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10 thoughts on “The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559 Mirror Lake Internment Camp (My Name Is America)

  1. says:

    This is a journal about a time few children know about now They do know about world war 2, but the internment of the Japanese not so much.This book does a good job of showing what it was like, and how many people reacted Ben is an extremely relatable character, as he has the typical worries of a 12 year old, as well as the worries of the internment camp He has a very sarcastic voice as well, which I loved This is a good series to get young kids interested in history.

  2. says:

    After the time of the Pearl Harbor bombing many people in California couldn t trust the Japanese people This book is based on a boy named Ben Uchida and what changed in his life during WWII This book is basically the boy version of the Diary of Anne Frank This story helps show a different side of WWII the way we were brought up on We were always told the Germans put the Jews in concentration camps just because they are Jewish and they didn t like the ajews But we did the same thing to the Japanese people by taking them away and putting them in concentration camps just because they are Japanese Overall, I would recommend this nook to boys or girls that want to see a different side of WWII or people who like Anne Frank but want to see something similar.

  3. says:

    This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents I find today s generations seem to recall when they learn through other people pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc , so what better way to teach history than through someone else s perspective Yes, authentic diaries would be better , but would the language really hold the modern student s attention Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history Probably not.

  4. says:

    I liked reading this book because it showed what the Japanese Americans were going through during WW2 Ben is a very relatable kid and he tells the story through his own perspective This book shows the discrimination that was happening at this time There are also a lot of stories that normal teenagers would do.

  5. says:

    I think about this Ben from China or somewhere and he name Ben Uchida s family move in america and prison gate just inside and outside hot weather then they give number make know number just like code but I know he doing and something.

  6. says:

    Ashamed that this happened, but glad that it s documented.

  7. says:

    Book Review The Journal of Ben UchidaI read the book My Name is America The Journal of Ben Uchida by Berry Denenberg This book was published by Scholastic in New York, New York in October of 2002 I recommend this book because it gave a lot of interesting factual information, while being a fiction, fun book that is exciting for the reader The Journal of Ben Uchida is a story about a boy around the age of eleven who writes in a journal about what goes on inside of an internment camp in California called Mirror Lake Internment Camp This book is based in the time of World War 2 and starts just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor Ben kept a journal for a brief time before leaving for the internment camp and so it is nice to know what his life was like before he had to leave for such a horrible place The father of Ben was taken away and brought to a place in Montana which was to make sure the Asian Americans were not spies It was horrible, the men were pretty much brainwashed Ben had no idea if he would ever see his father again Ben also had a mother and a sister, Naomi Naomi was into painting and making news articles When the family got to the camp which they took train to get to, they noticed they had to share an apartment with another family Mrs Uchida did not like this very much The family they stayed with was very nice and eventually Mrs Uchida became fine with it and both the families became friends Ben met a few boys one day that were into playing baseball Ben played baseball at home and joined the team Each district of barracks had a team Many adult men would bet on the games, it was some of their only entertainment At the camps they had to wait in long lasting lines just to do everyday things like eat, go to the bathroom, or even shower The camps also put a school together The class rooms were tiny and each of them had at least fifty kids The teacher did not like Ben much because he did not get very good grades Internment camps were hell to live in to many of these people because most of them were just regular people, not spies, but were being discriminated because a country that their parents had come from had bombed them Ben, the main character, is a young boy who just wants to be back at home with his old friends He is an athletic, funny, troublemaking kid that can make friends with anyone He plays all kinds of sports with his friends and is up for anything His mother is tough on him much of the time, especially since his dad left Ben writes back and forth with his best friend back home a lot He cannot get news about his favorite baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, where he is so his friend Robbie writes him telling him about how they are doing and asks Ben a lot of questions about what is happening in the camp In one of his letters, he sends Ben his Brooklyn Dodgers cap Here s you cap I bet you re wondering where I got it This shows how much Ben is missed by many of the people he lived with before being sent to an internment camp.The author did a great job of showing how a young Japanese American boy would talk to his family and friends In a part of the book Ben say, Mama made me help her hang the wash on the outdoor clotheslines Usually Naomi helps her with that kind of junk, but Mama said she was drawing something for the newspaper As if that s a better excuse than baseball This quote really shows that the author knows how a young boy thinks and it makes the story that much better I especially like the end of the book because it tells the reader everything there is that they need to know about how everyone in the books life was after leaving the internment camps There is a lot of sad information about what happened to some of the people but also some very heartwarming things as well I am really glad the author added this, or else the book would have ended so abruptly and you would be stuck on your couch wondering about so much Overall, My Name is America The Journal of Ben Uchida was a fantastic book with a lot of knowledgeable information, but also was a fictional book with a great story line If you are interested in history or war I would highly recommend this book.

  8. says:

    A fictional journal of a boy before and during his internment during WWII that I definitely recommend using this with middle school students as a supplement to their social studies unit on WWII The sentence structure and vocabulary are just right for my student population, and the narrator is REALISTIC he sounds like my kids Conflicts include the father being taken away to be interrogated for over a year, the rest of the family being sent to god knows where, life in the internment camp, getting father back a zombie, having a friend get involved in baseball gambling and then throwing a game, having a roommate who has been separated from his wife in Japan who worries throughout the book only to finally find relief when he receives letter indicating that she and his daughter are safe at his brother s house in Hiroshima..They boy reports about the problems and the benefits in a seemingly honest way, and I did get a better sense of life in the camp than when I read a nonfiction book about Japanese Internment in my middle school library My issue with the text is this The author writes in near perfect, grammatically sound sentences that still captures this middle school voice For example, he d say that this know it all kid is half Japanese, half Jerk and when he s talking, Ben tried not to puke So, I could see the narrator being a normal kid I know that my students can t write with perfect punctuation, and I m so THANKFUL that the author chose to write with the standards of proper English anyway, at no expense, even though it s a journal The problem is, just like in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the author uses improper grammar as far as pronoun usage goes, which angers me Why Why Why Example Me and Naomi went to the mess hall This kind of error is so pervasive in this country that soon the correct syntax Naomi and I went to the mess hall will sound completely foreign I want my students to read SO THAT they will be exposed to proper grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling Since the author chose not to use real life lack of punctuation and a bunch of spelling errors, my only guess is that these authors Denenberg Jeff Kinney really don t know better I assume that they themselves don t know how to use the correct pronoun in a sentence with a compound subject or direct object I have noticed that the word till as a shortened version of until is now commonly used and accepted It s in my son s basal readers AND in countless books that I ve read in the last month Will it be acceptable, pretty soon, to start saying Me and him are best friends While I will perpetually cringe, I suppose it will make my job easier I don t really mean that I implore the editors of this book series Dear America to publish no books without correcting these errors Overall, a good text to peddle to your students for educational purposes at the expense of your grammar lessons It even includes some nonfiction historical background at the end of the book for which I am enthusiastically envisioning the possibilities.

  9. says:

    How would you feel if you and a group of people you know who are alike in some way were suddenly gathered up by the government, forced to sell most of their possessions, and then were shipped to an area surrounded by barbed wire and filled with run down shacks The area would be called an internment camp.Neither you nor any of people would receive any legal advice or trials before they were shipped to the camp none of you would even be charged with anything The camp would be surrounded by high towers containing men with machine guns who could, if they felt someone was trying to escape, kill them.You would also not have any idea how long you were going to be kept there You could write letters to friends, but the letters would be heavily censored as would be any letters you receive You would not have indoor plumbing You would only have furniture you could build from scrap lumber You would have to stand in long lines for almost everything.Add to this the possibility that the home you left behind would be burned to the ground because you belonged to that specific group It would probably not be a very pleasant experience, to put it mildly.Yet this is exactly what was done during World War II to Japanese Americans Executive Order 9066 gave the government permission to do just that type of thing for military necessity As a result, 120,000 people were placed into these camps, seventy percent of them having been born in America to Japanese parents or Japanese American parents.This book is the story of a fictional young boy, Ben Uchida, who is taken to an internment camp along with the rest of his family except for his father who is taken somewhere else.It s a very interesting book in many ways The historical section is, as always, quite informative The story itself helps bring alive the type of camp life the people had to live and shows very vividly how discrimination and prejudice can occur in the U.S Just one of the various interesting things pointed out was that it was only the Japanese Americans who were put into internment camps not the Germans or the Italians who were also fighting at the time.The only criticism I have of the book is that, at times, the language Ben Uchida uses seems a little too modern and a little too grown up for someone of his age and time.

  10. says:

    Two months after Pearl Harbor, FDR signed Executive Order 9066, which called for the internment of Japanese Americans There was no such internment for Italian or German Americans Japanese bank accounts were frozen, which caused them to sell off businesses, furnishings,and autos at huge losses They were put on trains for unknown destinations, in violation of their Constitutional Rights No Charges, No Trial Camps were in the most desolate areas of California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Arkansas, Colorado, and Wyoming These camps would normally house combat soldiers for a short duration, but in 1941, they housed 8 people in a 20X22 room for the duration of the war.Anti Asian Discrimination began with the influx of Chinese laborers for the TransContinental Railroad They were assigned only the most dangerous jobs By 1850, California had passed State Articles that prohibited citizenship, court testimony, public education, and employment in any profession that required licsensing By 1882, Congress passed a Chinese Excluslion Act, which limited immigration This created a cheap labor source, so they began to import Japanese They fell under the same restrictions as the Chinese It wasn t until 1952, when the McCarran Walter Immigration and Naturalization Act allowed first generation Asian Americans citizenship.Pearl Harbor and Exec Order 9066 were later called Legalized Racism by a Supreme Court Justice Time heals all wounds, however, and President Ford, in 1976, rescinded that order and called it an honest reckoning of a national mistake President Reagan, in 1988, signed the Civil Liberties Act, which offered an Official U.S Apology and a 20,000 restitution to survivors He also paid tribute to Japanese American soldiers who had died in battle.My favorite Reagan saying, Blood soaked into a sandy beach is all one color America is unique in that is not founded on race, but on ideals Because of our diversity, we have the strength of the world THAT is the American Way.