On February 19, 1942, nearly eighty years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law Executive Order 9066, which gave to the secretary of war (and any military commander designated by him) to create “military areas... from which any or all persons may be excluded.” While Executive Order 9066 did not specifically mention Japanese Americans, it cleared a path for the creation of military “zones” (like Military Areas 1 and 2, which comprised all of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and California, where my grandparents and their families lived), from which Japanese Americans could be restricted or prohibited from living.
Executive Order 9066 was followed by a series of Public Laws and Public Proclamations that tightened restrictions on Japanese Americans, assigning curfews, designating certain items (like cameras) contraband, and restricting travel, and eventually Civilian Exclusion Orders which required people of Japanese descent to, in a matter of days, pack up their belongings, settle their affairs, and report to temporary detention centers up and down the west coast.
Today, February 19 is known as the Day of Remembrance, which commemorates the incarceration of more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry in World War II. And as we remember the injustices of our past, may we also work to end the injustices of our present. Some causes you might consider checking out today include Tsuru for Solidarity, Kids in Need of Defense, and RAICES.
I’m also giving away an ARC of WE ARE NOT FREE on my Instagram. Go to this post for details. Ends Wednesday, February 26 at noon Pacific. This giveaway is international.
The DivBookFest Auction is LIVE, which means you can go bid on hundreds of amazing items AND support a new diverse kidlit festival, coming this fall to Chicago! I have two items up for auction:
🌁 A signed ARC of WE ARE NOT FREE!
📚 A signed set of THE READER TRILOGY!
Put in your bids here!
FOUR MONTHS until the launch of WE ARE NOT FREE, which is a great time reveal the incredible back cover! Three more characters, illustrated by John Lee, are waiting for the bus to come take them away from San Francisco. I love how well John captured the spirit of these characters—their attitude, their fear and sadness, their complexity—and I am so excited for readers to meet them! 💙
I’ll be interviewing John in my next newsletter, so if you’d like a sneak peek behind the cover, sign up! 👀
FOUR months out means FOUR months left to preorder your copy! Check the HMH site for links to your favorite local retailer. And please do keep your receipts, because I’ve got something beautiful in the works for you! Spread the word! 📣