Sylvia & Aki

Winifred Conkling

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Sylvia & Aki

Sylvia Aki Sylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle all she wanted was to enroll in school Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert all s

  • Title: Sylvia & Aki
  • Author: Winifred Conkling
  • ISBN: 9781582463377
  • Page: 221
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle all she wanted was to enroll in school Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert all she wanted was to stay on her family farm and finish the school year The two girls certainly never expected to know each other, until their lives intersected in Southern CSylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle all she wanted was to enroll in school Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert all she wanted was to stay on her family farm and finish the school year The two girls certainly never expected to know each other, until their lives intersected in Southern California during a time when their country changed forever Here is the remarkable story based on true events of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu, two ordinary girls living in extraordinary times When Sylvia and her brothers are not allowed to register at the same school Aki attended and are instead sent to a Mexican school, the stage is set for Sylvia s father to challenge in court the separation of races in California s schools Ultimately, Mendez vs Westminster School District led to the desegregation of California schools and helped build the case that would end school segregation nationally Through extensive interviews with Sylvia and Aki still good friends to this day Winifred Conkling brings to life two stories of persistent courage in the face of tremendous odds.

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      221 Winifred Conkling
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      Posted by:Winifred Conkling
      Published :2019-01-14T20:46:35+00:00

    One thought on “Sylvia & Aki

    1. Krista the Krazy Kataloguer on said:

      Prejudice is the theme of this historical novel set in World War II and based on the lives of two real-life young girls. Sylvia Mendez is living with her family on a farm in California, which they are renting from the Munemitsu family, who is interned in a relocation camp in Poston, Arizona. Sylvia finds a doll and a photograph on a shelf in the closet of her room that belongs to Aki Munemitsu, and the two girls eventually begin writing to each other. Both girls and their families are dealing wi [...]

    2. Rilee on said:

      Audience: Upper Primary-IntermediateAppeal: The author personalizes the discrimination of the time in a way that today’s readers will be able to relate to and they are able to understand the importance of the historic events. It is a little-known case that is a huge turning point in Latino history. It makes events seem read to the readers. Award: Tomas Rivera Book Award

    3. Noah on said:

      I just finished reading this book to my 10 & 8 year old kids, and almost broke down reading the epilogue. I can't recommend it more highly. The book explores the experiences of real-life children at the center of two vital moments in US history: a Japanese girl removed from her family's farm as part of the WWII internment of Japanese Americans and a Mexican girl whose family tends the farm but is not admitted to the local white school. I'm grateful for the results of the Mendez case, which p [...]

    4. The Library Lady on said:

      The writing and dialogue are a bit stilted, but this is a nice little story about prejudice, about family and about friendship for younger readers.

    5. Sarah Nelson on said:

      I'm a sucker for historical fiction like this. It's the teacher in me. When a Aki's family is sent to an internment camp with other Japanese Americans, Sylvia's family rents their farm. But Sylvia and her siblings are denied access to the public school and her parents lead the fight to end school segregation in California public schools. Sylvia and Aki were real girls in the 1940s whose families' struggles against discrimination intertwined. Fascinating.

    6. Margo Tanenbaum on said:

      In her first work for young people, author Winifred Conkling brings to light an important but little known story in our nation’s civil rights history. Several years before Brown v. Board of Education, third-grader Sylvia Mendez wanted nothing extraordinary--just the right to attend her neighborhood school rather than a “Mexican” school near her family’s farm in Westminster. Her family challenged the policy in court, leading the way to a landmark school desegregation case that would pave [...]

    7. Dorothy on said:

      Dorothy SchultzTED 2360Children's Lit.7/15/13"The blanket felt soft against Sylvia's head as she leaned back. She thought about Aki. How does she celebrate a holiday that's all about freedom when she's inside an internment camp?What can the word freedom mean to someone trapped behind a barbed-wired fence?" (Insert from page 97). 2012 (Honored) Tomas Rivera Award and Jane Addams Children's Book Award "Sylvia & Aki" by Winifred Conkling is a wonderful book about friendships that can build when [...]

    8. L13F_Jana Wilkening on said:

      This 2012 America’s Award Commended title AND 2012 Tomas Rivera Award winning book tells the amazing true story of two third grade girls, Sylvia and Aki. The chapters alternate with each girl’s point of view as we follow their journey during the 1940s. Aki tells the story of her family’s forced relocation to a Japanese internment camp. Sylvia’s family moves into Aki’s family’s farm where she tells the story of her father’s fight to allow her and her brothers to enroll in the nearby [...]

    9. Emily Mateos on said:

      Grade/interest level: Upper Elementary (4th-5th grade)Reading level: No lexile level available but because of length, words used, and content I would say 4th gradeGenre: Information book, MulticulturalMain Characters: Sylvia and AkiSetting: rural Westminster California on the family farm and at the school where Sylvia was turned awayPOV: 3rd person narration This book tells a story about a young Mexican American girl who is turned away from the closest school, Westminster, because of the color o [...]

    10. Dona on said:

      Discussion questions:remember: From which foreign countries did Sylvia's parents come?(Ch.1, p.10)From which over-seas country did Aki's parents come? (Ch.2, p.26)What world event changed the lives of Sylvia and Aki? (Ch.2, p.20) understand: How did WWII effect these two families? (Ch. 1, p.4 Ch.2, p.19-24 Ch.13, p.126)apply: Today the enemies of the United States are Iran and Pakistan and other countries in the Middle East. What should the American government do to protect us from Iranian peopl [...]

    11. Laura on said:

      This story chronicles the lives of two young girls & their families who faced racial segregation during World World II. First, there is Aki Munemitsu, a Japanese-American, and her family who owns an asparagus farm, but is sent to internment camps after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Second, there is Sylvia Mendez, a Mexican-American, whose family takes over the farm from the Munemitsu family and the children are denied the ability to go to the local white school. Each chapter rotates betw [...]

    12. Penny Peck on said:

      A charming book based on two true stories that are important to California history - perfect for 4th graders, relatively brief and easy to read chapter book fiction that would also make a great classroom readaloud. Sylvia and her brothers are denied admittance to the nearby school, and are told to enroll at the "Mexican" school across town (near the barrio). And Aki is at a Japanese American Relocation camp in Poston, AZ. Sylvia's family has leased their farm from Aki's family, and the girls' us [...]

    13. Kylie Svoboda on said:

      Audience: 3rd-6th graders. Great for girls but boys would enjoy it too. Appeal: The book is very good. One of the best books I have read this summer. The book would tie in perfectly when learning about World War II in social studies class. The book shows the racism and segregation that the Mexican Americans edured aswell as the Japanese Americans during the Japanese interment camps. This novel would give students a perspective on the Japanese and Mexican American's living the 1940's. This book w [...]

    14. Maira on said:

      The 2012 Tomas Rivera Book Award was given to Sylvia & Aki along with another winner. I really enjoyed this book which told the stories of two young girls of different backgrounds and their challenge with segregation. This book would be a great read for students 3rd grade & up & also could be for teacher seeking to teach students about rights. Over the course of this class, I think this was my favorite book. This book would be appealing to students of different backgrounds that could [...]

    15. The Reading Countess on said:

      The girls in this story have much to teach modern day readers about social injustice, speaking out against said injustice, and how we are doomed to repeat our mistakes if we do not learn from them. Though the dialogue felt a little stilted, I think my fourth graders would benefit from reading this story in lit. circles when we read about immigration and migrant workers in the spring.

    16. QNPoohBear on said:

      This is a simple book for kids 7-10 about injustice. It tells two different stories and the girls only come together in the end. Sylvia's plot leads up to her father's landmark court case desegregating California schools. The epilogue and author's note are more interesting than the story. I'd like to know more about these two women.

    17. MrsMitchell on said:

      Wow, what a fascinating true story, and this book tells it in such a wonderful way! The alternating chapters made me feel connected to both Sylvia and Aki, and I loved seeing how they came together! What an important story in American history!

    18. Gina on said:

      True story about two girls who lived through the 1940's and the injustices of Japanese internment camps and segregated schools. Easy read to tackle tough topics.

    19. Tami on said:

      Sylvia & Aki has a subtitle on the cover that reads: "Friendship know no barriers." The story, however, is not really about the friendship between the two girls. It is told in alternating narrations by Sylvia Mendez, a young Mexican-American girl whose family is leasing a farm in Southern California in the 1940's and who is refused admittance to the neighborhood school. She and her brothers are told they must go to the 'Mexican' school near the barrio instead.The other narrator is young Aki [...]

    20. TabReads on said:

      4.5 Stars. A perfectly age appropriate story for our book club telling the true story of discrimination in the 1940s. It was an interesting structure for this age group with the dual perspective (something I enjoy in a lot of books I read). I hope the girls come to the meeting with lots of questions and get a broader perspective of important issues in our nation's history.

    21. Eydie Aremburg on said:

      Category: Middle GradeGenre: FictionSub-genre: Historical fictionInterest Level: Grade 3 - 5Reading Level: Lexile 760; DRA 40Brief description: Taking place during World War II, the book Sylvia and Aki tells the story of two girls and their families. Both face discrimination during a time when American-Japanese people were feared by many people after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and many people considered Mexicans inferior to white people. Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre(s) and [...]

    22. Teresa on said:

      This was an interesting story based on real events and people--the Mendez family leased the Munemitsu family's asparagus farm when the Japanese family was interned. Sylvia found the school picture and Japanese doll that Aki had hidden in her closet (not wanting to seem too Japanese in the camp). Then Sylvia's father sued the school district because they wouldn't let Sylvia go to the closer, white school, instead insisting that she attend Hoover, closer to the barrio, because Mexican children nee [...]

    23. Laura on said:

      This is another of those books that I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. I’d never even heard of this book until I had to read it for class. When I began reading it, I was excited about the subject. It didn’t quite live up to that initial excitement.Japan has just bombed Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. is turning against its Japanese-American citizens. Aki and her family are shipped off to an internment camp. Sylvia’s father takes over their farm, and Sylvia is excited to start school at West [...]

    24. 529_Amalia on said:

      Sylvia & Aki by Winfred Conkling is a story of two real California girls during World War II. Based on many interviews and historical records, Conkling follows the lives of both girls. Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu are two girls who lives were both affected by World War II in two very different, but the same way. Aki Munemitsu, her parent’s and her older brother lived in Westminster, California on their asparagus farm, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Aki’s family never imagined [...]

    25. Maria Celis on said:

      Conkling, Winifred. Sylvia & Aki. Berkeley: Tricycle Press, 2011.Characters: Sylvia Mendez, third grade Mexican-American daughter of Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez; Aki Munemitsu, third grade Japanese-American and internment camp resident.Setting: Westminster, CA; Santa Ana, CA; Poston internment camp, ArizonaTheme: juvenile perspective; California & WWII; family; racial segregation in education; Japanese internmentGenre: Historical Fiction; Children’s; YA; CulturalSummary: Sylvia’s an [...]

    26. Nicholas Humilier on said:

      Grade/interest level: 6th-8thLexile: 760LReading level: 4.5Genre: Multi-Cultural LiteratureMain Characters: Sylvia Mendez, Aki MunemitsuSetting: Westminster, CA, Poston, AZPOV: Third PersonThis story captures two critical social issues occurring simultaneously during the early 1940s. Aki Munemitsu is the daughter of Japanese immigrants living on a farm in Westminster, CA. On December 7th, 1941 the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the world in which all Japanese-American immigrants lived, [...]

    27. Mary Louise Sanchez on said:

      Winifred Conkling, a dubut author of children's stories, has given the young reader parallel stories with parallel chapters which have Japanese and Hispanic proberb headings to match the chapters. The stories are based on true incidents of two real girls who lived in southern California before the bombing of World War II. Soon after, Aki Munemitsu's family is sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona and Slyvia Mendez's family leases the Munemitsu farm and house. Although this is a good move [...]

    28. Angie on said:

      Sylvia and Aki is a wonderful historical novel about school segregation and Japanese internment. It takes place over several years in the 1940s and is based on true events. Aki and her family live on their asparagus farm and enjoy life in America. Then the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and everything changes. People look at them suspiciously and they receive notice that they will have to leave their home and move to an internment camp. Her father is imprisoned in a different camp and it is years be [...]

    29. Sunday Cummins on said:

      This is a simple novel that describes the intersection of the lives of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu. In real life, Sylvia's parents sued the Westminster School District (in the 1940's) for segregating Mexican children into impoverished schools and won (ten years before Ruby Bridges integrated the all white school in New Orleans). While Mendez's family was living in this school district, they were renting the asparagus family farm of Aki, whose family was sent to the Japanese internment camp i [...]

    30. Shaeley Santiago on said:

      This book is written in chapters that alternate between the story of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu in Southern California around the time of WWII. Aki's family gets sent to a Japanese internment camp in Poston, AZ just a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Sylvia's family leases their farm outside Westminster, CA while the Munemitsu family is imprisoned. Although Aki was allowed to attend the Westminster Elementary School as a Japanese-American, Sylvia and her two younger brothers ar [...]

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