US school district rejects Japanese internment book

A school board in southeastern Wisconsin has rejected a book recommended for use in a 10th-grade accelerated English class due in part to concerns that it lacked “balance” regarding the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The Curriculum Planning Committee for the Muskego-Norway district, which serves about 5,000 students in Waukesha and Racine counties, had selected When the Emperor Was Divine, a  2002 historical novel by Julie Otsuka based on her own family’s experiences. The book, winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award and the Asian American Literary Award, tells in varying perspectives the story of a Japanese American family uprooted from its home in Berkeley, California, and sent to an internment camp in the Utah desert.

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