Explore The 2020 One Book, One San Diego Selections With George Takei And San Diego Public Library
Upcoming author events with George Takei, plus San Diego Public Library programming to get to know the 2020 selections and discover the art of writing letters amid a crisis
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Credit: Jon Ortiz
The 2020 One Book, One San Diego selections were announced this summer at the San Diego Festival of Books, and with them, a series of events and programs. For adult readers, readers of Spanish, and young readers, the selection is "They Called Us Enemy" by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker. For children, the pick is "Write to Me" by Cynthia Grady and illustrated by Amiko Hirao.
The focus of each selection is Japanese-American experiences in WWII internment camps.
"They Called Us Enemy" is a graphic memoir of Takei's childhood. The actor and author was imprisoned in American concentration camps during World War II at the age of four. "I tell the story of the choices my parents made to get us through that awful time with hope, love, compassion, and with a deep understanding of what it means to be an American. I look forward to sharing my family’s story with you," said Takei.
This Tuesday, Sept. 22, KPBS will host a virtual kickoff event with George Takei in conversation with KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando. It will also feature a performance by Genbu Daiko from the Japanese Friendship Garden Society. The event takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. online and is free. You can register here, or watch the program on KPBS' Facebook Live.
You can find more One Book, One San Diego events here, including several for youth.
Cynthia Grady and Amiko Hirao's book, "Write to Me" is about a group of Japanese-American children who send letters to their librarian while imprisoned within a World War II internment camp. The book uses excerpts from real letters gathered during the children's three-year imprisonment.
Also, the San Diego Public Library has a bunch of related activities families can do from home, too — to connect with the books and also to spark conversations about what individuals can do to envision a better future for their communities.
Inspired by "Write to Me," San Diegans of all ages can pick up a postcard from any San Diego Public Library location (or download one and print it on cardstock) to write a message of hope to inspire community. The postcards prompt writers to finish the sentence: "To promote a community that supports justice for all, I plan to…"
The library is also running a poster contest. Now through Nov. 15, you can send in a poster design that showcases your neighborhood. Learn more here.
And there's an activity book available to pick up from libraries or to download, with instructions for origami paper cranes, haiku poetry and an all-ages coloring sheet.
Have you read — or are you planning to read — the One Book, One San Diego selections? I'm looking forward to cracking them open soon and reading with others throughout the region. Come join the discussion and read along with the community in the KPBS/Arts Facebook Group.
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