Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban is the story of ten-year-old Manami Tanaka, a Japanese-American girl whose family is forced to move from Bainbridge Island to the internment camp at Manzanar in the spring of 1942. Manami can’t bear to leave her dog behind, so she tries to smuggle him under her coat, but the soldiers discover him. In the desolate prison far from home, Manami misses him desperately and loses the ability to speak.
Although this book deals with difficult topics, it is appropriate for younger elementary school readers. Events are seen through Manami’s point of view, and the story has a hopeful tone.
If you read this book with your child, I also recommend taking a look at Ansel Adams’ photographs of the internment camp at Manzanar.