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Love in the Library: 03/18/22
Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Yas Imamura (Illustrator) is a picture book set in the Minidoka Japanese internment camp. It's a fictionalized account of how the author's grandparents met and fell in love while she was running the camp's library.
The book is a quiet one focused primarily on two people: Tama and George. Through Tama's dedication to keeping the library running despite not being a librarian and George's daily visits, the author shows the enduring human spirit.
The author also includes frank descriptions of life in the camp outside of the library. Things are not sugar coated. The vocabulary is simple enough for young children to understand if they are read the book and easy enough for second or third graders to read on their own.
Yas Imamura's illustrations use earth tones and simple shapes to draw the eye in. The choice of palette conveys both the history of events portrayed and the constant struggle with dirt, dust, and mud that the people imprisoned there had to endure on a daily basis. The author describes Imamura's work as capable of conveying "nuance, subtlety, and beauty even in grim places" on Instagram.