January 25: Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura. BARBED WIRE BASEBALL

Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese-American, baseball player
b. January 25, 1900
d. November 13, 1968

(Abrams, 2013)

by Marissa Moss
illustrated by Yuko Shimizu


As a boy, Kenichi “Zeni” Zenimura dreams of playing professional
baseball, but everyone tells him he is too small. Yet he grows up to be a
successful player, playing with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig! When the
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni and his family are sent to
one of ten internment camps where more than 110,000 people of Japanese
ancestry are imprisoned without trials. Zeni brings the game of baseball
to the camp, along with a sense of hope.
This true story, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II,
introduces children to a little-discussed part of American history
through Marissa Moss’s rich text and Yuko Shimizu’s beautiful
illustrations. The book includes author and illustrator notes, archival
photographs, and a bibliography.