Download high-resolution image Look inside
Listen to a clip from the audiobook
audio pause button
0:00
0:00

My Lost Freedom

A Japanese American World War II Story

Illustrated by Michelle Lee
Look inside
Listen to a clip from the audiobook
audio pause button
0:00
0:00
Best Seller
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A moving, beautifully illustrated true story for children ages 6 to 9 about growing up in Japanese American incarceration camps during World War II—from the iconic Star Trek actor, activist, and author of the New York Times bestselling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy.

February 19, 1942. George Takei is four years old when his world changes forever. Two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares anyone of Japanese descent an enemy of the United States.

George and his family were American in every way. They had done nothing wrong. But because of their Japanese ancestry, they were removed from their home in California and forced into camps with thousands of other families who looked like theirs.

Over the next three years, George had three different “homes”: the Santa Anita racetrack, swampy Camp Rohwer, and infamous Tule Lake. But even though they were now living behind barbed wire fences and surrounded by armed soldiers, his mother and father did everything they could to keep the family safe.

In My Lost Freedom, George Takei looks back at his own memories to help children today understand what it feels like to be treated as an enemy by your own country. Featuring powerful, meticulously researched watercolor paintings, this is a story of a family’s courage, a young boy’s resilience, and the importance of staying true to yourself in the face of injustice.
Michelle Lee (mklillustration.com) was born and raised in Southern California. She studied printmaking and biology at UC Berkeley and earned her MS in education at the University of Pennsylvania while working as a K-8 science teacher. When not illustrating picture books, Michelle works as a freelance illustrator/designer and maintains a children's clothing line she co-founded. She enjoys making things, being in nature, and chocolate chip cookies. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. You can follow Michelle on Instagram @fromthebear. View titles by Michelle Lee

Educator Guide for My Lost Freedom

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

"A candid yet tender glimpse at a bleak chapter in U.S. history." —Kirkus Reviews

"This worthwhile picture book introduces an important topic in American history." —Booklist

"Takei’s narration is contemplative but conversational, inviting the reader to see his experience both through the eyes of his child self and the somber reflections of an adult....relatable but terribly bittersweet." —The Bulletin
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo

About

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A moving, beautifully illustrated true story for children ages 6 to 9 about growing up in Japanese American incarceration camps during World War II—from the iconic Star Trek actor, activist, and author of the New York Times bestselling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy.

February 19, 1942. George Takei is four years old when his world changes forever. Two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares anyone of Japanese descent an enemy of the United States.

George and his family were American in every way. They had done nothing wrong. But because of their Japanese ancestry, they were removed from their home in California and forced into camps with thousands of other families who looked like theirs.

Over the next three years, George had three different “homes”: the Santa Anita racetrack, swampy Camp Rohwer, and infamous Tule Lake. But even though they were now living behind barbed wire fences and surrounded by armed soldiers, his mother and father did everything they could to keep the family safe.

In My Lost Freedom, George Takei looks back at his own memories to help children today understand what it feels like to be treated as an enemy by your own country. Featuring powerful, meticulously researched watercolor paintings, this is a story of a family’s courage, a young boy’s resilience, and the importance of staying true to yourself in the face of injustice.

Author

Michelle Lee (mklillustration.com) was born and raised in Southern California. She studied printmaking and biology at UC Berkeley and earned her MS in education at the University of Pennsylvania while working as a K-8 science teacher. When not illustrating picture books, Michelle works as a freelance illustrator/designer and maintains a children's clothing line she co-founded. She enjoys making things, being in nature, and chocolate chip cookies. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. You can follow Michelle on Instagram @fromthebear. View titles by Michelle Lee

Guides

Educator Guide for My Lost Freedom

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Praise

"A candid yet tender glimpse at a bleak chapter in U.S. history." —Kirkus Reviews

"This worthwhile picture book introduces an important topic in American history." —Booklist

"Takei’s narration is contemplative but conversational, inviting the reader to see his experience both through the eyes of his child self and the somber reflections of an adult....relatable but terribly bittersweet." —The Bulletin

Photos

additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo
additional book photo

Books for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every May we celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Browse a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction books by AANHPI creators that we think your students will love. Find our collection of titles here: Elementary School

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more