Jan 26, 2021CCPL_Teens rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy is one of the best graphic memoirs in recent years. It details his family’s imprisonment in two Japanese American internment camps during World War II. Takei was a child at the time and the book describes the horrifying treatment Japanese American families had to endure at the expense of the American government. The driving force behind this treatment was Executive Order 9066 which authorized civilian exclusion orders and the deportation of Japanese Americans from their homes to internment camps across the country. Japanese Americans were deemed enemies due largely to the War and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Executive Order 9066 denied them due process and was the by-product of American hysteria, fear, and racism. Rather than write an anti-American book, Takei takes a different approach describing how American democracy is a fragile guidepost. At times, it takes a nation to change the policies of its leaders and to recognize its past. This is a beautifully written book about coming to terms with one’s own experiences and teaching those experiences to others. It belongs in every high school history classroom across the country.