JMRL invites all Central Virginians to read and discuss We Are Not Free by Traci Chee, the 2022 Same Page Community Read selection.

Each year, the community-wide reading initiative provides opportunities for book groups, classrooms, and individuals to explore the themes of a single book by an author appearing at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Take a look at this year's brochure as JMRL presents Same Page programs and activities throughout the month of March and offers a limited number of free copies of the book through all library branches and the Bookmobile.

This year, Same Page Community Read kicks off on Sunday, February 27th with take + make activities, StoryCorps One Small Step BINGO & prizes, and refreshments on the Central Library Front Porch. Pick up free copies of the book while supplies last. Learn about StoryCorps and UVA's One Small Step program to break down barriers and encourage community conversations.

Same Page is generously funded by the Friends of JMRL, supported by the Art and Jane Hess Fund of the Library Endowment and Virginia Festival of the Book (a program of Virginia Humanities).

Featured Programs

JMRL offers a number of Same Page Community Read events listed on the events calendar.

Morven Japanese Garden: Virtual Tour

Japanese American Incarceration in History and Memory

Isamu Noguchi - Seeing From Within

An Evening With Traci Chee

In partnership with the Virginia Festival of the Book, JMRL presents An Evening with Traci Chee on Thursday, March 17, 7-8 PM, at the Irving Theater in the Code Building. The event will be available in-person and via Facebook Live. Central Library will host a public viewing of the livestream in the Swanson Case Room during the event.

Chee will discuss her acclaimed novel for young readers, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. In conversation with local children's author, Amy Lee-Tai.

This in-person event will be free and open to the public. Book sales and signing will follow. Covid precautions as defined by the venue will apply. CHECK HERE FOR SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS AT THIS VENUE.

The program will be livestreamed, and virtual viewings will be available at some JMRL branch locations.

About the Book

Book Discussion Guide | Related Reading | Related Ebooks and Audiobooks

For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare: attacked, spat on, and abused with no way to retaliate--and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps.

"A beautiful, painful, and necessary work of historical fiction." -Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor winning author of The Night Diary"

Traci Chee

About the Author

Traci Chee is a New York Times bestselling author of the YA fantasy trilogy-The Reader, The Speaker, and The Storyteller which were shortlisted and nominated for multiple awards and accolades. In We Are Not Free Chee changes gears, pulling from her own family history in this stunning and evocative novel, one that resonates so deeply against today's tumultuous political backdrop.

Visit her at, on Twitter @tracichee, and on Facebook and Instagram @TraciCheeAuthor.

Selected Adult and YA Same Page Read Alikes

Previous Same Page Books: 2021 2020 2019, 2018 | Previous Big Read Books