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All Together Now by Hope Larson
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Batman: The Smile Killer by Jeff Lemire The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
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Displacement by Kiku Hughes
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Displacement: 10/01/20


Displacement by Kiku Hughes is a time travel graphic novel where a modern day Japanese American teen is transported back in time to the Japanese interment camps. Based on actual family events, it's a way for the author to explore her own history.

Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco with her mother when she suddenly finds herself in the early 1940s, watching her grandmother perform a violin solo as a teen.

Her first couple times are brief experiences, until she finds herself in line to take a bus to Tanforan to await processing. This time, she's stuck. She's given a room with another single teenage girl. They are given the converted stall next to Kiku's grandmother and her parents.

As Kiku is from the present day, and from a family where the events of Japanese internment weren't discussed, and the language wasn't spoken at home, she has a lot to learn on the fly. She is thus the eyes and ears for any readers who haven't learned about the internment.

The artwork throughout is detailed and realistic. The architecture in San Francisco, and other cities, is recognizable. There are numerous top down views of the various camp locations that are also architecturally complex.

Kiku's journey isn't unique but it does place this graphic novel on the road narrative spectrum. While it seems that Kiku is an orphan traveler, it's revealed in the final act that it's an experience she shares with her mother. It's also an experience that can be controlled as her mother demonstrates. Thus together, they are family travelers (33).

The destination is uhoria (CC), namely important moments in the timeline of her family. The majority of the trip is spent in the 1940s, with enough time to have travel from San Francisco, to San Bruno, to Topaz, Utah. But these movements are in contrast to the larger displacement through time.

The route taken is offroad (66). Specifically it is through a fog. The fog rolls in and transports Kiku and sometimes her mother, to important times in the past.

The graphic novel can be summarized on the road narrative spectrum as being about a family traveling to uhoria via an offroad route (CC6633).

Five stars

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