War Brothers: The Graphic Novel
Written by Sharon E. McKay & Art by Daniel LaFrance
Published by Annick Press, 2013
166 pages (paperback)
The life of a child soldier is full of unthinkable violence ... But the human capacity to connect with others and for survival is remarkable.
Jacob is a 14-year-old Ugandan who is sent away to a boys' school. Once there, he assures his friend Tony that they need not be afraid — they will be safe. But not long after, in the shadow of the night, the boys are abducted. Marched into the jungle, they are brought to an encampment of the feared rebel soldiers. They are told they must kill or be killed, and their world turns into a terrifying struggle to endure and survive.
In time, the boys escape. Hunted by the rebels, stalked by a lion, and even pursued by river crocs, they miraculously succeed in reaching safety. However, it is no longer enough. Jacob wrestles with the question of whether we are all really beasts inside. He decides the way through the pain is to record his story. (from barnesandnoble.com)
What a powerful book. I had heard good things about the book and since it was a graphic novel I figured I could read it quickly. All I can say is that this is a heartbreaking book. Heartbreaking because these things have been happening and continue to happen. Heartbreaking because thousands of people steal children to become child soldiers and think it is the right thing to do. And heartbreaking because so many lives are ruined by this horrid practice.
No, this book won’t leave you chipper and happy, but it will make you think about the world in a new way and what you could do one day to make the world a safer and better place. I would definitely recommend this book to middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults. It is just one of those books you should read.