“Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II” by Martin Sandler was a 2014 finalist for the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults (ages 12 to 18).
YALSA is a division of the American Library Association, which announced the winners of its awards for young people’s literature, including the Caldecott Medal (“Locomotive,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca) and Newbery Medal (“Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell), on Jan. 29. Other categories included literature about the African American, Latino, LGBT and disability experiences.
The YALSA award went to “The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi” by Neal Bascomb, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
The other finalists were:
“Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design” by Chip Kidd, published by Workman Publishing Company;
“Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers” by Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick Press;
“The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” by James L. Swanson, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc., “Imprisoned” is based on information from extensive, previously unpublished interviews and oral histories with Japanese American survivors of internment camps. Sandler gives an in-depth account of their lives before and during their imprisonment, and after their release.
Bringing readers inside life in the camps and explaining how a country that is built on the ideals of freedom for all could have such a dark mark on its record, this look at a troubling period of American history sheds light on the prejudices in today’s world and provides the historical context needed to prevent similar abuses of power.
The author provides context for the internment and also examines its lasting legacy, from anti-Japanese sentiment in America before World War II to the redress movement, which advocated for compensation and formal apologies for internees after the war.
Sandler has received two Pulitzer Prize nominations, a Boston Horn Book Award for “The Story of American Photography: An Illustrated History for Young People,” and seven Emmy awards. He is the author of more than 80 books, including “Sterling’s Resolute: The Epic Search for the Northwest Passage” and “John Franklin and the Discovery of the Queen’s Ghost Ship.” His best-selling Library of Congress American History series has sold more than 500,000 copies.
For more information on the American Library Association, visit www.ala.org.