One Book One San Diego Virtual Kick-Off with George Takei

Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Time: 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Location: Online Webinar

Cost: FREE

Register: Here

The day has finally arrived! One Book One San Diego’s FREE VIRTUAL KICK OFF is TONIGHT, Tuesday, September 22nd, at 7:00 pm. You still have a chance to register for this amazing program. Links will be provided in your confirmation email.

This year’s selection for the Adult, Young Adult, and Spanish-reader categories is “They Called Us Enemy,” the graphic memoir of George Takei. And the One Book for Kids selection is “Write to Me,” written by Cynthia Grady.

The program will feature a TAIKO (Japanese drum) performance by local group Genbu Daiko from our partners at the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego, an address by local historian Prof. Susan Hasegawa, and an interview with George Takei by KPBS Arts and Culture reporter, Beth Accomando.

Both of these books discuss the real life experiences of Japanese American children and their families as they were imprisoned by the U.S. government in internment camps during the World War II.

In “They Called Us Enemy,” Takei, with co-authors Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott and illustrator Harmony Becker, tells the story of his childhood spent in American concentration camps and how it shaped his life and career. Takei’s family was pulled from their California home in the middle of the night, and the novel explores the impact that this event had on himself and his family. It follows Takei throughout his life as American society realizes and attempts to redress the injustice done to the 120,000 Japanese-Americans imprisoned, while also drawing parallels to present-day events.

In “Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind,” poet, librarian, and author Cynthia Grady and illustrator Amiko Hirao use the letters written by Japanese American children to Clara Breed, the children’s librarian for the San Diego Public Library from 1929 to 1945, to show the impact that one caring person can make. Miss Breed gave postage paid postcards to the children before they were imprisoned, corresponded with the children, sent books and supplies, visited the internment camps, and advocated for her young patrons, providing them with hope during a difficult time. Many of the letters from the children are featured in the book. Breed later donated the entire collection of correspondences to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

This event is just one of many One Book, One San Diego programs. For more information about the programs, visit the One Book One San Diego website for more information. One Book, One San Diego is our region’s premier literary program, presented in partnership between KPBS and over 80 public libraries, service organizations and educational institutions. Now in its 14th year, the purpose is to bring our community closer together through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. We will be receiving copies of “They Called Us Enemy,” in English and Spanish, and once we add them to the catalog, they will be available for check-out, so… stay tuned.