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The unforgettable story of a child soldier. When fourteen-year-old Jacob is brutally abducted and forced to become a child soldier, he struggles to hold on to his sanity and the will to escape. Daniel Lafrance’s striking artwork and the poignant, powerful text capture the very essence of life as a child soldier. Readers will never forget the experiences of this young boy struggling to survive, unsure who to trust, afraid of succumbing to madness, and above all, desperate to get to freedom. In the end, Jacob engineers a daring escape. This graphic novel is based on the acclaimed novel of the same title, winner of a 2009 Arthur Ellis award. The author spent time in Uganda and based this story on real-life accounts of the horrors inflicted on child soldiers and their victims. This is a story of unthinkable violence, but also one of hope, courage, friendship, and family.
|Publisher:||Annick Press, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Sharon E. McKay is a bestselling, award-winning author. Her books include Enemy Territory and Thunder Over Kandahar. She divides her time between Charlottetown, PEI, and Toronto, Ontario.
Daniel Lafrance is a storyboard and graphic novel artist and has worked as an artist in the film industry for many years. He lives in Toronto.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked this graphic novel up from a library’s display as I loved the cover and the title. I didn’t know until I got home what the novel was about and after I read the synopsis, I realized that I had picked up a gem. I loved everything about this novel. The story is about the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) which is ran by Kony, a man who stops at nothing. Reading these words, I had to laugh as I just finished reading Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton and here I was reading about the same Army two weeks later, only now I was reading a graphic novel. Both novels were based on actual events. Even though both of their accounts were similar in what had transpired, each story was unique and it was fantastic reading another novel based on what is happening in Uganda. Just as I had imagined from reading Soldier Boy, this novel’s illustrations reaffirmed my notion of what these children went through after being captured. In this novel, the boys were taken from their school, a place they thought was safe, and now the boys are part of the war. It is either kill the enemy and be given food to eat and survive or to refuse to fight and have to scrounge for your own food and hope you will survive. Don’t get hurt or you will be left behind to die, this regiment had a mission and they were not slowing down. Fighting the government’s army or overtaking villages, the LRA did it to please God, for those are the words of Kony. I had to shake my head as I read about their commitment to God. It was amazing how their twisted minds worked, believing that God choose them to fight for him, to kill innocent individuals and to torment others. They were violent and brutal in their ways to get what they needed, to do God’s will and to get their abductees to break down and fight with them. I loved the illustrations in this novel. The colorful, bright artwork tells the whole picture. It pulls you in and my emotions harden as I read. To walk day-in and day-out in the bush, keeping your head up while your spirit was diminishing. I liked how the illustrator used a white border around the text boxes when life was safe for the boys and then changed to a black border when the boys were under the LRA rule. It really was a powerful message. Looking at the side of this novel, I saw white, black and then white again, there was hope for what had transpired. I can’t say enough about how powerful and effective this novel is, in portraying this event that is still occurring in Uganda.
Review originally posted at Bettering Me Up. This is not a book for children. Repeat: NOT a book for children. It's a graphic novel, but don't let that fool you. I felt absolutely sick while reading this and I'm sure I'm going to have nightmares tonight. I wouldn't dare give it to a child. However awful I may feel after I finished this graphic novel, it's nothing near what the children in the Lord's Republican Army in Uganda experience on a daily basis. Intellectually, I know about Joseph Kony and his group of rebel soldiers. I've heard of the atrocities he advocates and the kill-or-be-killed mentality amongst his varied groups of soldiers. This book -- this perfectly-illustrated, emotionally-charged, scary-as-hell look at what a boy goes through after he is kidnapped -- brings it all home. If you are bothered by children put in terrible situations, don't read this graphic novel. If, however, you want the experience of what it's like to be a child of war, pick this up immediately. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Adapted from the author's novel, "War Brothers," this version shows, through beautiful illustrations and prose, the horrors of civil war and the cost of human bondage on a group, be it a tribe or nation. The violence is appropriate to the topic and is such that readers middle-school age and above will understand in the context with which it is shown. You will cheer for the boys (and the few girls mentioned), rooting for them to escape or at least make the best decision in whatever situation they find themselves in. A great source for teaching about civil war and enslavement.