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A Reader of Fictions: New Soul - Yael Naïm

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Soul - Yael Naïm

Lily Renée, Escape Artist

Author: Trina Robbins
Illustrators: Anne Simmons & Mo Oh
Pages: 78 (for the story itself)
ARC Acquired from: Graphic Universe via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Lily Renée grew up in Austria. Her childhood was a pleasant one until Hitler came to power, spreading his control into neighboring Austria. With that came the persecution of the Jews, including Lily and her family. She managed to escape as part of the Kindertransport in 1939. Eventually, she obtained a career in the comics industry.

One of my favorite historical time periods to read about and study is that of World War II. I also adore graphic novels, so when I saw this one I could not resist. This isn't one about plot or surprising the reader; the publisher's description, like mine, reveals the beginning, middle and end of her story. That's not really what it's about; instead, the focus is on the quality of life she experienced and the success she managed to acquire despite her many hardships.

The art in the novel is beautiful and feminine, looking a lot like a clothing catalog, the kind Lily herself posed for and drew for during her young adulthood. This style fits very well with the story, and gives it an upbeat feel that goes along with the overall message.

This tale touches on the Holocaust, but is not one to read if you want to find out about the many atrocities of that time period. It's just one Jewish woman's story, and she happens to have been, all things considered, very lucky, given what could have happened to her. I like the story for its viewpoint and because I learned about the Kindertransport.

I would definitely recommend this as a good entry into studies of World War II and the Holocaust for children, as it is not at all graphic and gives a basic overview of the timeline, explaining some basic vocabulary. The additional materials following the story itself would also be excellent for such a purpose.

"I'm a young soul in this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout what is true and fake.
But why all this hate?"

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