Recommended by Ms. Parker
There are as many as 250,000 child soldiers around the world today, according to Sharon McKay, the author. Although this book is fiction, it is based on true events. War Brothers is the story of Jacob, a Ugandan boy who, along with his friends, is kidnapped, beaten, starved and forced into being a soldier in the Lord’s Resistance Army. Although it was originally written as a chapter book, it is the graphic novel version that is on this year’s HS Book Battle list.
The book reminds me of Art Spiegelman’s Maus books, which are graphic novels telling the story of the World War II Holocaust. In those books, Speigelman used cartoon characters of cats and mice to depict the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. In this book, the illustrator, Daniel Lafrance, draws the characters as real people, but uses shadows to imply some of the violence. As the main character, Jacob, tells readers: “My story is not an easy one to tell, and it is not an easy one to read. The life of a child soldier is full of unthinkable violence and brutal death. But, this is also a story of courage, hope, friendship, and family.”
I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. You should read this book if you want to know more about a problem facing children in over 35 countries around the world today.