2017 The Train to Crystal City
by Jan Jarboe Russell

Volunteers wanted!
If you would like to help out with our thirteenth annual Galveston Reads program, please contact the Rosenberg Library at (409) 763 - 8854 or reference@rosenberg-library.org!

2017 Galveston Reads Selection: The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell

The Train to Crystal CityThe 2017 Galveston Reads Book Choice is The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell. As described by the publisher, this is the New York Times bestselling dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II.

Throughout World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

In this book, Jan Jarboe Russell focuses on two American-born teenage girls, uncovering the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America as well as the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan.

At a glance

Galveston Reads, a popular volunteer-driven “One Community, One Book” program operating under the organizational umbrella of the Rosenberg Library, provides an opportunity for all residents high school age through senior citizens to participate in a unique communitywide discussion by reading and sharing views about the same book.

In its 13th year, the Galveston Reads series promotes community involvement in Galveston County with a wide range of events, activities, and thoughtful discussions.

If you cannot attend but would still like to volunteer, contact Idalia Avezuela, iavezuela@rosenberg-library.org or (409) 763 - 8854 ext. 137. Meeting attendance is not required to participate.

Page last updated: 03/22/2016