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Young Adult Fiction Military & Wars

Caged Eagles

by (author) Eric Walters

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 2001
Military & Wars, Friendship, Prejudice & Racism
Recommended Age
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2001
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2001
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


When Canada went to war with Japan following the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Canadians of Japanese descent were declared "Enemy Aliens." Without recourse of any kind, they were forced to leave their homes along with the British Columbia coast, their possessions were sold, and their rights as citizens denied. Caged Eagles follows fourteen-year-old Tadashi Fukushima and his family as they embark on a tortuous physical and emotional journey. Along with neighbours from their remote village on the northern BC coast, they travel by fishing boat to Vancouver, where they are placed in detention in Hastings Park, the Pacific National Exhibition ground, and forced to live in cattle stalls. For Tadashi detention becomes both an adventure and a dilemma as he struggles to understand the undercurrents of racism and injustice that have overtaken his life and those of his community.

About the author

Eric Walters is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling novels for children and young adults. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Silver Birch, Blue Heron, Red Maple, Snow Willow, Ruth Schwartz, and Tiny Torgi, and have received honours from the Canadian Library Association Book Awards and UNESCO's international award for Literature in Service of Tolerance.

Eric lives in Mississauga with his wife, Anita, and three children, Christina, Nicholas, and Julia. When not writing or touring across the country speaking to school groups, Eric spends time playing or watching soccer and basketball, or playing the saxophone.

To find out more about Eric and his novels, or to arrange for him to speak at your school, visit his website at

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Eric Walters' profile page


  • Nominated, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance
  • Commended, American Library Association (ALA) Best Books for Young Adults
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Our Choice
  • Short-listed, Canadian Library Association (CLA) Book of the Year for Children
  • Commended, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) Top Forty

Excerpt: Caged Eagles (by (author) Eric Walters)

Desperately I looked around for a way out. We couldn't get over the fence. The strands of barbed wire on top of it would rip us to shreds. Behind it, in the distance, the baseball game was going on. Why couldn't I have been there? The only way was the street...we'd have to dodge the cars. I took a step toward the street, but Sam put a hand on my shoulder.
"Nope," he said, shaking his head. "We're not running any farther."
"But...but...we can't fight them...we can't win," I stammered.
"We can't win, but we're going to fight them. Get rid of this," Sam said as he pulled the "I Am Chinese" button off my shirt and then took off his and stuffed them both in his pocket. "Cover my back and I'll cover yours."
They came forward slowly. They knew there was no place to go.

Editorial Reviews

"Walters successfully combines history, adventure, and social criticism in Caged Eagles while providing young readers a glimpse into Canada's past and a chance to consider serious issues inherent in any complex, multicultural society."

"Highly recommended."

CM Magazine

"What begins with a poignant scene in which a small, seven-year-old child asks her brother which of her dolls to pack...ends with an equally compelling vignette."


"This novel is a moving account of one family's struggle to understand the injustice that has overtaken their lives and the racism that has imprisoned their community. Walters successfully captures the fear and uncertainty of the time."
"Walters's careful explanation of historical events and sensitive narration of the Fukushima family's story predominate to make Caged Eagles a memorable reading experience."

Resource Links

"An excellent book for a middle grades reader, it is perfect as a companion to a social studies unit to explore a new historical perspective of the second World War."

Alan Review

"Subtle and powerful."

The Globe and Mail

"[Walters's] fast-paced novel avoids heavy-handed moralizing as it portrays the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II."


"Earns a place in both history and English classrooms."

Quill & Quire

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