Dear Miss Breed by Joanne Oppenheim

Dear Miss Breed

A chronicle of the incredible correspondence between California librarian Clara Breed and young Japanese American internees during World War II.In the early 1940s, Clara Breed was the children's librarian at the San Diego Public Library. But she was also friend to dozens of Japanese American children and teens when war broke out in December of 1941. The story of what happened to these American citizens is movingly told through letters that her yo...

Details Dear Miss Breed

TitleDear Miss Breed
Release DateFeb 1st, 2006
PublisherScholastic Nonfiction
GenreNonfiction, History, War, World War II, Biography

Reviews Dear Miss Breed

  • Victoria
    I didn't know about the internment camps that Japanese Americans were forced to live in after the bombing of Pearl Harbor until I entered my twenties. I was mad that this important part of our country's history was never taught to me in school. Why would the bad things the US have done be taught, of course?This book is about a Caucasian woman who really truly loved the children who would enter her library. Many of them were Japanese American chil...
  • Shomeret
    Clara Breed was a children's librarian in San Diego during WWII. When her young Japanese-American patrons were interned at Santa Anita Racetrack in 1942, she did not turn her back on them. She wrote all her Japanese American patrons, and sent them books along with other items that they and their families needed. A number of Japanese American artists sent Miss Breed art objects in thanks for the art supplies she sent them. Author Joanne Oppenheim ...
  • Ann
    What an important book with lessons for us today. I've read other accounts about the treatment ofJapanese Americans during World- War II, but this used many primary source documents; primarily letters from children to depict life inside the camps. It was well worth the read. Thank goodness for people like Miss Breed who did what was right in the face of extreme prejudice.
  • Dana Berglund
    This book narrates the years of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II through the lens of one librarian's friendship with many children (and their families) who were relocated from (in this case) San Diego to concentration camps away from the coast (in this case, first at the Santa Anita assembly center, then Poston, Arizona). It is built upon the surviving letters -- more than 200 of them -- between Miss Breed and the child...
  • Lynn
    Today’s Non-fiction post is on “Dear Miss Breed” by Joanne Oppenheim. It is 287 including photo credits, an index, a bibliography, notes and an appendix. It is published by Scholastic Nonfiction. The story is told in unusual way as the author speaks to the reader with her thoughts about the letters and the events that happen in the book. The cover is like an envelope with a stamp in the right hand corner that has Miss Breed’s face on it. ...
  • Cindy Dyson Eitelman
    There's only so much you can cram into a book. I don't remember any of the history I was taught in school, but if I did remember, I expect it would be about presidents and wars and inventions and discoveries. Columbus discovered America-- how exciting is that? Well...not exactly America. The West Indies (which he thought were the East Indies) and the coast of Central America. Nowadays I think history textbooks try a little harder, but they still ...
  • Melissa Kelley-Windisch
    Joanne Oppenheim has done a wonderful job of bringing the stories of the Japanese American students who corresponded with their beloved librarian, Clara Breed, to life in this book that combines a plethora of background information, pictures and the real content from letters sent to Miss Breed over the time of the internment camps during WWII. The book begins with a page of photos introducing us to many of the students that touched Miss Breed’s...
  • Katie
    I highly reccomend this book to those who are looking for more information about what was going on here in the US during World War II. Sadly, the Nazis weren't the only group inprisoning people because of their race. It happened right here to the Japanese! I know my History classes in school glossed over this period of History, which is just horrible! I know we haven't always been "The Land of the Free" but I never thought our own government woul...
  • Nicole
    Thus far, super interesting, lots of letters and cool primary-source-type-stuff, but I'm not crazy about the writing... OK, now what I think after finishing the book: NOT a fan of the writing at all. However, I probably would have stuck with it even if I didn't have to read it for class. I really learned nothing about Japanese Internment Camps (really, Japanese Concentration Camps) in school. Only a brief mention that it happened. That thousands ...
  • Kris
    Recommended for gr. 4-up. The book is aimed for the gr. 7-10 age group, but younger readers who are not intimidated by the size will learn from it, and it is a great introduction to the subject of Japanese-American incarceration during WWII for older students and adults. The book is essentially a collection of letters written by children and young adults to Clara Breed, the children's librarian at the San Diego library. Miss Breed corresponded wi...
  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    Librarians should read this one. Miss Breed was a children's librarian who befriended the Japanese American children in her neighborhood and sent them books while they were being held in various concentration camps during World War II. She's a model for what the idea of librarian stands for!
  • Christina
    This is one of the reading options I gave on Japanese Internment and I've been impressed by how many students have opted to read this hefty book over shorter selections like Farewell to Manzanar or When the Emperor Was Divine. This is a valuable text -- it carries us through the progression of Pearl-Harbor-deepened anxiety and fear manifested in race-hate and discrimination to internment and lingering ruptures in democracy while raising up specif...
  • Marie
    As the subtitle states, Dear Miss Breed is the story of one San Diego children's librarian who went the extra mile (and beyond!) to serve young people incarcerated in the Japanese American incarceration camps during WWII. Clara Breed was young herself, very newly graduated from the Masters of Library and Information Science program when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. As the only children's librarian in her county, and stationed at a branch ...
  • Bonnie
    This was a moving, informative, and heart-felt story: exactly what I look for in non-fiction.It is the story of a children's librarian, named Miss Breed, in San Diego, who a large percentage of the children that come to the library are Japanese. When Pearl Harbor happens, and the Japanese-Americans are put into camps in the desert, she stays in contact with them, and sends them books, supplies, and hope over the years they are kept in the camps. ...
  • Kirsten
    But Miss Breed only provides a frame for the story, a heartwrenching and appalling description of the life of Japanese-Americans, many of whom were second or even third generation American citizens, in inhospitable and degrading prison camps. Jeanette Oppenheim uses testimony from reparations hearings in the 1980s and interviews and letters from many of the children, now grown, as well as many other primary source materials. A mesmerizing piece o...
  • Traci
    What a wonderful and bittersweet book. Dear Miss Breed tells the true story of a young librarian named Miss Breed who worked at the San Diego Public Library in the 1940's and her relationship with the Japanese American children who lived nearby who were amongst her most devoted readers. After Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, these children were suddenly considered "enemy aliens"and were forced to leave behind most of their belongings and evacuate...
  • Scarlett Sims
    Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans, many of them citizens of the United States, were shipped off to what were essentially concentration camps, where they would no longer pose a threat to the U.S. Government. Many of these citizens were just children and for some of them, a woman named Clara Breed made a huge difference in their lives by sending them books and other items during this troubled time in ...
  • Karen Mcintyre
    A remarkable account which neither demonizes or glorifies the Japanese who were forced into intermnet camps during WWII.It is the stark narrative in the letters exchanged by the San Diego Children's Librarian, Clara Breed, and her children who are now inhabitants of horse stalls and subjected to dehumanizing conditions that speak with such clarity about the injustice of the system.It is especially important for young students of American History ...
  • Rosalinda
    Main Character/s: Clara Breed, Japanese-American internees Setting: During World War IIPOV: Switches between Clara Breed and the interneesSummary: This is a book told through a series of letters by Clara Breed and several Japanese-American internees. On December 7, 1941 the United States government began imprisoning Japanese-Americans because of their Japanese ancestry. The Japanese-Americans were stripped of their freedom, security, and home, an...
  • Nicholas
    Very insightful book covers a dark chapter in American history with a detailed primary source-laden account of the daily life in Japanese-American concentration camps from the 1940s. It drives you mad to imagine the United States allowing such an institutional racist act to fester for as long as it did and with so little regard for the Japanese Americans who were imprisoned there. The book is written with a slight bent toward the young readers (m...
  • April Hochstrasser
    A book about a librarian who was a hero to the Japanese youngsters in San Diego who were shipped off to a "Relocation Camp" in 1941 because of Pearl Harbor. This librarian didn't forget the Japanese children who frequented her library. She wrote to them, visited, sent them books and other necessary items that they couldn't get in the camps. The book was about the camps and the ridiculous position the government took that they were "protecting" th...
  • Crystal
    This book shows the best and worst of America. The best is the firsthand testimonies of the children who tried to make the best of being uprooted from their communities and sent to primitive concentration camps in the middle of the harsh wilderness. It is Miss Breed's love for, and support and defense of "her children," neither because of nor in spite of their ancestry, but simply because they were American children who loved and needed books. It...
  • Judy
    This is a juvenile book that tells from personal experiences of children of Japanese heritage who were forced from their homes to camps at the beginning of WWII. I am glad to see that the incident is being told so that young people know what happened. I didn't hear of these camps until I was an adult. I am also proud of the librarian who kept in touch with some of the children and wrote articles about them in magazines. It was a shameful part of ...
  • Kate
    I almost cried while reading this book, more than once. And again, this illustrates the problem I have with how history is taught in the United States. I learned a lot about Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and even Mao. But when it comes to WW2, this period in American History is simply not taught. In Germany, it is illegal to deny the Holocaust. There is no such Federal Law here. I learned about it on my own, because I read a lot as a kid which expos...
  • Debra
    I stumbled onto this book as it went across my desk at the library from someone who was compiling information on this event in US history for a paper. This book just grabbed me. From the cover to the book's layout, it covers the theme of the Japanese internment in a layered effect, from background facts to the presentation of the actual letters of the young people who lived this event. I tremble to think of the propaganda that we believe today to...
  • Connie T.
    This remarkable book sheds a great deal of light on the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Miss Breed, a children's librarian in San Diego, feels compassionately when her patrons are forced to relocate. In an effort to provide some hope to these children, she sends letters, books, and small gifts. In turn, the children write to her, telling of their days and life in the camps. Miss Breed kept all those letters and they now serve as the...
  • Candy
    "That looks too Japanese." my mom said with a small frown. So, I chose something else.I never realized how I picked up somewhat subconsciously that some cultures, like the Japanese or Italians, were to be avoided. We didn't cover our furniture with plastic like the Italians, or put purple and red together....When I met my Japanese-American coworker who was proud of her heritage and shared it with all of us, I was puzzled in the back of my mind. P...
  • Kristin Nelson
    This sat on my to-read pile for too long. I renewed it 4 times (yes, I had it 15 weeks!) and still hadn't read it. When I couldn't renew it online anymore, I took it back to the library and decided to check it out one more time and actually read it. I'm glad I did. I didn't know about the internment of Japanese Americans until I was an adult, and after reading this I know even more. The book was laid-out in a style that was easy to read. Joanne O...