Hi everyone! Today I couldn’t be more excited to share with you the exclusive cover reveal for my friend Lois Sepahban’s forthcoming 2016 middle grade debut, Paper Wishes! Set within the confines of Manzanar, one of the ten camps where Japanese citizens were wrongfully incarcerated during World War II, Sepahban’s novel promises to provide a heart-wrenching and much-needed exploration of one of the most shameful occurrences in America’s history, offering a diverse, emotional and educational experience for young readers. Please read on to learn a little more about the inspiration behind Paper Wishes and why Manami’s story is one close to the author’s heart.
A Note From The Author
It is impossible to grow up in central California without being aware of Manzanar. It’s like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. But it’s big and it’s right there. Two of my classmates in elementary school had a family history that their mother shared with our class, too – their grandparents had been forced to live in an internment camp during the war. So, these camps, specifically Manzanar, were always interesting to me and whenever they would be mentioned, my ears would perk up. Three years ago, I was reading a nonfiction book about the children who had lived at Manzanar, and I decided I wanted to write a book about a child who lived there. I also knew that I wanted to have a “forbidden” love story as an important part of the story. So I began to do research – I read old newspaper articles, I watched interviews, I checked out books at the library. One day, I read an old interview and the man, who had been at Manzanar, said that one day, dogs just started showing up at the camp. They didn’t know where they were coming from. When I read that, I got goosebumps on my arms and I knew I had my story.
About Lois Sepahban
Lois Sepahban grew up in central California. She spent her childhood reading, climbing trees, and leading her brother and sister on hunts for buried treasures. In college she studied languages and books. She is married and has two children. She lives on a small farm in Kentucky where she has a barn that she fills with animals who need homes. She has two dogs, six cats, and lots of sweet and fluffy chickens. Lois is represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Title Paper Wishes
Author Lois Sepahban
Pages 208 Pages
Genre Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Publisher Margaret Ferguson Books
To Be Published January 2016
Find It On Goodreads
Manami is a ten-year-old girl, born on Bainbridge Island in Washington to Japanese parents. In March of 1942, following orders for relocation in Executive Order 9066, Manami and her family and the entire Japanese-American population of Bainbridge Island, are sent to Manzanar, an internment camp in central California. On the day they are to leave their island home, Manami is distressed when she learns that they are leaving her dog behind, too. When no one is watching, she hides her dog inside her coat. She manages to sneak him onto the ferry that takes them to the mainland, but a soldier spots him before she can board the bus that will take them to the train station. What happens next causes Manami to stop speaking. At the camp, it is up to Manami to hold her family together. And she can only do that by learning to speak again.