Michiko Minagawa wants to be proud of her Japanese heritage but can’t. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour, the Canadian government brands all Japanese-Canadians as alien enemies. They must abandon their house, car and most of their possessions and move into the interior of British Columbia.
Kiko, Michiko’s new friend in camp, helps her realize life above a drugstore is far better than living in the tiny wooden shacks in the orchard. When Kaz Katsumoto becomes her teacher at the Hardware Store School, life gets even better. The former Asahi star has her class playing every day. When Michiko’s class challenges the teachers to a game, the whole town turns out.
But the game brings the biggest loss of all to the Minigawa family. Her grandfather’s weak heart gives out in the excitement. He passes away just before the government announces all Japanese in British Columbia must leave the camps and live elsewhere.
Kiko’s family leaves for Toronto. Michiko’s mother can’t think of moving with a new baby on the way even though her father plans to take the government’s offer of free passage to Japan. Pretending to be her mother, writing on behalf of her father, Michiko applies for a job in Ontario. The Minigawa family once again packs their meager belongings and head for yet another new life on a flower farm.