Flashback Friday: Farewell To Manzanar

It’s time, once again, for Flashback Friday…

Flashback Friday is a chance to dig deep in the darkest nooks of our bookshelves and pull out the good stuff from way back. As a reader, a blogger, and a consumer, I tend to focus on new, new, new… but what about the old favorites, the hidden gems? On Flashback Fridays, I want to hit the pause button for a moment and concentrate on older books that are deserving of attention.

If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:


Farewell To Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston

(published 1973)

One of my new acquisitions this week is Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield, a new novel set in the Manzanar internment camp in which thousands of Japanese-Americans were imprisoned during World War II. I’m very excited to be starting Garden of Stones, but in thinking about this book and this era in American history, I was reminded immediately of the classic memoir Farewell To Manzanar, which I first read in high school and remember to this day.

From Goodreads:

Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp–with 10,000 other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons and a dance band called the Jive Bombers who would play any popular song except the  nation’s #1 hit: “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese-American family’s attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.

Farewell to Manzanar shocked me when I originally read it. As a young teen, it was almost impossible to believe that the events depicted actually happened in the United States. I understand that this book is now included in many schools’ required reading assignments, and I hope that continues to be the case for some time to come. As a personal glimpse into a disturbing chapter of history and as a finely-written story of one family’s struggles, Farewell to Manzanar is a modern classic that shouldn’t be forgotten.

… And I think I’ve just convinced myself to re-read this book.

So, what’s your favorite blast from the past? Leave a tip for your fellow booklovers, and share the wealth. It’s time to dust off our old favorites and get them back into circulation! 

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday bloghop, post about a book you love on your blog, and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!

Comments... We love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s