Tokyo Rose - Zero Hour (A Graphic Novel) HC
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Release Date: September 20, 2022
Price: $16.99
Creators: Andre Frattino (Writer), Kate Kasenow (Artist)
Format: 128 pgs., Black & White, 7"x10", Hardcover
ISBN: 978-4-8053-1695-5
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

The subject of this book makes it an important one for libraries and stores to stock this book, as the whole "graphic biography" and "graphic history" idea is finally spreading to cover topics not already heavily covered in print.  In this case, this book covers the story of Iva Yoguri, an American-born citizen of Japanese descent who found herself trapped in Japan in December of 1941.  Because she was far more fluent in English than in Japanese she was "guided" into a job working for a radio station that was broadcasting propaganda to English-speaking Allied troops.  She originally was not a radio broadcaster herself, but was talked into it by an Australian officer who was also "guided" into that service, and his idea was to broadcast things in ways that native English-speakers would recognize as sarcasm and other things that were not really the Japanese propaganda.  She broadcast as "Orphan Ann," but "Tokyo Rose" was sort of a generic name for all of the women who did the same job.

Because she was an American citizen, and because she wanted to go home to the United States the war, she was arrested and tried for things that really weren’t her doing, and even with a massive frame-up by certain U.S. officials, the jury wouldn’t convict her on most of the charges.  They did convict her of one, though, which was enough to get her thrown into prison for several years.

This story, put into the context of the internment of other American citizens of Japanese descent during the war, made for fascinating reading.  This book is mostly for adults, but older teens may find it interesting.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.