| After Pearl Harbor was bombed, all Japanese Americans in California were forced into "relocation camps." Miss Breed, Children’s Librarian at the San Diego Library, was friends with many Japanese American teens and children who patronized the library.
Unlike many people at the time, she believed that relocation was wrong, but what could one librarian do?
Miss Breed gave postcards to each child she knew, asking them to write to her. And write to her they did—about life in the camps, their feelings of loneliness and rejection, and their hopes and dreams.
Miss Breed didn’t just write back to them, she sent books, candy and other gifts. In addition to letting them know that they were loved and not forgotten, Miss Breed made sure they had books to read.
She also wrote articles about the racial prejudice that condemned innocent people for their ancestry.
Fifty years later, the children and teens honored her for making a difference in their lives.
The book is long, so I skimmed it, stopping to read the letters Miss Breed received from the teens and children at the camps.
What could one librarian do? Read all about it!
Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration during World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference by Joanne Oppenheim (Scholastic, 2006), 288 pages.