Emily Inouye Huey
Beneath the Wide Silk Sky
Stunning, devastating, poignant: debut author Emily Inouye Huey paints an intimate portrait of the racism faced by America's Japanese population during WWII. Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Sharon Cameron.
Sam Sakamoto doesn't have space in her life for dreams. With the recent death of her mother, Sam's focus is the farm, which her family will lose if they can't make one last payment. There's no time for her secret and unrealistic hope of becoming a photographer, no matter how skilled she's become. But Sam doesn't know that an even bigger threat looms on the horizon.
On December 7, 1941, Japanese airplanes attack the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. Fury towards Japanese Americans ignites across the country. In Sam's community in Washington State, the attack gives those who already harbor prejudice an excuse to hate.
As Sam's family wrestles with intensifying discrimination and even violence, Sam forges a new and unexpected friendship with her neighbor Hiro Tanaka. When he offers Sam a way to resume her photography, she realizes she can document the bigotry around her -- if she’s willing to take the risk. When the United States announces that those of Japanese descent will be forced into "relocation camps," Sam knows she must act or lose her voice forever. She engages in one last battle to leave with her identity--and her family--intact.
Emily Inouye Huey movingly draws inspiration from her own family history to paint an intimate portrait of the lead-up to Japanese incarceration, racism on the World War II homefront, and the relationship between patriotism and protest in this stunningly lyrical debut.
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
“Vividly and sensitively wrought, Beneath the Wide Silk Sky shines a glaring and ultimately uplifting spotlight on one girl’s quest to find her voice as America teeters on the brink of a great injustice.” —Sharon Cameron, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Light in Hidden Places
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Emily writes historical fiction for children and teens. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University and is a former teacher.
During World War II, Emily’s family was evacuated from their homes and farms in California and Washington State. Her grandparents, Charles and Bessie, met and married in Wyoming’s Heart Mountain Internment Camp. Her father was born in the camp hospital. When the war ended, the family was sent to Utah, where they started over and where Emily still lives, now with her husband, Robert, and their four children.
Tags: YA, Historical Fiction, BIPOC