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War Brothers
Cover of War Brothers
War Brothers
The Graphic Novel
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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,...
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,...
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Description-

  • 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.

About the Author-

  • Sharon E. McKay is the best-selling and award-winning author of such novels as Charlie Wilcox, Thunder over Kandahar, and Enemy Territory. She is the first young-adult writer to be named as a Canadian War Artist by the Canadian Forces Artist Program (CFAP).

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 29, 2013
    McKay's 2008 novel about Ugandan children abducted to fight in the Lord's Resistance Army returns in a graphic novel adaptation, which makes an already harrowing story all the more visceral. (Readers may have become familiar with the LRA through the short film Kony 2012, which generated significant attention in 2012.) McKay's fictional story, based on real events and people, focuses on 14-year-old Jacob, who is abducted from a seminary in Uganda along with 37 other boys in 2002. This is Lafrance's first graphic novel, and it's a striking debut. In much the same way that the story forces readers to see these child soldiers as both victims and killers (albeit unwilling ones, often), Lafrance contrasts Uganda's beauty with the brutality endured by Jacob and the other children. Images of lush jungle alternate with horrifying scenes, such as one in which three boys are forced to beat one of their own to death. As upsetting as this story is—all the more for its basis in the ongoing reality for children still conscripted into the LRA—McKay doesn't leave readers without a sense of hope. Ages 14 – up.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-In this devastatingly realistic graphic novel, 14-year-old Jacob and his friends are just starting school at George Jones Seminary for Boys. The story tells of their subsequent kidnapping and near induction into the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Complete innocents at first, the boys endure near starvation, grueling conditions, and physical violence as they travel out of northern Uganda and into Sudan. Many of their experiences are difficult to read, including an incident involving Tony, Jacob's best friend from his village, who is forced to kill an injured boy or face mutilation. Still, what went on in this part of this world in the early 2000s is an important global issue for people of all ages to be aware of, and these boys prove to be a good entry point into a difficult subject. Although War Brothers, adapted from the author's prose novel Puffin, 2008), is fiction, it is based on interviews with survivors; "everything that happened in this book has happening, and is happening still." With his first graphic novel, Lafrance's watercolor artwork truly shines, depicting many close-ups that convey the deep emotions that the characters are going through, whether it be the naive innocence of Jacob, the confliction of Tony, or the psychotic aggression of their LRA kidnappers. A truly important work that is well worth the read.-Ryan P. Donovan, New York Public Library

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2013
    Grades 8-11 Jacob and his friends, Paul, Tony, and Norman, are safely tucked away at a well-guarded boarding school in Uganda until the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) arrives, kills their teachers, and captures the boys to become child soldiers. Forced to endure long treks through the jungle with little or no food, the boys are beaten and forced to kill, sometimes even other child soldiers. With the help of a young girl and the army's cook, though, they eventually manage to escape. McKay and Lafrance based this harrowing story on interviews with escaped child soldiers, and they have kept their focus on the young survivors as they desperately cling to their beliefs, hold out hope for rescue, and struggle with reintegrating into their communities, where people fear that the boys have been irrevocably changed into killers. Lafrance's panels are tinted with soft, rich colors, which belie the heartrending content within. This is a sorrowful and all-too-true story, but one that ends on a hopeful note.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal, starred review "A truly important work that is well worth the read."

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Annick Press
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