They Called Us Enemy

They Called Us Enemy

Graphic Novel - 2019
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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 is 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.
Publisher: Marietta, Georgia :, Top Shelf Productions,, 2019.
ISBN: 9781603094504
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC BIO TAKEI G. Takei 07/2019
Characteristics: 204 pages :,chiefly illustrations ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

JCLLizW Dec 03, 2019

In this emotional graphic memoir, Takei shares what it was like to experience forced relocation as a child and how internment affected those around him. The mistreatment of Japanese-Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor is not typically discussed in detail in school; this book feels lik... Read More »

2019 Johnson County Library Notable Book List, Graphic Novels.

JCLTiffanyR Jul 28, 2019

A powerful and enlightening graphic novel about a low point in American history--Japenese Internment. George Takei of Star Trek fame tells the story of his childhood growing up in two different internment camps. Highly recommend!

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debwalker Dec 06, 2019

Takei (Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek) on the Japanese-American experience during WW2.

JCLLizW Dec 03, 2019

In this emotional graphic memoir, Takei shares what it was like to experience forced relocation as a child and how internment affected those around him. The mistreatment of Japanese-Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor is not typically discussed in detail in school; this book feels like Takei's effort to correct that. Takei discusses how the government's actions defied the Constitution, calls out judges and politicians who played part in the injustice, and examines the lasting effect it has had on people of Japanese ancestry in America. There were a handful of times that I got so upset I had to put the book down for a minute. I would highly recommend this book for anyone, but especially for high schools and book clubs.

Dec 01, 2019

The story of Takei's years in a U.S. concentration camp during WWIII is nicely, simply and poignantly told from a child's point of view (he was only, I think, 4 when his family was incarcerated). Appropriate for children 10 and older, and adults. Everyone should read this (it takes only a couple of hours). The illustrations are awesome too.

JessicaGma Nov 27, 2019

This is an excellent read about a dark time where the US (and Canada) turned against citizens simply for their heritage. It's a great graphic memoir, right up there with John Lewis' March books, and really needs to be read far and wide so we do not repeat these same mistakes.

SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Oct 09, 2019

This graphic novel is a tender memoir about family and a heart-wrenching depiction of the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans as seen through the eyes of a child. I think this title should be required reading in American high schools. A triumph from George Takei, his co-writers, and artist Harmony Becker!

Oct 02, 2019

My heart stopped when I spotted this book- and it pounded through my entire reading. This issuch an incredibly human and humane look at a very inhuman and inhumane time of our past- which is mirrored so sadly by our modern levels of paranoia and exclusionism.

I think every living being NEEDS TO READ THIS. Share it with children, coworkers, parents, friends, enemies! This book is so tied to the soul of what creates a true, loving person out of a life where they aren't treated like one.

A powerful, poignant, and timely reminder of what xenophobia can do to people - and children in particular. Well told and nicely illustrated in greyscale. My only complaint was that the illustrations (except for the cover) are in shades of grey. That's fine but there were a few panels that I felt could have greater impact if they were in color.

Sep 15, 2019

My 11 year old granddaughter, a history buff, just finished this book and is now going to do a school project around it. She said the book touched her deeply and she believes it is a book that all children and adults should read. She said she'd give it 10 stars if it she was able to. This book educates the reader about a very sad time in our history and the prejudicial manner that our nation has treated immigrants.

Sep 13, 2019

This was very insightful and very depressing. I liked the light way he wrote about everything, while being honest and direct. The comparison at the end between how people were treated then and how many are being treated now needs to be talked about more.

ArapahoeTiegan Sep 03, 2019

This is a wonderful account of George Takei's childhood experience in Japanese internment camps. This is a piece of history that is not talked about often enough. While it did take place during WWII and Holocaust and many atrocities happened across the ocean, this is still an important piece of history that should not be forgotten.

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