessed with baseball --- especially the Asahi team, the pride of his Japanese Canadian community. But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, his life, like that of every other North American of Japanese descent, changes forever. His family is forced to move to a remote internment camp, and his father must spend months away from them. Sandy, his mother and his brother cope as best they can with the difficulties at the camp. Over time, Sandy comes to realize that life is a lot like baseball. It's about dealing with whatever is thrown at you, however you can. And it's about finding your way home.
🌿Beautifully illustrated by David Namisato, the artworks capture the essence of the story perfectly. 

🌿The book is heartbreaking yet hopeful. Since it's set in a period during the WWII it definitely cannot be something happy but the story is not completely dark. In spite of going through many dark phases, the characters remain hopeful and try to do their best.

🌿Another major theme is the bond between a family. Sandy loves his parents but when his father have to leave them and move away to a place where he is needed the most, Sandy blames himself for it. By the end of the book both of them are successful in mending their relationship. So, no matter what the situation, having someone together always bring a ray of hope.

🌿Everytime I read a book about World War it breaks my heart but at the same time it is very important to educate ourselves and learn.

🌿A must read graphic novel.

#StealingHome #NetGalley.
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