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Tear Jerker / Dear America

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     A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620 
  • The death of Mem's mother. And how Mem blames herself: While her mother was recovering from illness, Mem went to visit the Native Americans, who had recently made contact with the Pilgrims. However, she returns home to find that her mother took a turn for the worse. She wonders if she had stayed home, her mother would still be alive.
  • Near the end of the book, Mem becomes very sick. Her stepmother Hannah is tending to her. Up to then, Mem had not known what to call Hannah because she was afraid to dishonor her mother. Here though, she blurts out Hannah's first name. This cements their relationship.
  • YMMV, but Mem tells us that while the family lived in Holland, her baby sister Blessing began speaking Dutch. This terrified their mother, who believed Blessing would not be in touch with their faith and culture in Holland.

     Standing in the Light: The Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 

  • The assault on the Lenape village that leads to Cate and Thomas being "rescued". The two of them are dragged away in tears from the people they've come to love as family, and their last sight of the village is as it goes up in flames. The epilogue reveals that, despite their best efforts, Cate and Thomas were never able to discover the fate of the family. They do discover the fate of another assimilated captive, a boy named John Mc Cloud who is, in all probability, Cate's love interest Snow Hunter (he had once told Cate that he was also born English and his birth name was John), but it's bad news; John was killed around the same time as the attack on the village. The epilogue states that Cate never married, and the final scene implies that this is because her heart was always with Snow Hunter.


     Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl, New York Colony, 1763 

     Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Green Marsh, Massachusetts, 1774 

     The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 
  • The fact that The Stewarts have lost five sons in infancy, all during their first winter. It also creates an atmosphere of Adult Fear for Johnny during the book.
  • Abgail’s older sister Elizabeth develops a crush on Pierre, a young official. She uses the sister’s last cloak to make him a Bounty coat, and gives it to a coworker of him as gift....only for Abby to later see that Pierre immediately gave it to his dog. She tries to hide this from Elizabeth, knowing it will break her heart. she sees it. And it does.

     Cannons at Dawn: The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1779 
The Stewarts travel to stay with Mrs. Stewart’s cousin Deborah and her family after their house burns down. After a long and difficult journey, they get their to greet....James’s new wife, Suzanne. She explains that Deborah died in childbirth a few months ago, and her baby didn’t survive. Mrs. Stewart is devastated. And so is James. He is obviously still in deep grief, and when Sally later asks why he married Suzanne, Mr. Stewart answers:
“James needs someone to care for his children. And Suzanne needs a roof.”

     I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691 


     A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales, Texas, 1836 
  • Near the end of the book, some of the Gonzales citizens, including Lucinda's parents, decide to flee. Lucinda's mom says she's the woman of the family and to raise Green right. They do return.
  • The death of Uncle Henry. Made worse by the fact that he was a new father.

     Valley of the Moon: The Diary Of Maria Rosalia de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta California, 1846 
  • The death of Rosalina and Domingo's mother], especially Domingo covering her face with roses.

     Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Diary of Hattie Campbell, The Oregon Trail, 1847 
  • Any of the deaths along the trail, especially that of two-year-old Cassia. This is especially poignant since Hattie blames herself; she had inadvertently given Cassia the hemlock that killed her, thinking it was parsnips.
    • Two families drowned crossing a river where the mules panicked, the party could hear the screams of the deceased and their friends.
    • The death of Hattie's friend Sarah Bigg and the rescuer by drowning, her husband is unable to save her due to disability and we don't hear about her rescuer.
    • Mr. Kenker's death by drowning, with his missus getting caught for her numerous thefts. Unlike Mr. Bigg, she isn't surrounded by people who comfort her.
  • Wade, the brother of Hattie's best friend Pepper, nearly dies of hemlock poisoning but miraculously recovers.
  • Hattie's mother is still grieving the deaths of Hattie's four sisters, who died before the story begins. It's a Tear Jerker when, along the trail, she is forced to leave behind a trunk of their things—favorite dolls and dresses and other items.
    • The deaths of the sisters have hit Hattie and her father hard: she is afraid of losing her two youngest brothers (her only living siblings) and Hattie's father is so torn from the family's poverty, his failed dreams, and the deaths of his kids that he wants to start over in Oregon.
  • The marriage of Hattie's parents is tested on the trail: her mother is angry at her father for taking them away from their hometown where the graves of her parents, brother, and their daughters are located, she gives him the silent treatment and is so stressed out that Hattie has to take over responsibilities for her. Hattie is pretty stressed out from that, family loss, the deaths and disappearances, she had accidentally killed a kid she was fond of, the thief she knows about, and the regular teen angst. It hits home even for many modern readers who have had parents who divorced or had a tumultuous time.
  • Hattie's Aunt June finds out her friend, Narcissa Whitman, was killed in a massacre. She never got to say goodbye.

     So Far from Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 
  • The fact that according to the epilogue, Mary dies of cholera at 17. In the end, she made nothing of herself in America, or had the chance to.
  • Mary learning of her parents deaths. She was working so hard to bring them to America, and now she‘ll never see them again.
  • All the deaths and all the suffering witnessed by Mary during the famine in Ireland. She even watches her normally generous mother turn away a hungry woman and her two sons because they barely have enough to feed themselves.
  • The deaths of Mr. and Mrs. O'Donnell: who died before they can meet their young blind daughter again.
    • Worse comes to worse when Mary finds out that their daughter Alice is being kept as a servant for a wealthy family with a lot of children and that she's barely getting the decent treatment she deserves. Mary has to deliver the bad news to her. Thankfully Alice is taken in by Mary’s friend Sean and his uncle Quinn.

     All the Stars in the Sky: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder, The Santa Fe Trail, 1848 


     Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849 

     A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 
  • Clotee's best friend Spicy explains her mother wanted to name her Rose, but the mistress refused. Also, Spicy's Back Story reveals she has been severely beaten on numerous occasions.

     A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 

     The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864 

     When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 
  • The death of Elizabeth. All of it. It's also Emma's final entry.
  • Sadly, a lot of neighbors and relatives of Emma are lost during the war. Most of the passages mention death, even in the flashbacks. At the end, Emma has lost her baby cousin and her brother and both her parents (epilogue reveals her father died when he used the dead Union Soldier's blue coat to keep warm and approached his camp) while her orphaned boyfriend comes back to her.
  • The theory that her cousin Rachel suffered a nervous breakdown during the war, the young woman was clearly traumatized by an earlier event, either the death of her father at The Battle Of Gettysburg, or she was possibly abused by someone at school.
  • The fact that the Confederacy is Doomed by Canon. In Real Life, the war ends less than a year after Emma’s diary, and the South gets major losses. Essentially, Emma’s father, brother and uncle die for nothing.

     I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 

  • Patsy finally summons the nerve to ask about the day she was brought to the plantation, a question that she's always believed held the key to her past. Devastatingly, the answer tells Patsy nothing, pretty much cementing that Patsy will never know the answer or be able to find her family, which had been her lifelong dream. note 
  • Ruth, who had been basically Patsy's surrogate mother, leaving the plantation with her husband and leaving Patsy behind.
  • Nancy, one of the few slaves who doesn't want to be free, rejects her mother when she comes looking for her, and even tells a magistrate that she doesn't remember her mother (that much is likely true) and wants to stay with her mistress. She does eventually start to see the other side; while she never leaves the plantation permanently, she begins paying visits to her mother, who is delighted to the point of tears to finally get a relationship with Nancy.

     The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory, 1868 

     Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose, Chicago, Illinois, 1871 

  • Pringle and Gideon spend a good part of the book with the Pritchard family, a young couple and their children who they met by chance, and they become close; Pringle even nannies for the Pritchard children. But when Gwen realizes that Pringle is the daughter of a mine owner (Gwen's brother was killed in a mining accident), she instantly turns her back on Pringle, even as her husband and (surviving) brother show more compassion. The epilogue states that Pringle never saw the Pritchards again.

     Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, an English Girl in Minnesota, New Yeovil, Minnesota, 1873 
  • The death of Timmy Thompson, and how its effects destroy his family: his mother is Driven to Suicide, his father develops a drinking problem and abuses Jane, and Jane initially takes his abuse before running away with a Native American man and living with his tribe.
  • Polly’s reaction to discovering that Laura ruining her beloved paper and paints. And her regret at destroying the papers instead of finding a way to salvage it all.
  • When the settlers get there and learned that they’ve been tricked. They were led to believe that there was a premade town of empty buildings and supplies, with everything set for them. After a long and rough journey, they finally make it to New Yeovil and see....three buildings. A settler’s home and two buildings belonging to the railroad company. To make matters worse, they realize that Dr. Rogers was there the previous summer, meaning that he knew. And never bothered to tell the truth. This begins a long period of increasing anger at the Rogers family.

     My Face to the Wind: The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska, 1881 

     West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi, New York to Idaho Territory, 1883 
  • The death of Teresa's little sister Antoinetta, especially considering that Teresa viewed her as an Annoying Younger Sibling.

     A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 

  • The death of Jerzy, another Polish immigrant and the husband of Lidia, Anetka's best friend in America. Lidia had given up everything to elope with Jerzy because he was the love of her life, had one small child, and was pregnant again. After all that, she ends up a widow and single mother. She's so devastated that she decides to give up on America altogether and go home to Poland.
    • The deaths of the miners count as well: many were young boys, fathers, all leaving behind families grieving and having to make ends meet in the wake of the tragedies. One widow's children had to give up school and work as a servant (the girl) and the mines (the boy)...the boy just started working at the same place where his father died.
  • Anetka finding out that her husband still has feelings for his late wife Sophie, and dreams about her. It leads her to believe that he doesn’t see her as a wife, just a replacement mother for his daughters and housewife. And it’s shown that she’s right: He doesn’t even start really treating her as a wife until she snaps and gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • The events leading up to her marriage are this: Her Father (who is lousy with money) promised her hand in marriage to a man they barely both know without her consent, hardly anyone seems interested in how she feels about it but rather it's a duty for her, she can't even decide on a wedding date because her father and Stanley and the Priest did that for her, her wedding night is implied to be unromantic, her husband criticizes her for what is going wrong or not being done properly, she has to mother three girls young enough to be her sisters, she can hardly confide in other married women about her marriage and her close friend doesn't understand, she becomes widowed before her 14th birthday. Anetka is only a young teenager and her life has been decided for her by outside forces and some of the people she is supposed to trust don't really respect her autonomy or feelings or intellect, it's no wonder she has a breakdown towards the end of the book.

     Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 
  • The fact that Miriam was disowned for marrying an Irish-American fireman, and her subsequent reconciliation, especially with Mama.
  • One of Tovah's friends (someone Zipporah liked and looked up to) is among the victims in a textile factory fire. She spends over a month unable to stop picturing her friend dead in horrible ways.
  • Somewhat late in the diary, Mama has a baby boy, Yossel (Joseph) who Mama hopes will grow up to be a rabbi, or goyon. It's clear the whole family will dote on him, but he dies a few days after his birth.
  • YMMV, but the younger Mrs. Sheehan could be this. The Sheehans are the Feldman's Irish neighbors. The elder Mrs. Sheehan, the wife's mother-in-law, tortures her with verbal abuse and constant accusations of being a Protestant, despite the fact that the family is Catholic. (This being 1903, Ireland was in the thick of The Troubles at the time).

     A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California, 1906 
  • Lily Sump’s whole life is this, among with being The Woobie. She’s verbally and emotionally abused by her mother, treated like a doll by her father, has no friends and is essentially being used to be married off to get her parents more money. and She is killed in the earthquake, and Minnie unwillingly impersonates her for days. To make matters worse, she was killed while trying to run away to meet up with a secret boyfriend....who didn’t love her at all, and was only using her for her money. It’s possible that Minnie could have been the one person who truly cared about her.

     Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City, 1909 
  • The Triangle fire is horrifying enough in the abstract, but with Angela's sister, cousin, and one of her work friends among the workers, it's horrifying. When Angela sees her cousin Rosa standing in the window, preparing to jump to her death (This is an accurate depiction of history; many of the Triangle fire victims chose to kill themselves by jumping rather than endure a slow death by fire), she collapses; upon coming to, her friend Sarah tells her that Rosa has jumped and is dead. (Angela does get one piece of good news later; her sister is alive, having escaped on one of the freight elevators before they became inoperable. But it's hardly enough to mitigate the horror she's witnessed.)
  • Earlier in the story, Angela's baby sister, who has been struggling with respiratory issues throughout the book, dies in her sleep. Angela is devastated and begins to blame herself (she went on strike and lost her pay, and she wonders if that money could have made a difference).

     Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, RMS Titanic, 1912 
  • Knowing what will eventually happen makes the entire book this to some, but particularly the death of Margaret's semi-love interest, Robert.
  • Margaret's Back Story also qualifies. After their parents' deaths, her older brother William had to leave her at a local orphanage because they were practically starving. Margaret had also become ill with influenza by then.

     A Time for Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C., 1917 
  • Alma and Clarys' plight with their Dysfunctional Family and a father that clearly feels that Men Are Better Than Women.
  • Thought whiny at times, Kat is afraid of being alone or the family coming apart.
  • Auntie Claire finding out that her husband took several of the children away to his mother's after he drugged her drink.
  • The plight of the jailed suffragists, especially when considering several of them might be moms like Kat's own mother and they're being force fed and mistreated.
  • The epilogue reveals that the Influenza epidemic killed off Kat's sister Cassie, one of the headmistresses at Pruitt Academy, and Kat's classmate Posy Elder.
  • The life of Clary in general, since she has cognitive disabilities and there were few options for persons with disabilities in her era.

     When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front, 1917 

     Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine, 1918 
  • The deaths of Lydia and Daniel's parents and baby sister. Especially how sudden it is, both in and out of verse.
  • Lydia having to give up the opal ring her mother gave her before she died, because The Shakers forbid jewelry. Her heartbroken and angry reaction to Sister Jenny really seals it.
  • Lydia’s reactions to both her brother running away from Chosen Land and when she learns what happened to him.
  • The fact that Lydia and Daniel’s uncle, aunt and cousins essentially abandon them after taking them to The Shakers. They never write, visit or send Christmas gifts despite them being able to do so, and their farm is not far from the Shaker’s land.

     Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 
  • The fact that Erma Jean loses her voice after her favorite uncle is killed by bigots.
  • The scene where Erma Jean gets her voice back is also this. Daddy is going to go out and respond to the Chicago race riots, but Erma screams for him not to: "They'll kill you the way they did Uncle Pace!" Freeman Love holds his daughter tight and decides not to go.

     Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 
  • Willie Faye's Back Story: She grew up in a tiny town that was abandoned by the outside world when the Dust Bowl hit. It was so small that she never saw a movie or trick or treated on Halloween. She may have not been to a proper school, as her education is at a fourth grade level despite being old enough for sixth grade. Then her father died a year prior to the main plot. Then her mother died, and Willie Faye lived with the body for three days, until the corner could arrive. Why? Because she wasn’t strong enough to bury her on her own. Despite this, she is a Cheerful Child.
  • The suicide of Minnie's friend Bernadette's dad.
  • Despite the entire family, Willie Faye included getting a Happy Ending, Minnie's is tainted when her husband is killed in The Korean War, leaving her a widow with two small children.

     Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan, Perkins School for the Blind, 1932 
  • Bess' blindness is enough of a Tear Jerker, but it becomes worse when she describes the fear and anxiety she experienced during surgery and medical treatment.
  • The plight of Bess' friend Eva, especially since a Perkins teacher, Mrs. Brurton, regularly abuses her verbally.
  • In the epilogue learning that Amanda was swept out to sea and never seen again.

     Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, Texas, 1935 
  • The death of little Hannah Mayfield, a close friend of Grace's younger sister Ruth.
  • While Grace only hears about it secondhand, the conditions faced by many of the Edwards' neighbors who move to California (which was not affected by Dust Bowl conditions) looking for better lives also qualify.
  • Grace’s reaction to Helen and her family leaving for California.
  • Grace and her friends (sans Helen) losing the school Dramatic Competition to Alpha Bitch Sadie Mc Call and her group. To make matters worse, they never stood a chance to begin with: despite their great acting, Grace and her team only have old Victorian dresses for costumes and no scenery. In contrast, Sadie has a beautiful painted set and a glittering dress. It’s a scene that can hit close to home for poor readers.
  • How things end up for Sadie and her mother and sisters after being abandoned by their father in California. Sadie and her mother try to get a cotton picking job, but the men who hire migrants mock and insult them for obviously not having done much work. They starve as a result, and end up depending on the Walker family (the same family they abused and mocked) for survival. Then Sadie gets lice and loses most of her hair, and has to give up school to help out.

     One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York, 1938 
  • The pre-Holocaust setting makes Part One this by default, especially the implied rape and suicide of Julie's mother and Julie's separation from her father. Julie's experiences of prejudice ("Hello, Jew-lie,") and her nightmare once in America are this as well. You spend most of the book feeling really sorry for this girl.
  • Julie finding out that her cousin Eva died from a stillbirth.
  • Julie's Aunt Clara's confession that she was once in love and courting Julie's father, only to hear he was cheating on her with her sister and Julie's mother Anna, and they then eloped. Clara goes on and says that Martin, her husband saved her from her grief.
    • Actually most of Clara's POV: her boyfriend and sister go behind her back and marry, she's in shreds and separates herself from her sister, and then later she finds her sister's family is being persecuted by the Nazis, her sister kills herself, her daughter dies from a stillbirth, and she has to raise her own niece after her sister and brother-in-law die. Also, two years after the diary ends, her husband dies from lung cancer.
  • The stories Julie hears about that is happening to her community: her friend Sophy is sent to England, many married couples divorce so the wife can find domestic work in England and send for the family, many people commit suicide or die from the stress, families separated, and not even the kids are safe from Nazi thugs.
  • The story of the Hellers: they lost their daughter to an illness, their business goes bad after the Nazis command that it'd be boycotted because they're Jewish, people come in to take the books without paying, they use their life savings to get tickets that turn out fraudulent, and they perish in a concentration camp.

     Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 
  • The fact that Amber loses touch with her only Hawaii friend, who is sent to an internment camp because she's Japanese.
    • She then finds her friend Kame, only after she and her husband were killed and Amber then adopts Kame's daughter. The rest of Kame's family couldn't have been found.
  • Just the tone with how Kame tells Amber that her parents prefer her younger brothers because of the traditional preference for boys.
  • The aftermath of the attack where Mr. Billows tells of what happened on the harbor and Mrs. Billows sits quietly in her blood stained dress, not wanting to talk about her volunteering at the hospital.
    • Amber goes with her Mother to the hospital and sees all these wounded men, grown men fainting while giving blood, Lt. Lockhart screaming in delirium and his legs amputated.
  • Some of the pilots shot down were high school grads from Oahu.
  • Kame's father is taken away from the family and Kame finds it hard to honor his request that she look after her mother and brothers because her Mother won't listen to Kame; also Kame's mother and bilingual aunt were interrupted on the phone by an official who said that Japanese is forbidden. Kame's Mother hangs up and cries as she doesn't know English well enough to speak.
    • Many Japanese, especially traditional folk like Kame's mother, avoid wearing sandals and kimonos.
  • Kindly Mr. Poole dies in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Just everything after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
    The shortest diary I ever kept, and the saddest.

     The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 
  • Piper watched a newsreel focusing on the bombings in Western Europe where she saw one little boy sitting on his front porch, in front of rubble that used to be his house and his mother, busily picking through what can be recovered from there. She hands him a toy truck and he clutches it to his chest with an empty expression. Piper is thankful that the war hasn't reached the United States then.....
  • The Pearl Harbor bombing and aftermath: she worries if her brother is over there and if he is safe.
  • Betty Sato gets harassed for her race at school, even to the point where someone spat in her face. It even hurts her when Chinese and Filipino students started wearing buttons that stated their family nationality to ward against anti-Japanese attacks.
    • Post-Attack is a real Break the Cutie for Betty: Her peers harass her barely 24 hours after Pearl Harbor, her father is arrested by FBI men ransacking their house, taking the radio, her brother's binoculars, the camera, her younger brothers' Indian head penny collection. She also sits alone at lunch, what with other girls ignoring her and Piper avoiding her because she thought her to be too "goody goody" to be a friend and that her friends wouldn't approve. She even loses her beloved piano, one that she faithfully played on and cleaned, when the Japanese are all ordered to move. For "twenty-five crummy dollars".
  • A clerk at a local drugstore rudely ignores Jim Sato for Piper and when the latter calls the old lady on it, the woman was about to call him a slur. Adults have gotten so low to insult teenagers.
  • Piper almost doubts whether she should trust her Japanese American neighbors and loses her temper when Bud (her crush) comments with the word "Jap" and he excuses it by saying "Everybody says it".
  • A lot of Japanese American men were arrested after the attack, most of them from the congregation, especially innocent Mr. Harada. Piper wishes the whole news was a joke.
  • News comes out from Pearl Harbor that revealed a two year old girl named Shirley Hirasaki had died in the attack (This was a Real Life victim and the story gets worse).
  • Disagreements between Piper and her father can be this: her mother died when she was a baby, never knew her, her father is an upstanding and loyal man, but is rather distant and out-of-touch with kids Piper's age and seems clueless about where some of her Bratty Teenage Daughter behavior comes from. She wants to do things like the other kids and she laments being a PK that gets reported on by nosy neighbors for holding a boy's hand after school. It helps that her sister loosens up enough to convince their father to be more lenient about what Piper wants to wear and that she is able to do some teen-typical activities with her Japanese American peers later on (like going to diners and soda fountains in town).
    • It's to the point where she doesn't understand why her father doesn't just stick to regular pastor work rather than get in the paper for asking people to be decent and civil towards people.
  • Because her father is helping the Japanese in the internment camps, he and Piper face much of the same discrimination that is directed at the Japanese themselves. Even Piper's best friend (who is implied to be very concerned with what people think of her) stops writing to her, and her boyfriend Bud breaks up with her because of it.
    • Piper's best friend Trixie is a nice girl but too much of a conventional 1940s white girl to understand why Piper would be upset about someone like Betty being harassed and when she talks about Debbie Sue's father demanding that all Japanese kids be expelled, Piper angrily asks what about the German and Italian kids. Trixie gets confused and asks "I'm your friend, remember?"
  • Japanese American attempts at building morale for wounded soldiers gets rejected after a box full of paper cranes (200!) gets turned down due to the prejudice of authority in charge.
  • Issei people are ordered to be moved elsewhere, which includes elderly and middle-aged neighbors who were born in Japan, Piper even worries how this will affect families left behind. Then it not only includes those Japan-born citizens, but also American born citizens like Mrs. Tokita who had an ink smudge on her finger.
  • Issei born Mr. Tokita missed out on his infant son saying "Da-Da".
    • Later Mr. Tokita has been interrogated for so much that he is taken from his family and when he comes back, his son doesn't recognize him screaming "No man. No man."
  • After Piper and her father moved to Eden, Idaho, they dealt with the harassment of a Mr. Crofton (owner of a local diner) who dislikes them since Pastor Davis is serving the Japanese American prisoners. It's very scary for a young teenage girl like Piper, especially when her father refuses to call the police because they need to "turn the other cheek".
    • It gets worse when Mr. Crofton becomes their landlord and evicts them from their apartment.
  • Jim Sato gets jumped by a farmer's two sons after he helped out with the harvest. While Jim refuses to quit, Betty's scared reaction and Mrs. Sato's shaking hands show how this affects them.
  • The camp is so cold that several of the mothers and grandmothers are pressing for coal and bought more blankets, because their kids are at risk for pneumonia.
    • Then Mrs. Matsui died from pneumonia in late November 1942 and afterwards her husband wandered out into the Idaho wilderness on his lonesome when it started snowing, and the search party found him dead.
  • A girl named Jeanne Takahashi boards with Piper and her father before going to work as a nurse in Chicago; she takes care of Piper when the younger girl gets an awful cold, fluffing pillows and making her cinnamon toast and tea. Piper pronounces her as the best nurse in the world. Jeanne then replies that she hopes her Chicago employers will feel the same way because at her last job, her employers were too prejudiced to see her for her personal value.
  • The epilogue reveals that Jim Sato, who Piper had had a crush on, is killed in the Army trying to rescue the Lost Battalion.
    • Worse is that Betty really didn't want him to go to war and was devastated when he announced his enlistment.

     My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York, 1941 
  • Maddie is having a hard time fitting in at school and is left out by the Alpha Bitch group because she isn't as slim as they, doesn't have the most fashionable wardrobe, and isn't as pretty and she is the new girl. It can strike a chord with anyone who had a hard time fitting in and making friends.
  • Maddie's reaction to getting the news that Dad was wounded. He does get better, though.
  • The Back Story of Clara and her mother, who escaped the Nazis Just in Time.
    • Clara said she once had many friends until the Nazis came into power and her gentile peers harassed her for being Jewish.
    • Clara's father died during Kristallnacht.
    • After reaching the United States, Clara's American Uncle died and she had to find a home for her and her mother.
  • Theo's father died when he was in the 7th grade and he had to drop out of school.

     With the Might of Angels: The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson, Hadley, Virginia, 1954 
  • The bullying that Goober, who would later be confirmed to be autistic in the epilogue, goes through is heart-wrenching.
  • Towards the end, Dawnie’s estranged friend Yolanda tearfully reveals that she wants to go to Prettyman with her, because Prettyman has better books and a laboratory and all the other things that Bethune doesn’t have. But she can’t, because her parents don’t trust that the school will accept her.

     Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Diary of Molly Mac Kenzie Flaherty, Boston, Massachusetts, 1968 
  • The death of one of the wounded soldiers in the army convalescent hospital where Molly has been volunteering. If the impact on Molly isn't bad enough, the moment where she walks in and finds everyone else in the ward (which is usually pretty lively, with people talking and laughing and playing around) silent and still in their beds will do it.
    • She spends most of the volunteer session the week after sitting with Jack, one of the soldiers she's closest to (and a close friend of the soldier who died), so he can grieve for his friend in silence. Since Jack is usually joking around with her (or making non-serious passes at her), it's especially striking.
  • Molly finding out her brother has been wounded and isn't expected to survive. (He eventually beats the odds, but it's a long and torturous wait before they get the news that he's looking like he's going to pull through.)
  • After Molly reads a copy of The Feminine Mystique that her mother gave her, she fears that her mother resents being a wife and mother, and by extension, resenting her and her brother.


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