Obaasan’s Boots

Janis Bridger and Lara Jean Okihiro
Publisher: Second Story Press


Book Description

Cousins Lou and Charlotte don’t know a lot about their grandmother’s life. When their Obaasan invites them to spend the day in her garden, she also invites them into their family’s secrets. Grandma shares her experience as a Japanese Canadian during WWII, revealing the painful story of Japanese internment. Her family was forced apart. Whole communities were uprooted, moved into camps, their belongings stolen. Lou and Charlotte struggle with the injustice, even as they marvel at their grandmother’s strength. They begin to understand how their identities have been shaped by racism, and that history is not only about the past.

Author Bio

Lara Jean Okihiro is a writer, researcher, and educator of mixed Japanese Canadian heritage living in Toronto. Intrigued by the power and magic of stories, she earned a Master’s (Goldsmiths College) and a Doctorate (University of Toronto) in English. Living abroad inspired her to learn about her family’s experience of internment. Lara writes about dispossession, hoarding, social justice, and carrying the important lessons of the past into the future.

Janis Bridger is an educator and writer who has many creative outlets and a love for the outdoors. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, close to where her Japanese Canadian grandparents lived before being interned. Janis earned a diploma in Professional Photography (Langara College), a Bachelor of Education and General Studies (Simon Fraser University) and a Master of Education (University of Alberta), specializing in teacher-librarianship. Social justice, diversity, and kindness are paramount in her life and embedded in her everyday teaching.