2008 Colorado Book Award Finalist
Actor/activist George Takei (Mr. Sulu) was sent to a Japanese interment camp as a child, much like the character in my book.
The Home-Front Heroes Series - For ages 8 and up
The No-No Boys
Based on a true story . . .
Fourteen-year-old Tai Shimoda's family has lost everything. Like many other Japanese-Americans at the start of World War II, Tai's family has been forced to move to Tule Lake Relocation Center in Northern California. Though he misses his friends back home, Tai does his best to start a new life behind the barbed wire of camp.
But in the spring of 1943, tensions at Tule Lake are growing. Tai's older brother has joined a group who has refused to swear allegiance to the United States. They call themselves the No-Nos. Tai's father calls them Disloyals.
When the camp begins to split in two, Tai must decide what he believes. Will he join his beloved brother and the No-Nos or, like his father, remain true to America?
Readers, don’t miss the last few pages to learn more about the real Tai Shimoda.
Meet the Real Tai Shimoda
Just a few kudos from fans:
Say 'Yes' to The No-No Boys.
--Nichi Bei Times
By far, this was our favorite book. My son loved the interaction of the boys in the camp. His eyes were opened to the injustices that the children felt. My daughter loved the unexpected turns. I appreciated the coming of age story. I have read many books on the internment, but this one helps you to live it as an American child of Japanese ancestry. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
--Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
I have been teaching The No-No Boys for a few years now, and it has become an integral part of my integrated SS/LA curriculum. My students love it! Even more important than the academic benefits, is the way it encourages students to adopt a new, more compassionate world view.
--Lisa Ransom, elementary teacher
The No-No Boys is a touching story that illuminates the emotional and physical hardships endured by Japanese-Americans during World War II on American soil. Teresa Funke's children's novel is told through the point of view of a young Japanese boy, and through Tai we learn not only about what daily life was like in the Japanese internment camps, but about the courage, pride and dignity of a people caught between two cultures during a time of war. This is an inspiring account of how people manage to live and love despite hardships thrust upon them. The No-No Boys is an excellent teaching tool and will awaken in young readers a curiosity about history, a deeper understanding of Japanese-American culture during World War II, and an appreciation for freedom. I highly recommend this engaging story to anyone. My nieces and nephews (middle graders) loved it.
I really liked The No-No Boys because it was based on a real story. I'm going to tell my friends they should read this book because it's a great story! I want to read the next one.
--Dillon, age 10
I was seriously impressed with the many, many layers, the tension, family ties, moral lessons, fidelity and loyalty lessons, the excursion into another culture quite apart from the trip through one historic epoch in America. Excellent. And I have a new respect for young adult fiction. This is great stuff for young readers!
--Jerry Eckert, writer
"When Tai and his family are sent to an internment camp during World War II, he manages to make the best of a bad situation by having fun with friends and trying to please his parents,but what happens when he discovers that he can't please everyone? Young readers will identify with Tai's problem and keep reading to see how he resolves it. Readers of all ages will enjoy this well-researched, suspenseful story about divided loyalties."
--Leslie Patterson, former children's librarian