Study Guide

Farewell to Manzanar Part I, Chapter 3

By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Part I, Chapter 3

A Different Kind of Sand

  • It's the first morning at camp and everyone wakes up, but things aren't exactly rosy—in fact, everything is sandy.
  • The wind keeps blowing sand through the cracks in their house/shack.
  • Woody takes charge. He gets a sack of tin lids, a hammer, and some nails and tells the younger boys to cover up the knotholes with tin so sand can't come in.
  • By the way, adult Jeanne can't help but flash forward to what happens to Woody after they get out of the camp. Surprise—he becomes a sidekick to a Japanese tag-team wrestler called Mr. Moto. (No, we're not joking.)
  • The boys worry about covering the cracks too, but Woody tells them not to worry because the sand coming in through the cracks is a "different kind of sand" (14).
  • Then Woody has to reassure their mother that they'll get the cracks covered eventually too—only that will take time since there isn't enough wood to cover up the cracks. (The government is still building barracks and needs the wood.)
  • Mom isn't down with this. She thinks the whole situation sucks and they're being treated like "animals" (22), but Woody's Mr. Optimist—or at least he's trying to be.
  • He leaves their barrack to see what they're serving for breakfast.
  • Kiyo, one of the littler brothers, jokes that they're probably serving pancakes with soy sauce.
  • Woody jokes back and says they'll be serving rice, maple syrup, and butter.