War Brothers: The Graphic Novel
Sharon E. McKay
2013 Annick Press
ISBN – 9781554514885
Genre – Graphic Novel
Age – High School
Jacob is a fourteen year old boy who lives in Uganda. He is sent away to a boy’s school that will be safe for him in a time when young boys are being abducted and forced to fight in a gruesome civil war. Despite the assurance that they are safe, the rebel army breaks into the school in the middle of the night and captures the boys. As they march in the jungle their life becomes a matter of kill or be killed, and it is all they can do to survive each and every day. After a while some of the boys manage to escape, and must fight for their lives to reach safety.
This graphic novel is based on a true story, one that is filled with sadness and horror. The images and situations can be quite disturbing and are certainly not recommended for the faint of heart. That aside, I think it is important for teens and adults alike to know this story, to know the way in which young minds and bodies were manipulated and used for evil. Although I am not generally a huge fan of reading graphic novels myself, I believe that this story truly benefits from the imagery provided (even if it is disturbing.) Sometimes images affect a reader more than words ever could. That being said, the art was great. It was detailed but the background faded to the back. It allows our eyes and minds to focus on the major aspects of each frame. I liked that the colors of the pages changed with the environment. When Jacob was safe at home, the pages were white. When he was with the rebel army the pages were black. It helped to drive home the good versus evil settings throughout the story. I liked that the text did not over shadow the brilliance of the pictures, they perfectly complemented the story told in graphics.