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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History

4.4 91
by Art Spiegelman, Tom Engelhardt (Editor)

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A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.


A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep. When two of the mice speak of love, you are moved, when they suffer, you weep. Slowly through this little tale comprised of suffering, humor and life's daily trials, you are captivated by the language of an old Eastern European family, and drawn into the gentle and mesmerizing rhythm, and when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world."--Umberto Eco

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Maus Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Art Spiegelman has been a staff artist and contributing editor at The New Yorker,as well as the cofounder/coeditor of RAW, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. In addition to Maus—which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and twice nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award—he is the author ofBreakdowns and In the Shadow of No Towers. He lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly . . . and a cat.

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Maus a Survivor's Tale 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
literatesocialstudies More than 1 year ago
This classic graphic novel is, in my opinion, one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read. As an educator writing this review for other educators, it is important that we all realize that more and more students are reading graphic novels today than ever before. Spiegelman's account of his father's experience in Nazi controlled Poland and the effects of the Holocaust are portrayed in such a way that students of all ages can access both the content of the novel as well as the themes related to the oppression that he illustrates. I have read many books about the Holocaust and different peoples' accounts of their experiences during this time period and while no two people share the same experience, this novel seemed to stay with me more so than others. I think that when interacting with "normal" texts we use our own visualization skills to grasp what characters and setting look like. This graphic novel however takes that away, and instead gives you very clear representation of characters and setting. Spiegelman's use of animals as characters is more powerful than one would think, and each scene reveals more information than a traditional text could to our students. Instead of having to tell students that Jewish people would have to hide behind makeshift walls, they can see how these mice must do anything they can to survive. Maus can be a powerful classroom tool if used correctly while teaching the Holocaust. Spiegelman's representation of his father's life in Poland and the portrayal of his survival are wonderful ways to get students talking about and critically thinking about the Holocaust and how all people, not just Jewish people, were treated. Again, as a Social Studies teacher, I would use this book in my own classroom while teaching the Holocaust because it is highly engaging for students, and the author's use of imagery and metaphor provide a great way to have students critically analyze events and actions that went on during this time in history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU READ IT, THE MOMENT YOU GET IT. When i first read it, i was in 7th grade and we where learing about world war 2 and lots of kids got to read exapet me. i had to ask my teacher but of course she said yes. Then i couldn't put it down. i incourged any kids who aren't big readers to read this because i know for a fact they won't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 12 years old. At first I didn't want to read anything about the Haulacost, because I thought it would be boring. I turned out to be very wrong! There was NEVER a boring part, and I understood the writing very well. Art Speigleman did a TERRIFIC job! READ THIS BOOK!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for an American Lit class and I highly recommend it. Even if you don't especially enjoy reading, please try this book - you will enjoy it. It's like a comic book, but deeper and full of meaning. It's really unforgettable, and it's a fast read. This is the most unique book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since I lived in Nazi Germany until I was seven, this book interested me intensely. And it is an intense book, not for the fainthearted. The Holocaust is real. Those who survived it had fearsome experiences. Art Spiegelman tells the story with careful detail, sparing nothing and no one. He does not dwell on detail, however. And he tells it with great respect, with compassion for his father, and with a measure of patience for his father's current sometimes challenging behavior. I would read other books by this author, and I would definitely recommend it for book club discussions. I would also recommend acquiring Book II, for "the rest of the story." Its title is "And Then My Troubles Began." The graphic novel format is perfect for such an emotional and private story.
Xerxia_Xizel More than 1 year ago
beautiful telling of one persons survival during the worst prosecution of people. nicely written
KmAlbert More than 1 year ago
Maus 1 is an amazing book and I highly recommend it. In this book I got to see the beginning of the reign of the Holocaust and how Jews reacted to it. I was stunned by the measures Jews went through to avoid cruelty or death by the Nazis. I even got to observe other historical content besides the Holocaust like Polish soldiers fighting back against the incoming Germans and the main character, Vladek Speigelman, is one of the Polish soldiers fighting. This graphic novel is great for all readers. If you want to start a book club, this would be an excellent choice. I give this book five stars because I like the suspense and adventure displayed throughout the novel.
KimHeniadis 11 months ago
I read this graphic novel, along with part two, in college, so when it came up again for book club, I gave it another read. This time though we only read the first volume for book club, but numerous participants said they will be reading the second volume to see how the story ends. To me this spoke well of the book, since people wanted to keep reading to find out what happens. I really do think this book would be good for high school students, and would open up a dialog with them in regards to WWII. It has a couple things going for it, one being that it’s a graphic novel, and seems to be an easier read than history books that are just dates of battles. This book also shows a personal side, that many history books do not. As for older adults, I can see why they may not enjoy it, since it doesn’t go into as much depth as other non-fiction books. Reading the reviews a lot of people had problems with Spiegelman depicting various groups by the animals that he chose, especially the Polish people as pigs. But this was his father’s memoir, and to me it was showing his father’s prejudice against others. Of course people can take issue with it, and obviously it worked since so many people commented on it. There are some beautifully drawn graphic novels out there, but this was not one of them. It’s done in black and white and the characters/scenery is pretty plain. I found myself just reading the words and not really paying attention to the artwork. The only time a panel would jump out to me is when one of the characters was wearing a pig mask, which represented a Jewish person passing themselves off as Polish. So if you’re a teen or teach teenagers, this may be one you want to check out. Or even if you’re an adult and haven’t read a lot about WWII or the Holocaust. But for those of you who have read a lot on this topic already, it may not be one you enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maus Book Review Maus illustrates the horrors of the holocaust in new riveting and interesting ways that will pull you in and have you holding on till the very end. The book’s “easy to read feel” opens up the story to many others to experience the tragedies of the holocaust. Families were lost and friends we’re turned on each other when it became every “maus” for himself, “Friends? Your friends? If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week… then you could see what it is friends!”(Spiegelman, Art) The book follows a young Vladek Spiegelman through his meeting of his wife, Anja, and their experiences of the holocaust as it began to invade their lives with fear and anxiety. Together they learn to adapt, make new friends, and survive on what's left for them. But getting through the Nazis would be no easy task. He also had to bribe with old family jewels, and stage as a store owner to escape eviction for him and his family. After reading both of the books in the series you begin to really feel how these prisoners felt during these events, the books realistic writing shows how everyone was only looking out for themselves and close family. You also see how hard it was to stay together as a family, Vladek was put into positions where he decided the fate of his child and if he should stay with him or send him to leave to a “safer” place, while not knowing for sure if he’d ever see him again. The characters being put into the bodies of mice is also very symbolic of the “cat and Maus” hunt that was happening to the jews trying to escape while outsiders that weren't nazis are depicted as other animals to show that cats would want nothing to do with any other animal except the mouse. My final thoughts on the book(s) are that they really should be experienced by everyone because of the new light shown on the holocaust, it really opens up the mind and shows many how horrible it really was. Instead of just reading how many were killed in a textbook you read the stories of the survivors and the stories of the people that died trying to survive, or the sacrifices some made for the better of others. Other readers of the book call it “the book everyone is telling the world to read”(Will.M) and “said to be one of the greatest graphic novels out there.”(Will.M) The author of the book, Art Spiegelman (Vladek's son), has won 2 prizes for his writing, the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award. Because of its topic the recommended reading age is around grades 6 to 8, but this shouldn't stop you from picking the book up because it's a great story for adults too.
mamelotti96 More than 1 year ago
I have heard quite a bit about Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History throughout the years I have been following booktube channels and book blogs. I finally got around to picking it up from the library to see why this is considered to such a great telling of the experiences that many had to endure during what we know as the Holocaust.  After reading the comic-like designed book, I can agree with the majority that Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History is a piece of work that needs to be read by everyone. It successfully portrays the struggles and fears the Jews had to face every single day. They never knew if the day they woke up would be their last day of their life at home or if the day would be the day they would be sent to Auschwitz to be murdered. They had the constant fear of being separated from loved ones with no chance of ever seeing them again on this earth. I highly recommend Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History to everyone of all ages. The book works for readers of all types, because it isn't the typical chapter book. So, if you are someone who is intimidated by long chapter books, but you want to read an individual account of what happened pick this up! The pictures and comments between father and son as the father tells his story makes the story entertaining and eye opening. You see how the Holocaust had lasting effects on the survivors, and how their family (current and future) were impacted. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maus 1, tells the story of Vladek, a survivor of Hitler's Europe. He is telling his story to his son who is a cartoonist. He first talks about how he and his wife, Anja, met. Then Vladek, starts to tell you how the Jewish were hated by the Germans and if caught they would be sent to concentration camps. To avoid being seen the Jewish would wear pig masks. When not in walking the street the Jewish would most likely be hiding in cellars, attics or behind fake walls. This book is written in past narrative form which allows for a smooth transition between the Hitler era and the present. The author also uses simile as he compare the Jewish to mice, Germans to cats, and the Polish to pigs. One thing that didn’t make since to me was Anja is a mouse and is afraid of them too, is that because she doesn’t know she’s a mouse is my question. The book is a page turner as the author never gives the main character a break and keeps you at the edge of you seats. I recommend this book to anyone that likes history and a book that is action pack. 
neopolitannapoleon More than 1 year ago
I had to read this for my sophomore English class, and it was a nice break from stuff like Pygmalion and Jane Eyre. Overall, it was a very interesting story and the style that in which it is communicated is unique and easy-to-read. In fact, I left it on the kitchen table and my 10-year-old brother picked it up and had the whole thing read before I even knew! (He remarked, "I really liked that 'moz' book.")
1DFan101 More than 1 year ago
Best book in the WORLD!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
The book I'm reading is called "Maus" by Art Spieglman. This book talks about the holocaust and what people had to go through to survive. In the book this family has gone through a lot of miserable things to not get caught by the Nazis'. For example, they ran out of food and they had to go search for some without getting noticed. What I mean by getting noticed is not for people to find out that their Jews, not to get noticed/caught they had to wear pig masks. They had to wear "pig" masks because of where they were located, they were in a town of Poland people and the Poland people were pigs. Another thing they had to do was find a hiding spot so the German's wouldn't find out that they didn't get taken by the Nazis' to the concentration camp. I think the authors purpose for writing this book, was to show us kids that back when that was happening that it was horrible. Also, to show what the Jews had to go through not to get caught & what they did to hide their valuables (even though they still found them) they went through many hard obstacles. Another reason why I think he wrote this book was to show that things can change at any time in your life time. I would recommend this book because it teaches you so many new things that I bet you never even knew. After I read this I was surprised how many things I ended up not knowing about the Holocaust. Another reason why is because this book is really detailed & it explains so much, it's a story with in a story. This book is very interesting & a very good. I recommend this book to many people who want an excitement out of their reading.
xxbabbybooxx More than 1 year ago
I have just read this book for a 9th grade Honors Lit. class, and it was my favorite of the two that I read. This book has a way of taking you back to the Holocaust in a new way. It may not seem like a book that would effect someone majorly, but it effected me. I could feel myself sitting down with them at the dinner table while they discussed their hardship. I could hear their voices when they would cry out for help. This book gives you the feeling that your there with them. I would recomend this book or anyone seeking a thrilling chill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Maus is a great story. It brings together graphics and history together to tell a story. I recommend this to anyone who is 10 years +. The suspenseful story makes you not want to put the book down. Also the history of what it was like in WWII is horrifying yet interesting at the same time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both Maus I and II are novels overflowing with history and intriguing characters. They are told from the perspective of Vladek Spielgelman, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, as he recounts his experiences during WWI to his son, Art. In 1937 Vladek had been a textile salesman in Poland, where he met and married Anja Zylberberg, the daughter of a well-off Sosnowiec hosiery family. They had one son, Richieu, who died during the war. Because of their Jewish beliefs the Spielgelman family was forced into ghettos, then later into hiding. The family was caught during an attempt to escape to Hungary, and in 1944 brought to the death camp, Auschwitz. I would definitely recommend Maus I and II. Each book is full of a sense of determination and suspense. You also learn an amazing amount of history and what these people went through during WWII. Both novels are perfect for high school history students because of its historical content and also all of the beautiful pictures that keep the story vibrant. I would definitely recommend Maus I and II.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago