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Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Camp Nine by Vivienne Schiffer

imagePublisher: The University of Arkansas Press  
ISBN: 1557289727
Pages: 151 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/WWII  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

"Camp Nine beautifully captures a sense of time and place that resonates with authenticity. It shows an intimate familiarity with the internment camp at Rohwer-how the camp came to be situated in such a remote part of Arkansas, life within the camp, and the feelings of the Japanese Americans held captive there, as well as what life was like in the 1940s for the locals outside. It is a perspective that has never been presented. I love this book and recommend it as a must-read."
-Delphine Hirasuna, author of The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942 - 1946
"Through the prisms of place, family, race, class, power, and privilege, Vivienne Schiffer skillfully constructs a necessarily complicated portrait of the era into a meaningful mosaic and satisfying story."
-Grif Stockley, author of Ruled by Race: Black/White Relations in Arkansas from Slavery to the Present (University of Arkansas Press)

My Review: 
I find the Japanese internment during WWII to be such an interesting point in history.  It was so terrible and disgusting I get so interesting that the American government and people could sanction such an offense.  It's not often that I read books about but I was immediately interested in this one.

Camp Nine focuses on Chess Morton, a child upon whose land Camp Nine was built as sanctioned by her grandfather.  I loved Chess.  Her childlike curiosity helped temper the horror of the historical events going on around her.  She was a real treasure of the character because you felt you are seeing the world through her eyes even though she was telling you the story as an adult.

Camp Nine was a book that I put off for a few days.  I haven't been reading much of historical fiction lately.  I have no idea why.  Lately if it hasn't been a romance or a YA, I haven't been reading it.  I was actually a bit worried that this wouldn't work for me.  But thankfully it did.  Probably because I love Chess.  It's very rare that I connect so deeply with the protagonist.  Especially one that happens to be a child.  Perhaps it's because the story was told by Chess as an adult.  It gave a more knowledgeable voice to a situation a child could never fully understand.

I really love this book.  I'm so glad that I picked it up even though I was a bit nervous about it.  The storytelling was great, the writing was amazing and I really loved how easy it was for me to connect to Chess. 


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I know what you mean about not being in the mood to pick it up - I've had that experience myself a few times lately (I've been reading more and more fantasy/scifi and less other genres) - so I'm glad to see that you ended up loving it! Chess seems like a wonderful character.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. Dear Grace, thank you so much for reading Camp Nine, and for your wonderful comments. And 5 stars - wow, thank you! As a new author, it's so great to know you've connected with someone. And your characters become like real people to you - I was so glad you got to know and love Chess Morton. Vivienne Schiffer



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