Tuesday, August 12, 2014

War Brothers. The Graphic Novel

War Brothers. The Graphic Novel by Sharon E. McKay
Artwork by Daniel Lafrance

War Brothers is based on true events about Kony and the LRA (Lords Resistance Army) and the kidnapping of children to conscript into their army of child soldiers. Told from the perspective of a child named Jacob, who lives in Uganda and who was kidnapped from school with his classmates.

War Brothers takes you through Jacob's harrowing journey into the forest and into the indoctrination of a child soldier.  He watches his best friend succumb and kill innocent people for if he doesn't, he wouldn't be allowed to eat.  Jacob protects a boy younger than him and constantly thinks about escape and the love of his father.  He holds hope close to his heart to survive the nightmare that has become his life.

Jacob's story mirrors the story of so many children in the world today.  Kony is still out there, stealing children and making them into soldiers and needs to be stopped.  Young women kidnapped ultimately become slaves, or brides and are used for sex.  Punishments for running away or not following orders are severe and many times, death sentences.

The artwork in War Brothers is stunning.  The pages and panels vary from light pastel when things are going well for Jacob to pages that are dark and full of bold colors when Jacob is suffering.  While this is a hard book to read because of the subject matter, the artwork is compelling and well-done and contributes to the power of the story.

There are so many issues in the world that need our attention and the issue of Child Soldiers should be at the top of the list.  Child and soldier are two words that should not go together in our enlightened world.

Everyone needs to read this book!