As a YA enthusiast, I read as much as I can. Most of the times, these books take a a few days (or a week with a busy schedule!) to read. So it’s a nice little surprise for me when I get to read shorter YA books. And these three were SO SATISFYING!! Not only are they short, but they are also graphic novels. It’s like a two-for-one treat for me!! Another bonus? Any type of reader can get through these and hopefully, they’ll leave wondering and actually searching for more information on them. Perfect for junior high and high school! Here’s a quick review for each book:
I Am Gandhi by Brad Meltzer. 2018, Dial Books.
We all have heard or know about the great leader and inspiration Gandhi was. But what made him do what he did? This graphic novel starts at his early childhood and tells his story from all aspects of his life. It answers a questions as to what shaped him to become an inspiration to millions and why he chose to live the way he did. What makes this graphic novel stand out is that 25 diffrent acclaimed illustrators take on their piece of his life and artfully depict it. Meltzer then takes them all and crafts a wonderful biography replete with beautiful images.
Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper by Mannuela Santoni. 2018, Graphic Universe
Jane Austen had a pretty….ordinary life. She took what she knew best and put pen to paper, writing her famous novels (Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice) based on her life experiences, which consisted of dances, vacations, life at home, family and love. Another thing she wrote were a lot of letters, but unfortunately, many of them were burned by her sister Cassandra, according to Jane’s wishes. But in a few that survived, we see the name Tom Lefroy mentioned, and how mad she was about him. And this is what this graphic novel is about…the “what could have been” life of Jane and Tom and where it would have taken her. So for fans of Austen, they’ll love this book. For those who haven’t read her books, read this graphic novel and perhaps…just perhaps….you’ll want to read them afterward.
The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown. 2018, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The struggle for democracy in Syria began seven years ago when some teenaged guys graffiti-ed a wall that read “Down with the regime.” The dictator, Assad, was quick to put down any rivalry against his rule and the boys were quickly taken to jail and tortured. But little did the dictator know this one event would change Syria and its citizens profoundly. At the onset of civil unrest (and war), Syrians began leaving the country to make a new life for themselves. And that is the foundation and basis for this book. Don Brown knows how to weave a graphic novel and he does it again with this one. The reader will get perspectives from those who fled…what happened, who survived and the hardships they endured. Religion and politics were left out, but the reaction to these victims of war shows the ripple effect that happened across the globe. After reading this and more importantly in the middle of this GN, readers may start to search about the war in Syria and everything else. At least this reader did!