My fourth book in the Book Bingo Challenge was a Graphic Novel, and having never been one of those children who got into reading comic books I suspected this was going to be a BIG challenge. I initially chose the smallest, thinnest book on our library shelves that I could find (it was a Marvel comic) but my colleague Shannon (who is a fan of Graphic Novels) was not impressed with my choice and dragged me along to our Graphic Novel shelf and picked out a couple of books she thought might be more to my taste rather than the Marvel comic I had chosen.
Knowing what sort of books I would normally read my colleague really hit the nail on the head with War Brothers by Sharon E. McKay. It was a fictitious account of a young Ugandan boy who was stolen by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) from his boarding school along with 3 of his friends, in the hope of turning the boys into child soldiers. The book depicts the real struggle the boy’s face – do as the LRA soldiers order – or risk at the minimum a beating or worse – death!
Having read true stories of child soldiers this book really rung true, describing the brutality of the superior officers and the dilemma the young boys face in going along with what they’re told to do or stand their moral ground.
The illustrations by Daniel Lafrance were amazing and really added another level to the story for me, capturing the emotions of the children and the harsh conditions they live under, which would otherwise be expressed through the authors words.