Friday, August 23, 2013

War Brothers: The Graphic Novel - Sharon E. McKay

Title: War Brothers: The Graphic Novel
Author: Sharon E. McKay, illustrated by Daniel Lafrance
Publisher: Annick Press, 2013 (Hardcover)
Length: 168 pages
Genre: Adult/Young Adult; Graphic Novel
Started: August 22, 2013
Finished: August 22, 2013

From the back of the book:

An unforgettable story of resilience, based on true events.

Jacob and his friends are sharing stories about their school break, when suddenly the door of their dorm is violently kicked in. The attack only takes moments. Blinded by fear, and confusion, the boys are abducted by rebel soldiers-members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Beaten, starved, and forced to become child soldiers, the boys begin a long march through the African bush. They wait for rescue. Where is the great army with its helicopters? Have their families forgotten them? With barely any hope left, they must make a desperate decision that will end in life or death.

With its haunting images and powerful text, this graphic novel tells a story of spirit, friendship, and courage. For Jacob and his friends, survival depends on one thing: loyalty.

Child soldiers are one of many sensitive topics that crop up in our schools. We bring it up when we talk about social justice, kids write petitions to politicians regarding it, we support various charities that help survivors; but we don't do nearly enough to inform kids about them, so it's something they know is horrible simply because we tell them it is. This is one source that will not only convey the horrors of child soldiers, it also asks the question where do victims end and criminals begin and at what point do we hold someone accountable for their actions?

This graphic novel, based on the YA novel of the same name by the same author, is very informative, but disturbing on many levels, which you can guess given the subject matter. The content is very graphic, violent, enough that I'd be very cautious about what type of reader (especially a student) I'd recommend or give this to. Heck, this gave me nightmares after I read it and not much spooks me nowadays.

Amazing account of child soldiers in the LRA in Uganda, but very graphic and disturbing, not for sensitive readers.

Thoughts on the cover:
I like the red with black silhouettes and the jungle background.

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