This is the story of nine-year-old Michiko Minagawa. She wants to be proud of her Japanese heritage but can’t. Canada is at war. The Government has taken unprecedented actions against her community and treating all Japanese-Canadians as enemy aliens.
The night before her birthday celebration, the police arrest her father. Within days he must leave for labor camp in the mountains.
Michiko’s mother, with the help of a stranger, moves her family to a farmhouse in the country. Michiko, her Grandfather, Aunt Sadie, and baby brother Hiro all endure hunger, hardship, racial taunts and the worst Canadian winter in forty years.
Throughout it all, Michiko is uncertain of her origin. Should she be proud or hide it?