Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Transfer Of Power | Racial Justice

One Book, One San Diego

One Book One San Diego banner

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. The 2020 One Book, One San Diego selections were announced at The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books on Aug. 29, 2020. So, come read with us! For more information, here are some FAQs and selection criteria.

Also visit: For Teens | For Kids | Sin Fronteras | Archive

One Book, One San Diego Announces 2020 Titles

Focus on Japanese American experiences in WWII internment camps

One Book, One San Diego has announced the selections for the 2020 region-wide read: “They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker for adult readers, readers of Spanish and young adult readers, and “Write to Me” by Cynthia Grady and illustrated by Amiko Hirao for children.

Where To Get The Books!

"They Called Us Enemy" and "Write To Me" may be purchased online from The Library Shop.

The Library Shop is a well-curated nonprofit book & gift shop catering to librarians, library lovers, literary obsessives and book nerds inside the Downtown Central Library. Proceeds support the entire San Diego Public Library System.

Join a Book Discussion:

KPBS One Book, One San Diego Kickoff With George Takei

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Event photo

REGISTER NOW KPBS presents a special VIRTUAL event with activist and actor George Takei, author of "They Called Us Enemy," the 2020 One Book, One San Diego selection. "They Called Us Enemy” is a graphic ...

One Book For Kids With Girl Scouts San Diego

Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11 a.m.


Event photo

Join KPBS and Girl Scouts San Diego for a special workshop around the 2020 One Book for Kids selection, "Write to Me" by Cynthia Grady. Includes a story time and hands-on craft activity! Recommended for children in ...

One Book Virtual Author Event For Students Ages 10-15

Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 10 a.m.


Event photo

Join us for a live event created just for students aged 10-15, featuring the creators of the 2020 One Book for Teens, "They Called Us Enemy" by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and

One Book Virtual Author Event For Students Ages 15 +

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 6 p.m.


Event photo

Please join The San Diego Public Library and KPBS for a live virtual event with the author of our 2020 One Book for Teens, "They Called Us Enemy."George Takei will be joining us for ...

Rise Up with George Takei: On Activism, Democracy, and Incarceration of Japanese Americans

Actor, author, and activist George Takei has long talked about his experience with the forced Incarceration of Japanese Americans, and how that experience has shaped his definition of patriotism and democracy. With his latest release, "They Called Us Enemy," he shines further light on his experience in a frank and accessible way for readers of all ages. In “Rise Up with George Takei,” we discuss his experiences and how he (and we) can use our voices to rise up against injustice and inequality.

Target Age Group: 15 – 20 years old

Date and Time: October 2020

Theme: Activism and Civic engagement

Moderator: San Diego Public Library Teen Services Librarian Vanessa Gempis

More One Book Activities


Calling all artists! In honor of the One Book One San Diego 2020 selection, we are launching a very special poster contest that calls on all age groups to create a poster that best communicates and illustrates your neighborhood and/or community. We want to showcase what San Diego is made up of by using art as a tool to express not only were we live but also your hopes and concerns for a better future.

Purpose: Seeks to use Art as a tool for activism in our community. Launching our “My SD” poster contest is a call to artists, both novice and professional, to create an artwork that represents their neighborhood and/or their community. Diversity, age, perspective, style, and voice are the touchstone prompts that we hope inspire you to create. We want to see what San Diego is made of!

Who can participate?

Our contest is open to all ages and to everyone within San Diego County. (Launches Sept. 1, 2020)

How do I submit an entry?

Email a PDF of your artwork to with the subject line ‘My SD' by Nov. 19, 2020 by 6 p.m. (PST).

Here are a few additional rules regarding artwork submissions:

  • Designs must be the original work of the entrant.

  • Designs should be limited to 8”x11”

  • All mediums and styles are welcomed – Paint, watercolor, markers, crayons, comics/graphic illustrations, magazine clippings, collage, digital applications, etc.

  • Designs should be in color, or black and white.

  • Artwork should not include any copied or copyrighted materials.

  • Artwork should be family friendly.

  • Limit two (2) entries per contestant.

  • Winning entries become the sole property of the San Diego Public Library and will not be returned.

  • Winning entries may be used without further permission or compensation for the design of the artwork or for other library promotional uses.

  • Artwork may be reduced or cropped according to design specifications.

  • Selection of the winning entrants will be at the discretion of the library judging panel.

  • Winner’s name may be posted online or otherwise used in publicity materials.

  • Art (drawings, prints, photos, graphics, etc.) must be
 original creations and not infringe on copyright law.

Judging Criteria: Message, visual effectiveness, originality, universal appeal

Three selected winners and their respective works will be reproduced for SDPL as bookmarks and posters. Three winners will also receive libraryshop gift card

1st place $100

2nd $50

3rd $25

Judging panel – SDPL One Book committee


A postcard to inspire community members to share their views of a better future by answering the prompt, “To promote a community that supports justice for all, I plan to…”. The postcard will have an Asian motif with a preprinted return address. Returned postcards will be displayed virtually on the library’s website.

Who can participate? Everyone!


Get a postcard from any San Diego Public Library (SDPL) Service location or download it from the library’s website.

Briefly write your thoughts on creating a better future by supporting justice for all.

Return completed card at any SDPL book drop, Mail to preprinted address (postage required), or scan or photograph postcard and email to

Entries will be reviewed for appropriate content before display.


(Available at Pickup Service locations or download from our website)

Activities included:

  • Cranes for Peace – Origami paper cranes are a symbol of peace. An ancient Japanese legend states that anyone folds one thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish, happiness, and eternal luck. Patrons will be encouraged to make and return paper cranes that will be displayed. Help us meet our goal of one thousand paper crane! The paper cranes can be returned via our book drops.

  • Haiku for You – Instruction sheet to encourage patrons to partake in this form of Japanese poetry that has been practiced for centuries. Return completed haiku at any SDPL book drop or scan or photograph your haiku and email to

  • All ages coloring page – Fun and interesting design with a Japanese motif for patrons to enjoy. Additional coloring pages will be available on the One Book One San Diego page on the library’s website.

UCSD Geisel Library

When UC San Diego Library re-opens, learn how to participate in One Book, One San Diego’s  City-wide, County-wide, both-sides-of-the-Border reading program in a special exhibit which will also outline the Adult, Teen, Children‘s and Sin Fronteras categories and this year’s chosen titles.

Beginning August 29, UC San Diego Library will relay One Book‘s announcements and activities through social media and, when possible, through traditional bulletin board postings and flat-case displays.

The library will also feature a display of books authored by George Takei in addition to “They Called Us Enemy.” Comments from Earl Warren‘s memoir that reveal the former Chief Justice‘s regrets about his role regarding WWII internment camps will be displayed.

UC San Diego Geisel Library, located at 9500 Gilman Drive #0175-G, La Jolla, ...


About One Book, One San Diego

One Book, One San Diego: FAQs & Selection Criteria

One Book, One San Diego promises to be an exciting program in 2020. This article answers common questions about the program. Contact Margo Porras at with further questions.