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Becoming American, A World War II Young Adult Novel

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A family torn apart by war. It’s 1941 and America is in the heat of war. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, suspicions run high and having the wrong color of skin makes you the enemy. Especially if it is Japanese skin. Allu Noguchi is a young Japanese American girl who finds her family the target of Executive Order 9066. When her father is taken away on suspicions of aiding the en A family torn apart by war. It’s 1941 and America is in the heat of war. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, suspicions run high and having the wrong color of skin makes you the enemy. Especially if it is Japanese skin. Allu Noguchi is a young Japanese American girl who finds her family the target of Executive Order 9066. When her father is taken away on suspicions of aiding the enemy, Allu is sent to live in the harsh conditions of Camp Manzanar with nothing more than a seed-bag of belongings. With her heritage under scrutiny, she strives to maintain hope and finds an unlikely friendship that will urge her to question her own pre-judgements. With their father gone, Allu’s brother, Robbie, takes over as head of household, but struggles with a hunger for independence as he watches his friends go off to fight in World War II. When the 100th Battalion calls for reinforcements among camp internees, he must choose between the family he is responsible for and the sense of duty which fills his heart. But what will Allu do without Robbie to protect her?


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A family torn apart by war. It’s 1941 and America is in the heat of war. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, suspicions run high and having the wrong color of skin makes you the enemy. Especially if it is Japanese skin. Allu Noguchi is a young Japanese American girl who finds her family the target of Executive Order 9066. When her father is taken away on suspicions of aiding the en A family torn apart by war. It’s 1941 and America is in the heat of war. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, suspicions run high and having the wrong color of skin makes you the enemy. Especially if it is Japanese skin. Allu Noguchi is a young Japanese American girl who finds her family the target of Executive Order 9066. When her father is taken away on suspicions of aiding the enemy, Allu is sent to live in the harsh conditions of Camp Manzanar with nothing more than a seed-bag of belongings. With her heritage under scrutiny, she strives to maintain hope and finds an unlikely friendship that will urge her to question her own pre-judgements. With their father gone, Allu’s brother, Robbie, takes over as head of household, but struggles with a hunger for independence as he watches his friends go off to fight in World War II. When the 100th Battalion calls for reinforcements among camp internees, he must choose between the family he is responsible for and the sense of duty which fills his heart. But what will Allu do without Robbie to protect her?

36 review for Becoming American, A World War II Young Adult Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Thekla Fagerlie-Madsen

    Wonderful story that brings a heartbreaking piece of our history into the light. "Becoming American" is a relatable history lesson for all ages - but Callie Trautmiller expertly brings the story of young Allu and her family forward and into our hearts. While targeted as a young adult novel, it's a good read for adults too! The time has come for these stories to be told and Trautmiller actively opens the conversation. Wonderful story that brings a heartbreaking piece of our history into the light. "Becoming American" is a relatable history lesson for all ages - but Callie Trautmiller expertly brings the story of young Allu and her family forward and into our hearts. While targeted as a young adult novel, it's a good read for adults too! The time has come for these stories to be told and Trautmiller actively opens the conversation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lucia

    This is such a gem of a book! It has given me a brand new perspective on this time in history, and has provided insight into a little-known part of history. Thank you for this wonderful story!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Campuzqno

    Trautmiller’s debut novel shows a side of history that is often overlooked. Her commitment to creating an accurate historical account through her fiction is present throughout the novel. The plot and writing style are approachable to the target audience, and the characters are easy to relate to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Muffi

    You become emotionally attached to every character through thier side of the story and find yourself not wanting to put the book down. Very good read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tara Knutson

    Just finished reading “Becoming American” by Callie Trautmiller. A heartfelt story of love and war during a time in history that I certainly don’t remember being taught about in school. I found myself emotionally attached to the characters and grateful for the opportunity to learn of the bravery of the 100th and 442nd.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is a wonderful book! It's well written and highlights a part of U.S. history that most of us are never taught about. The characters were well developed and relatable; and the author helps you to see things from a few different points of view. I HIGHLY recommend this book! This is a wonderful book! It's well written and highlights a part of U.S. history that most of us are never taught about. The characters were well developed and relatable; and the author helps you to see things from a few different points of view. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily Sumner

    Beautifully written novel with historically interesting subject and captivating story. I could not put down this wonderfully written book! Thank you to the talented author, Callie J. Trautmiller for crafting this important nod to a forgotten history needing a voice. Highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Moelter

    I could not put this book down! Well written and gripping! Can’t wait for Callies next novel!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Duane Martinsen

    Amazing read! Could not put it down. I bought my family members a copy. Definetly would recommend this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mitch

    Excellent book. You don't want to put it down. So well written and researched. Excellent book. You don't want to put it down. So well written and researched.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jed

    Reads more like a first draft than a well polished edited book. From simple and disjointed sentence structures to underdeveloped and hodgpodged set of characters and narrative. I do not recommend this first attempt by author Trautmiller.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna Caspar

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maria Dopp

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mike Stifter

  17. 5 out of 5

    Simi Rao

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Johnson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Callie J. J.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judi Simmer

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Johannah Hayden

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megan B.

  27. 4 out of 5

    UWGLibrary

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jaci

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  30. 5 out of 5

    Becky Seabaugh

  31. 5 out of 5

    Annie Williams

  32. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  33. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Oliger

  34. 5 out of 5

    Dhaivyd Hilgendorf

  35. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  36. 5 out of 5

    Becky

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