Congratulations on the publication of SHIZUE’S PATH written by Mark Sakamoto and illustrated by Transatlantic client Rachel Wada today from HarperCollins Canada!

A war from far across the ocean washed up onto our new country’s shore. I wish that I could skip this chapter of the story, darling. Just as you may want to skip parts of your own life story in time. But, you see, one mustn’t do that. You need to know your darkness to know your light. And I can see so much light in you. So I’ll keep going through the dark.

Framed as a conversation between a grandmother and the reader, Shizue’s Path follows the story of a young Shizue growing up in Canada against the backdrop of World War II. As the war worsens, so too does Shizue’s position in Canadian society. Torn away from her elementary school and sent to an internment camp along with her family, Shizue looks to anyone who might speak truth to power—but she is met with silence.

After the war, things only get worse for Shizue as Japanese-Canadians face the threat of deportation. Fortunately, the Canadians around Shizue are no longer silent. As various communities come together to protest this racist bill, Shizue learns first-hand how one individual can have a far-reaching effect on another’s life.

Inspired by the life of his great-aunt, Mark Sakamoto weaves personal and political history with a keen sense of justice and optimism. Enriched by Rachel Wada’s sophisticated illustrations, Shizue’s Path is an unforgettable story about a girl who, swept up by the waters of the world, uses her voice to create ripples of kindness. 

Rachel Wada was raised between Japan and Hong Kong and is currently based in Vancouver. She has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, advertisements and even a mural. Her first children’s book project, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, won the Freeman Book Award for Children’s Literature. Her second children’s book, From the Tops of the Trees, was published in the fall of 2021 to great acclaim. Visually, Rachel Wada’s works are characterized by the use of rich colours, textures and fine details in both digital and traditional mediums.

Rachel is represented by Amy Tompkins.