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Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (Fighting for Justice)
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Fred Korematsu Speaks Up

(Fighting for Justice #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  430 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Fred Korematsu liked listening to music on the radio, playing tennis, and hanging around with his friends—just like lots of other Americans. But everything changed when the United States went to war with Japan in 1941 and the government forced all people of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to distant prison camps. This included Fred, whose ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published January 30th 2017 by Heyday
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  430 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Yamile Méndez
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feb-17
Wow. What a fantastic book. So painfully relevant again. We're cursed to repeat the history we don't know about, and this is why books like this are so important.
The writing is gorgeous and so crystal clear. The author includes questions for young readers to put themselves in Fred's situation. Everyone can be an activist. Everyone should be an activist because like another brilliant author wrote, silence protects the oppressor, never the oppressed. I'd give this book 10 stars if I could.
Vannessa Anderson
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth-children
Fred is born in America to parents who immigrated from Japan. Fred learns the hard truth about white Americans and white politicians; if you don’t look white; you’re an enemy of America and will be place in American concentration camps.

Against the will and embarrassment of his family Fred fights for the rights of all People who live in discrimination.

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up was not only a great read it’s a must read. We follow the journey of Fred who had the courage to fight for what
Miko Lee
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Very necessary book for middle school aged classrooms at this time. Tells the story of Nisei resister to the internment Fred Korematsu. A combo of traditional children's book verse and illustration, also includes textbook like questions, timeline, historical context section and deep bibliography. A must for a social justice focused classroom.
Alex  Baugh
Born in Oakland, California in 1919, Fred Korematsu was a young Japanese American who wanted more out of life than working in his parents nursery growing roses. He had been a boy scout, had a bit of a mischievous streak, ran track and played tennis in high school, and loved to dance to the jazz music of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington.

At twenty-two, he had a girlfriend named Ida, an Italian American girl whom he had to date secretly - both of their parents disapproved of them as a couple. Fred
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Fred Korematsu's story is an important one, and inspirational. This particular book is written in text book format almost. There are lots of side notes and captions on photos. None of that is objectionable, but it's not my style. Also, the authors aimed to take a very complex subject, standing up to the government over injustice, and present it in a tone appropriate for young readers -- intermediate school, at best. I am going to look up more information about Mr. Korematsu, and perhaps I'll fin ...more
Jen Woo
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Part of 'Fighting For Justice' series that highlights civil rights leaders, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up tells of Japanese-Americans removal from their homes to prison camps in the United States. The story is told through the view of Fred Korematsu, then a young man living in California. The book follows Fred from childhood, young adulthood, and as an older adult, his experiences being imprisoned based on his race - along with others of Japanese ancestry and their allies - and his dignified fight ag ...more
Great format in this series--rich with primary source material, timelines, and other visuals that accompany the text.
Caitlin M
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with elementary or middle school-age kids in their lives.
An incredibly timely book for young readers, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up uses an engaging mixture of format and style to relate the story of an icon in the fight for civil liberties, detailing the historical context and contemporary relevance of his legal struggle against the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.

Fred Korematsu, the son of Japanese immigrants, was in his early twenties when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the forcible removal of 12
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the format of this book, and I feel like it will make it quite accessible to readers. The book alternates between poems focusing in on specific moments of Fred's life, and then pages of factual information with photographs, illustrations, and timelines. I am definitely interested in reading more books from the Fighting for Justice series.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd been meaning to read this book for awhile now and I'm glad I finally did. Very timely with what's going on and the fact that Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is recognized in a few states on January 30th.

I'm looking for future titles in the Fighting for Justice series.

I have to admit that I was initially put off by the layout but grew to appreciate it as I got more comfortable with it. In fact, ultimately, it's a great way to present all the
Ashley Kohls
This is a phenomenal nonfiction book about a young Japanese American boy's life which begins in 1919. He was born in America but was treated differently because he wasn't white, whether it was in school or at the barber shop. Once the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor his life changed forever. He tried to run away, but was soon arrested and put into a prison camp like the rest of the Japanese Americans. He struggled the rest of his life as a result of being in the camps. He didn't give up hope though ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very accessible non-fiction text for middle schoolers which tells the story of Japanese Americans who were forced into relocation camps during wartime. Specifically, this is the story of Fred Korematsu, a man who was of the mind that this treatment was not constitutional and who fought against it.

Told in vignettes, timelines, and connected civil rights issue inlays, this book provides a great look into what anyone can do when he/she may see injustices occurring in our country. I found
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A long over due book for young readers about Fred Korematsu, a young man that stood up to the U.S. government during WWII for the rights of Japanese-American citizens. Written in prose, this book is easy to read for 4-6 graders, and appropriate for up to 10th graders. The book includes inserts covering key terms, a time-line that corresponds to events unfolding in Korematsu's life, photographs, and other historical details that help to give the reader a good sense of what was going on during the ...more
Jennifer Mangler
This is a wonderful book. It simply and powerfully tells Fred's story and provides lots of rich historical detail that situates his story within a larger context. Throughout the book, the authors encourage the reader to engage with the complex and important ideas brought up in the text in an engaging way. In 2017, Fred's story is more important than ever, and this book does a wonderful job of helping young readers think about complicated topics like discrimination, equality, citizenship, and the ...more
Michelle Glatt
This is an amazing true story about a Japanese American who fought in court to prove that he had been wronged by Japanese internment policies during WWII. The format is fantastic-- poetry tells Korematsu's story as it happens--with interludes of straight-up informational text to give readers background needed to understand events and procedures of the time. The timelines and photos added to the work as well. There's also a call to action for younng people to live out their beliefs and to fight i ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this kids' book pretty engaging, even as an adult who knows some of the relevant history. It does a good job of showing us Fred's personal life, weaving in artifacts like the racist guide to Chinese faces and Japanese faces, and depicting the brutality of the desert prison camps.

If there were any justice, Fred Korematsu would be a household name. I'm glad this book and his daughter's institute are continuing to tell his story.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a tremendous book, filled with photographs, letters, posters, definitions, questions, timelines and ways to speak up for justice.
Craig Wiesner
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review was based on an advanced review copy (ARC). I now have the final version in hand and it is even more fantastic!!!

This book starts with a simple message. Sometimes someone has to speak up for justice, and perhaps, after reading this painful, powerful, and inspiring story, should the moment come when it is needed, you may be that person.

Laura Atkins, Stan Yogi, and Yutaka Houlette have taken one of our nation's ugliest injustices, the internment of Japanese Americans durin
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Part of the "Fighting for Justice series aimed at 8 to 12 year olds. Lots of useful definitions and thought- provoking questions in each chapter. Believing that as an American citizen he has rights, Fred refuses to go to a Japanese relocation camp. He's arrested and convicted. FORTY years later his conviction is finally overturned. And before we pat ourselves on the back for finally admitting a wrong, let's hope we can prevent things from going any further against our Muslim citizens today. Lots ...more
Don't be put off by the slimness of this book or its gray cover. Its contents are important and inspiring. I actually like the cover and the book the more I read it. The cover shows the book's subject outside his home as he faces government officials who have come to raid his home. The feeble gesture of shielding his eyes from the bright lights of the police foreshadows this man's attempts to bring to light the truth about what happened during that shameful part of our nation's history, one that ...more
Laurie Thompson
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t know much about Fred Korematsu’s story before reading this brand new book. I’m so thankful, now, that I do.

The book shares the story of Fred, and second-generation Japanese American living on the West Coast during World War II, when the United States forced immigrants and citizens alike into internment camps. Fred resisted the order, and was jailed. The ACLU took up his case, which he eventually lost. He lost more than just the case. Many Japanese Americans turned on him, an
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very accessible read! Lots of definitions, a superb job with mixed media of drawings, letters and photographs interspersed with the text too. I also thought the additional resources were very helpful.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best children's history books I've ever read.
Ben Truong
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up is a children's picture book written by the team of Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi and illustrated by Yutaka Houlette. It chronicles the life of Fred Korematsu, a man who became an activist when Japanese-Americans have been discriminated shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered the Second World War.

May, at least in my part of the world is Asian Heritage Month, which I plan to read one children's book, particularly a biography, which pertains to
Teresa Scherping Moulton
Fred Korematsu was born in the United States in 1919 to Japanese immigrant parents. He sometimes experienced discrimination because of his race, but he loved being an American and he loved his life in California. But when Fred was a young man, in 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked the United States by bombing Pearl Harbor. Fred was shocked and horrified along with all other Americans, but he also had reason to worry. Not long after, Japanese immigrants and even American citizens (like Fred) of J ...more
Amber Weintraub
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Speaking as a middle school social studies teacher, this book is perfection.
First of all, the illustrations are just beautiful!
I mostly love how it is set up, it keeps the reader and the purpose in mind all the way through.
I like how each chapter starts with a free verse narrative that is easy to read and relate to. Right after this, the authors give us a more informative version of the same events, highlighting important words that are defined in the margins. Engaging question
Mrs. Hahn
Fred Korematsu was a Japanese American who was forced to report to an internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor caused white Americans to fear Japanese citizens. He tried to change his name to blend in, but was eventually caught and sent to the camp. After he was finally able to leave, Fred fought against the government for imprisoning him and thousands of other American citizens of Japanese ancestry. He finally won his case in the US Supreme Court, decades later.

I have such
Molly B.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi, is a biography about Fred Korematsu. Fred Korematsu was just a normal American, who’s life completely changing after the United States went into war with Japan in 1941. The story documents Fred’s struggles of going through the Japanese prison camps and his fight with the government afterwards. During his time during the camps, Fred knew that what the government was doing was not right and unfair so he decided to take a stand, even if it me ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book aloud to my fifth-grader, who is interested in American history and civil rights. The story is timely as the issue of discrimination based on religion and country of origin remains in our headlines. During World War II, the United States forced Japanese Americans on the West Coast, most of whom were citizens, to move to prison camps for the duration of the war. Fred Korematsu fought this order in court with the help of the ACLU.

I like the format of this book. The cha
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is a stunning work of nonfiction and an intense story. Fred Korematsu was “relocated” to a Japanese internment camp in 1942, but first he resisted and was put in jail. This gained him the attention of an ACLU lawyer, and together they appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which decided against him 6-3. In the early 80s his case was overturned because some activist attorneys found documents that the government had lied about why the Japanese needed to be interned. The format of thi ...more
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I am a children's book author and editor who has worked in the children's book field for over twenty years. My books include picture book Sled Dog Dachshund (illustrated by An Phan), and the middle grade biography Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (co-written with Stan Yogi, illustrated by Yutaka Houlette). This is the first in the Fighting for Justice series. The second book, Biddy Mason Speaks Up, is out ...more

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Fighting for Justice (2 books)
  • Biddy Mason Speaks Up