Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
They called us enemy
2019
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Availability' section below.
Availability
Map It
Annotations

Presents a graphic memoir detailing the author's experiences as a child prisoner in the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II, reflecting on the choices his family made in the face of institutionalized racism. - (Baker & Taylor)

The iconic actor and activist presents a graphic memoir detailing his experiences as a child prisoner in the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II, reflecting on the hard choices his family made in the face of legalized racism. Original. Gr 10+ - (Baker & Taylor)

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. - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

George Takei is known around the world for his founding role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise, in the acclaimed television series Star Trek. But Takei's story goes where few stories have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II, to becoming one of the country's leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ rights, and marriage equality, Mashable named Takei the #1 most-influential person on Facebook, with 10.4 million likes and 2.8 million followers on Twitter.

Justin Eisinger is Editorial Director, Graphic Novels & Collections for IDW Publishing, where he has spent more than twelve years immersed in graphic storytelling. Following a fateful encounter with March author and Civil Rights pioneer Congressman John Lewis, Eisinger turned his experience adapting television episodes and film towards bringing engaging non-fiction stories to readers.

Steven Scott has worked regularly in comics since publishing his debut book in 2010, most notably as a publicist. His writing has appeared in publications by Archie Comics, Arcana Studios, and Heavy Metal magazine. As a blogger/columnist he has written for the pop culture sites Forces of Geek, Great Scott Comics, and PopMatters.

Harmony Becker is an artist and illustrator. She is the creator of the comics Himawari Share, Love Potion, and Anemone and Catharus. She is a member of a multicultural family and has spent time living in South Korea and Japan. Her work often deals with the theme of the language barrier and how it shapes people and their relationships. - (Random House, Inc.)

Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*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. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This Spanish-translated edition of Takei's graphic memoir tells the story of the legalized incarceration of all people of Japanese descent in the U.S. following the attack on Pearl Harbor. In concert with Becker's expressive black-and-white line illustrations, Takei recounts his family's experience first hand, filling that in with historical facts and information garnered from interviews, and the pages flash back and forth between past and present. One page we see an older Takei visiting the FDR Presidential Library and Museum; on the next he's describing the way people were divided into stalls at relocation centers. He was a child at the time, and the book does an excellent job of showing both his childhood perception and what he understands now that he's an adult. It's profoundly saddening, but the aim of the telling of this story isn't to make people feel sad; it's to educate, so as to prevent this from happening again. The choice to translate into Spanish is particularly pointed, given that largely Spanish-speaking immigrants are currently being incarcerated in camps in the southern U.S., not at all far from where Takei's family was imprisoned. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1