Graphic Novel Review: Stealing Home by J. Torres and David Namisato

Stealing Home by J. Torres and David Namisato. Kids Can Press, 2021. 9781525303340. 112pp. including an afterward by Susan Aihoshi about Japanese Canadians removal from the Pacific Coast after the attack on Pearl Harbor, with a bit of context and more information on baseball in and out of the camps they were sent to.

After the December 1941 attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor didn’t just lead to Japanese Americans internment, it also led to similar policies in Canada, and similar problems for its citizens of Japanese descent in western Canada. This graphic novel follows young baseball fan Sandy Saito. After neighborhood kids start treating him and some of his friends badly, he has to stay at home more and more. As some families start moving voluntarily to camps set up in remote, abandoned mining settlements, Sandy’s father, a doctor, continues to try to practice medicine. But baseball is soon cancelled, some items are taken from families who remained in place, and they have to followed dusk-to-dawn curfew. The stress gets to Sandy’s parents. It’s not much longer before families are forced to move away from the coast, and Sandy, his brother, and mother have to leave without his father. It’s all miserable. But baseball provides a bright spot in the camp.

Namashita’s art is outstanding, and this is a great book by Torres, whose work I’ve followed since he wrote Teen Titans Go! comics way back. Put it on the shelf in your library next to Takei, Eisinger, Becker, and Scott’s They Called Us Enemy and Kiku Hughes Displacement, though it’s intended for a slightly younger audience.


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