Item # 159949.
By Josh Tuininga.
Inspired by a true story, this graphic novel follows a Jewish immigrant’s efforts to help his Japanese neighbors while they are incarcerated during World War II. Marco Calvo always knew his grandfather, affectionately called Papoo, was a good man. After all, he was named for him. A first-generation Jewish immigrant, Papoo was hardworking, smart, and caring. When Papoo peacefully passes away, Marco expected the funeral to be simple. However, he is caught off guard by something unusual. Among his close family and friends are mourners he doesn’t recognize—Japanese American families—and no one is quite sure who they are or why they are at the service. How did these strangers know his grandfather so well?
Set in the multicultural Central District of Seattle during World War II and inspired by author Josh Tuininga’s family experiences, We Are Not Strangers explores a unique situation of Japanese and Jewish Americans living side by side in a country at war. Following Marco’s grandfather’s perspective, we learn of his life as a Sephardic Jewish immigrant and his struggles as he settles into an America gearing up its war efforts. Despite the conflict raging just outside US borders, Papoo befriends Sam Akiyama, a Japanese man who finds his world upended from President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Determined to keep Sam’s business afloat while he and his family are unjustly imprisoned, Sam and Papoo create a plan that will change the Akiyama’s lives forever.
Hardbound: 208 pp.