They Called Us Enemy

Hi, my name is April and I’m a high school student who has difficulty in finding hobbies and interests. I think you should try reading They Called Us Enemy because this graphic novel provides entertainment and is informative on topics of history and war. It also gives insight on struggles and difficulties families had during the time. I typically don’t like graphic novels or historical nonfiction, but I find this one interesting and an eye-catcher.

(Pathos): Surprisingly, this is one of the only graphic novels I actually read and enjoyed. It is written from the perspective of young George Takei (the author) during World War II and illustrates the struggles of him and his family during this time. Takei takes us through his childhood life and while there was some fun, fear and tension were largely prevalent. Despite being American, his family was treated as enemies due to them being Japanese and they were not seen as American citizens to others. The Executive Order 9066 was also explained and showed further difficulties Japanese Americans faced when losing their rights. 

(Logos): If history is one of your interests or favorite subjects in school, this book is for you. They Called Us Enemy describes troubles during World War II for Japanese Americans and gives an overview on how difficult lives were due to laws based on racial discrimination. While this same information can be learned through reading a textbook, this graphic novel provides a much more entertaining way of learning about this topic. It also has a nice art style and panels that give more to the story, especially since it is black and white.

(Kairos): By showing his family background and what they went through as Japanese Americans during World War II, George Takei gives the reader ideas of what not to do and what not to repeat. Like our informational history books and classes, this graphic novel tells its young readers why certain things shouldn’t be repeated due to how it affects others in such a heartbreaking way. Repeating past events is like taking five steps back in modernization and freedom, and in this case, other races are constantly being discriminated against solely based on their origins. By showing how these minorities are hurt through these actions, Takei is indirectly telling the reader how they could prevent these emotional conflicts in future occurrences.

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