They Called Us Enemy
They Called Us Enemy

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Annotation: In this graphic-novel memoir, actor George Takei tells of his childhood imprisoned in American concentration camps for people of Japanese descent--known as internment camps--during World War II.
Catalog Number: #194273
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Becker, Harmony,
Pages: 204 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-603-09450-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6061-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-603-09450-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6061-4
Dewey: 921
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Takei has spoken publicly about his childhood experiences in internment camps during WWII, and this graphic memoir tells that story again with a compelling blend of nostalgia and outrage. He was very young when he and his family were forced out of their California home and sent to Camp Rohwer in Arkansas, so some of his memories of that time are touched with gentle affection, though that fondness is short-lived. As he grows older and they're relocated to a camp with harsher conditions, it seems less like an adventure and more like the atrocity it truly is. Takei, together with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, interweaves scenes of his adult realizations and reflections, as well as key speeches and historical events of the period, among the accounts of his childhood, which is very effective at providing context for those memories. Becker's spare, fine-lined, manga-inspired artwork focuses intently on faces and body language, keeping the story centered in the realm of the personal. Ultimately, though Takei is grateful for the official apologies he and other Japanese Americans received, he's careful to note how similar attitudes today mean that other immigrant communities in America are facing discrimination and internment. This approachable, well-wrought graphic memoir is important reading, particularly in today's political climate. Pair with John Lewis' acclaimed March series for a thought-provoking, critical look at the history of racism in American policies and culture.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (7/1/19)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
Horn Book
School Library Journal
Word Count: 13,653
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 504407 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.2 / points:6.0 / quiz:Q77127
Lexile: GN680L

New York Times Bestseller!

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

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