My Lost Freedom: A Japanese American World War II Story

Listening Library. Apr. 2024. 37p. $5. ISBN 9780593865286.
Gr 1-4–Solemn music opens and closes Takei’s gentle, earnest recall from age four when he was among 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent unjustly imprisoned during World War II. His introduction is initially jaunty: “Hi! I’m George Takei, an 87-year-old actor. Yes, I have lived long and prospered,” referencing his evergreen Star Trek fame. His gravely, aging voice turns somber to reveal “memories of when our differences became our devastation.” Takei, his parents, and his two younger siblings fell victim to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. “But we were Americans who had done nothing wrong.” Yet the Takei family was herded through three locations: the Santa Anita Racetrack, Camp Rohwer, and Tule Lake. “My childhood behind barbed wire was a mix of both fond and terrifying memories. But through it all, Mama and Daddy always took a stand. They were my solid American heroes.”
VERDICT With additional preface and afterword enhancements, Takei’s inviting audio rendition provides a full experience.

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