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The theme of this story is to never give up and keep on believing.

Throughout the story, Joe encountered many hardships in and out of school. He prayed and believed that all the bulling and rumors would stop and his life could return to normal. When he was sent to the relocation camp, he had to change his lifestyle. While in the relocation camp, Joe kept on praying, wishing, and believing that he would leave and go back home or at least somewhere out of the camp. Also, when Mike went off to fight in the war, Joe and his dad wished and prayed for Mikes safe return. Although one of these things came true, there wishing, praying, and believing helped them throughout the story with their needs and struggles.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes anything dealing with Pearl Harbor. Thin Wood Walls deals with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the effect it had on Japanese Americans living in the U.S.A. This story goes into great detail about the changes Japanese Americans had to go through in the 1940s. It is a very exciting and random story and you will not want to put it down.

Hi, my name is Joe Hanada and I am 11 years old. I love to write in my journal my dad gave me. Almost everyday I will would in my journal rather it is how I am feeling or a haiku. I use to play basketball and baseball all the time but that was hard to do when I was sent away to a relocation camp. When I was sent away, I had to leave my best friend Ray OBrien. We went to the same school and we would play basketball together all the time. We did everything together. When I left, we still wrote to each other all the time. My bigger brother Mike, who is five years older then me, was my role model. He protected me from all the kids bigger then me who picked on me because of my race. He went into the army when he was 18 because the United States drafted him. Sadly, he was killed in action. My mom and dad were also a big part of my life. My dad was taken away by the FBI a couple months after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The thought he was a spy for the Japanese. While in the relocation camp, he returned to us because he was let go. My mom was brave though. She kept our family strong during these rough times. She helped me through school and took care of me while my dad was away.

I use to live in White River Valley, Washington until 1941. When the government issued the Executive Order 9066, we were sent to the Tule Lake Relocation Camp in California. The reasoning behind this was so the government could make sure Japanese Americans were not spying for the Japanese. I had a tough time living here. The food was bad, people were angry, and the soldiers were not always nice. I had to deal with this for two and a half years. I still tried to make the best out of it by playing marbles and baseball. Although the camp was not the best, it was not the worse place on Earth.

There were many reasons why we were sent to the relocation camp. First, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The United States then turned on our race and started suspecting we were spying or helping Japan take them over. This then lead to the taking of dad. I was walking back from Rays house with Ray and a big black car and a police car pulled up in front off our house. Two big men walked into our house and took dad. Mom, grandma, and Mike were standing on the porch when the Chief of Police told mom dad was being taken because the government suspected he was again helping Japan. While dad was away, the president then signed the Executive Order 9066. This allowed the government to send Japanese Americans to relocation or internment camps. That when we were sent away.

We started out in Pinedale, California for about two months. We were finally sent to Tule Lake Relocation Camp also in California. This was the hardest time of my life. A lot of long boring days were spent here with Mae and Phillip. One day Mike came home from high school and seemed very excited. He told us the government was allowing Japanese Americans into the army. He was still 17 and mom did not give him permission to enroll into the army. When he turned 18, he enrolled into the army. After about a year of training Mike was finally sent to Germany to fight Hitlers army. He came back to camp for a few days to spend time with us. The morning he was going to leave, he said goodbye to mom, grandma, and me. I walked with him to the bus until he had to leave. Mike then left with the rest of the guys to fight in the war.

Two days after Mike left, dad came home. He returned in the middle of the night and almost scared me have to death. I continued to write letters to Mae, Ray, and Mike like usually. Mae and Ray about dad coming home and Mike going to war. I told Mike about dad returning and that I missed him very much. On a Saturday, a big black car pulled up in front of our barracks. I sat outside when they asked me if this was the Hanadas barrack. I told them it was and they asked to speak to my parents. I opened the door and told mom and dad that soldiers wanted to talk to them. Mom, dad, and grandma came to the door and stood in front of the soldiers. The soldiers told us that Mike had been killed in action. We were saddened by the news and went back into our barracks.

Two days later, I got a letter from Mae. Mae went to my school in White River Valley and was sent to Pinedale and Tule Lake like I was. She had gotten a sponsor and her dad was given a job in Ontario, Oregon. She told me that her parents had gotten my family a sponsor too and we would also be living in Ontario, Oregon. Mom and Dad wrote back to her family thanking them for all they have done.

I think Thin Wood Walls got its title because for most of the story, Joe and his family are stuck between thin wood walls. By this I mean, when Joe and his family were sent to Pinedale, California, they were living between barbed wire fences. When they were sent to Tule Lake Relocation Camp in California, they were also living between barbed wire fences. Now, when they were living in these certain places, they were not given any freedom to go wherever they wanted. In the story, it talks about how Joe always wanted to be free and not have to live like this for a very long time. When Japanese Americans were let out of these thin wood walled places, they were very happy to be free at last. This story talks about the lifestyle Japanese Americans, especially the Hanadas, had to live when stuck in a camp fenced of by thin wood walls (barbed wire fences).

I think the conflict in this story is man vs. society. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Joe was treated differently by most of his classmates. On page 30-31 it talks about how Joe got a drawing of a Japanese bomber holding a bomb while flying and airplane. When Joe looked around, some boys and girls were looking at him and they were laughing. Other instances in the book talk about Joe getting picked on and laughed at by people in his community. On page 69 it talks about President Roosevelt signing the Executive Order 9066 which allowed the government to send Japanese Americans to relocation camps. This is also another example of how a race of people were picked on by a whole country. Throughout the story, Joe and his family have to deal with and stand up against people who are picking on them and madding fun of just because of something someone else did.