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Although Journey to Topaz makes a strong social point, it is primarily a story about individuals coping in times of great stress. The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was not only a national tragedy, it was a personal one for those who were rounded up from their homes and forced to move to isolated camps. Through Yuki, the main character, readers can see the events of the internment process firsthand; she and other characters are so well drawn that the history of the period comes alive. This novel is a good way to learn about important historical events, and Uchida does not compromise her subject matter by making up wild adventures or a stereotypical happy ending. Journey to Topaz speaks candidly about its serious subject: readers who enjoy exercising their ability to think will appreciate this well-told and interesting book.

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