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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Common Read

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Common Read 2016-2017 Resources

Teaching the Common Read

1000 Peace Crane team building activity- register for a FREE material packet 48 hours prior to your event by completing this email request. (activity ended December 1, 2016

Peace cranes can be made out of a single square sheet of paper or make a large crane by taping many sheets of paper together. Get creative and use different colors, make patters, add art, etc.

Attend campus and community activities throughout fall semester.

View our 1000 Peace Crane Project page for additional ideas. 

Access [PDF] [PDF] First Year Experience Guide (401 KiB) (401 KiB) written by Ginny Walters, Honors Program Assistant Director. 

Discover more information on a LibGuide revolving around When the Emperor Was Divine.  


About the Author, Julie Otsuka

Read more information about Julie Otsuka. 

Preview NEA's overview of When the Emperor Was Divine which includes audio clips of author, Julie Otsuka discussing her work. 

 Listen, read and watch interviews with Julie Otsuka.


When the Emperor Was Divine touches on central themes:

Citizenship: America has recently been at war and has treated certain citizens as "alien enemies," When the Emperor Was Divine is a timely invitation to consider the meaning of both of those words and the arbitrariness with which they are sometimes assigned.

Cultural Diversity: The book describes the family's efforts to erase all traces of Japanese character and culture as they accept the complex shame of being falsely accused. The family is taken with others to a Japanese American internment camp.

Life-transitions (forced migration): The book covers the forced migration experience of one nameless family that could be any family. Students experience a chosen migration to campus and then to the professional work force. Compare and contrast forced life-transition and chosen life-transitions.

Coming of Age: Growing up is not easy. When the Emperor Was Divine takes place during a pivitol moment in one characters formative years.


Book Discussion Resources

Students, faculty, staff and surrounding community members are welcome to join us in reading Julie Otsuka's book When the Emperor Was Divine. The book explores the Japanese-American interment camps of the 1940's as seen through the eyes of one family. Feel free to utilize the following materials when leading or participating in a book discussion. 

Hear the Author, Julie Otsuka

Minnesota State University, Mankata will host a series of activities from September through November 2016 on campus and throughout the community. Read the book and join us for a discussion.

  • An Evening with Julie Otsuka, author of When the Emperor Was Divine, will be held Wednesday, October 19, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. A question and answer period will follow Ms. Otsuka's presentation.
  • Good Thunder Reading Series, Thursday, October 20, 2016
    • Question and Answer with Julie Otsuka, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
      Emy Frentz Gallery, 523 S 2nd St, Mankato, MN
    • Craft Talk with Julie Otsuka, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
      Ostrander Auditorium, Centenntial Student Union
    • Read & Book Signing with Julie Otsuka, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
      Room 245, Centennial Student Union


Book Discussion Guide

Access a [PDF] [PDF] Book Discussion Guide/Questions (102 KiB) (102 KiB) created by Ginny Walters, Honors Program Assistant Director.

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