On my honor...

It’s spring, 1943. Koko’s ill mother and older sister have survived their first harsh winter behind barbed wire. Spring offers renewed hope that her father will be joining them soon from Camp Santa Fe in New Mexico. When Koko learns she could greet his train as a Girl Scout, she signs up.

But a Girl Scout is expected to follow rules.

I promise to do my best 
even when rules  are set against me.           

 On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which forced 120,000 people of Japanese descent from their homes and into ten internment camps. Most were babies, school kids and those not yet old enough to vote.

Heart Mountain was one of those camps. 


UH-OH! You've crossed the fence.



And you won’t like a WWII Internment Camp.

People of Japanese descent had to leave their homes in 1942 to live here.

Look out! This MP’s following you  like he followed me in the story.  

(Oops! I think you’ve been spotted.)

       When an MP catches Koko hopping the barbed wire fence, she promises her mother to follow the rules of camp better. Joining Girl Scouts helps steer her from trouble, but when she learns that her father is being held as a spy, she searches for a way to endure the hardship of confinement—and face the awful truth that her family may never be reunited.

        But with a little luck, a letter, and Gaman, Koko’s determined to not give up hope.

If a letter can change into a heart,

and a rabbit can live on the moon,

then I can believe

my family will be together again soon.

Kind Words From Industry Reviewers

“A sincere novel providing insight into the lives of Japanese Americans during World War II.”
(authors’ notes, timeline, further reading, image credits) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

“This would make good supplementary reading for a World War II history lesson, but it’s also great as a standalone adventure story.


“Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming, is brought to heartbreaking life in Finding Moon Rabbit,
J. C. Kato and JC²’s sensitive historical novel about surviving injustice with hope.” 

Kind Words About Moon Rabbit

“I chose Finding Moon Rabbit because the writing is strong, authentic, and sometimes even lyrical; Koko an intriguing and original character; the subject matter compelling and important.”

Karen Cushman author of War and Millie McGonigle

“Such a beautifully visual story that weaves facts seamlessly into a narrative kids will love.”


Augusta Scattergood,  author of Glory Be, The Way to Stay in Destiny, and Making Friends with Billy Wong. 

“A beautiful story about a little discussed time in history. As an educator, I especially appreciated the newspaper clippings and thoroughly researched details. “

Kerry O’Malley Cerra, author of Just A Drop of Water and Hear Me. 

Finding Moon Rabbit is an intimate look at the day-to-day life inside a WWII Japanese internment camp. It’s a novel guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings .”

Shannon Hitchcock, co-author of Flying Over Water.

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