Group introduces 2023 selection, ‘They Called Us Enemy,’ to Malden City Council
A first-person recollection of one of the most tragic chapters in American history – the internment of Japanese-American families in guarded camps during World War II – is the subject of the Malden Reads “One City, One Book” program this year. On Tuesday night, a trio of Malden Reads Committee members introduced the book, “They Called Us Enemy,” by noted author George Takei, to the Malden City Council. Mary D’Urso Rose of Malden UMA and Dora St. Martin, Malden Public Library Director, discussed the book selection and described the many ways and activities Malden Reads will be coordinating to spread the word and introduce the book to the Malden community.
This is the first time since 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that Malden Reads will be able to go back to the expansive list of activities it has used in the past to introduce and promote its book selections. “Like everyone else, we had to pivot during COVID and scale back and use the virtual setting,” D’Urso Rose said. “Now Malden Reads is back with many programs and events.”
Plans in the works include:
- Various types of book discussions
- Virtual book discussion
- Mayor’s book discussion
- Idle Hands Brewery, Books and Pizza
- First Parish Malden book discussion
- Community Dinners where book will be a dinner topic
- “Citizen’s Lyceum” will be held with topic “A Question of Loyalty”
- Bonsai History and Presentation
- Steve Kluger, former Boston Globe writer – “Baseball in the Internment Camps”
- Hands-on creative workshops, as in “Draw Your Own Story” with a professional graphic artist Sky Malerba and Family Stories Through Art with Sharon Santillo
All of the information, including dates and times, will be posted on the Malden Reads website: www.maldenreads.org
Several of the City Councillors said they were not familiar with the graphic novel format in which the book is written, which is akin to a comic book presentation in book format.
“Every year it gets better and better. Every time you come out with a selection, like this one, that has so much relevance,” Councillor-at-Large Karen Colón Hayes said. “We are so lucky to have [Malden Reads].”
“I was not knowledgeable about graphic novels; this is my first one, but I have found you can dive into some intense topics with this format,” Ward 3 Councillor Amanda Linehan said. “I have come to really like it.”
“This will also be my first graphic novel,” Ward 4 Councillor Ryan O’Malley said. “[This format] can really explain the people involved and their feelings.”
And to Malden Reads, he said, “Thank you for all you do.”
“This is a topic that everyone should learn about,” Ward 6 Councillor Steve Winslow said of the Japanese internment during World War II. “I only learned about this in college. I had never heard of it before that in all my years in school.”
“It was very impressive to hear that Malden Reads is a leader on a national basis. We appreciate all you offer and do for our community,” said Councillor-at-Large Carey McDonald.
Here’s how to get a copy of “They Called Us Enemy”
Malden Reads invites everyone to read “They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei, the 2023 Malden Reads main book selection for adults and high schoolers! Younger readers are encouraged to read the “companion” books, which similarly explore the themes and ideas of “They Called Us Enemy.” There are several ways to get a copy of the main book selection or companion books. Here are some suggestions:
- Check out a copy from the Malden Public Library. Use your library card to check out a copy from the Malden Public Library. There are plenty of print copies as well as the e-book format.
- Buy a copy at The Gallery@57 on Pleasant Street. The Gallery@57 is one of Malden’s best retail shops! They are located at 57 Pleasant St. in downtown Malden and run by a collective of local artists working to bring art to our local economy and foster a stronger community. By purchasing a copy at Gallery@57, you have the opportunity to support a local small business and connect with the talented artists and entrepreneurs who run the shop. A percentage of the purchase will go to Malden Reads.
You can also contact Anne D’Urso-Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-321-6400 to purchase a copy from The Gallery@57.
- Visit your favorite local bookseller. There are tons of local booksellers near Malden and in the Greater Boston area. Our bookseller of choice is The Book Oasis in Stoneham. They have been a collaborative partner with Malden Reads for several years. You can always purchase copies on Amazon, but please remember that those low prices come at the cost of workers and the environment. Here’s a list of local booksellers that Malden Reads recommends: The Book Oasis in Stoneham, Porter Square Books in Somerville, Belmont Books in Belmont, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge.