There is always so much still to learn – sadly – about the Second World War and displacement, a graphic novel by Kiku Hughes, based on the story of the author’s grandmother and great-grandmother, was a unique and interesting way to share it.

Kiku is on vacation in modern-day San Francisco when she finds herself swept into the 1940s, when Japanese-Americans are forced out of their homes and into internment camps. It is there that Kiku first meets her late grandmother, Ernestina, who is about the same age as herself.

Kiku gets displaced into the past twice, living alongside members of her community who were “denied civil liberties by their own government, but still managed to create community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive.”

In the book, Kiku talks about never feeling that Japanese, rarely taking part in the culture. But during the Second World War, anyone with “one-sixteenth Japanese ancestry or more was incarcerated.”

Kiku stays in the past for about a year until she finally returns to her time. We are brought to present-day with Kiku and her mom listening to President Donald Trump and his policies against immigrants, particularly those of Muslim faith. I liked how Hughes showed the path Trump is taking is similar to the path we claim we will never let happen again (yet we seem to, over and over).

I like the illustrations and the telling of the story. I also liked the idea of Kiku being transported to the past in order understand the importance of social justice in today’s world.

Displacement is from Raincoast Books and First Second and retails for $24.99

A copy of displacement is courtesy of Raincoast Books
for an honest review. The opinions are my own.