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When the Emperor Was Divine
by Otsuka, Julie
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1. Were you familiar with the internment camps and this period in history before you read this book? What did you learn from this book about the camps?

2. Why doesn't Otsuka give the characters personal names? Does the lack of a name change the way you think about the characters?

3. Otsuka reveals the family's reason for moving, and for the father's arrest, verily slowly throughout the book. How does this suspense impact the story?

4. What is the meaning of the book's title? What does it mean for the characters?

5. How has life changed for the family by the time they are released from the camp?

6. How do the children respond to their father when he returns? Why does the family never talk about the time he was away?

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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