Barbed Wire Baseball
By Marissa Moss; illustrated by Yuko Shimizu; Abrams Books, 2013
FROM FRONT COVER FLAP:
"… tells the awe-inspiring tale of Kenichi "Zeni" Zenimura, who never gave up hope or let go of a dream. As a young boy in Hawaii, Zeni knew that he wanted to be a baseball player, even though most people thought he was too small to play. As he grew older, his parents suggested other careers for him, like medicine or law. But Zeni kept playing baseball and grew up to be a successful player and manager, eventually playing in games with baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
But after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni, his wife, and their two sons, along with more than 100,000 other American citizens of Japanese descent, were sent to internment camps in the American Midwest and West. They were imprisoned not for any wrong-doing but simply because of their ancestry.
At the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, Zeni did not allow his situation to overcome him. Instead, with his sons and friends, he built a baseball field that gave all the imprisoned a sense of pride and hope for the future.
The life of Kenichi Zenimura, who was later named the father of Japanese American baseball, offers an inspiring true story from a little-discussed segment of American history."
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