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War Brothers: The Graphic Novel Hardcover – Feb 7 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Annick Press (Feb. 7 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554514894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554514892
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 17.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This graphic novel deals with the very difficult subject of child soldiers. I find the topic both upsetting, and important to share. I think the author did a great job of showing that these soldiers are victims. Even the ones who commit atrocities do so under such duress that they feel they have no other option. That loss of innocence is mourned in the comic and beautifully illustrated through facial expressions and body language. Unlike many graphic novels, this one has a narration that I think of like a voice-over to a documentary. It works for me personally as a reader but I wonder if teens who read more comics that I do would prefer it to be more dialogue based.

I think this is something that could potentially be used in a classroom. It deals with history, social studies, art, and literature. It could spark a lot of discussion. It is mature subject matter, and I can see young teens becoming upset as they read it. I got emotional and frightened as I did. This is the point though, and I think it is essential that Canadian teens be aware of what goes on in the world. That it is in graphic novel form makes the story more accessible to youth, and I was relieved it wasn’t as gory as I feared while maintaining the serious nature of the story.
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By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 1 2014
Format: Hardcover
By now you know the spiel; I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway. Even though it was free I'm not above giving a crushing review to a free book. As further preamble, I don't seek out to read graphic novels but I will look at anything put in front of me, so here we go.

As I said in the intro, I'm not a comic books sort of reader in general so right off that puts me at a bit of a disadvantage. I don't have a whole lot to compare this to. In simple terms it was about a 45 minute read even with the distraction of pedaling an exercise bike the whole time. Being a comic book it's very easy to read and very accessible. The illustrations were well done, dark and foreboding. That fits well since the topic was itself so dark and foreboding. So as graphic novels go, absolutely no complaints at a technical level.

The content, as you have no doubt surmised from the publisher's description, surrounds the conscription of young men by Ugandan rebels. Written from the perspective of a young man who is a victim of this conscription, it does tend to tug at your heart strings. In the U.S. there's not a lot of awareness that this sort of thing goes on so I applaud the book for introducing this hitherto untold story to domestic readers. It tells the story in a heart-felt way but left me as a reader rather wanting more information. The graphic novel genre only supports so much throughput so this isn't an especially surprising eventuality.

To sum up, an interesting story told in far too brief a format. I wanted more data but what was presented was fairly intriguing. Not the most amazing thing I've ever read but certainly a 45 minutes well spent.
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By Nicola Manning-Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 20 2013
Format: Paperback
Wow. Intense. Brutal. Moving. I have not read the YA novel this graphic has been adapted from, in fact, I'd never heard of it before not exactly being my type of YA reading. However, I do enjoy this type of material presented in the graphic format and this book caught my attention right away. The art is phenomenal and I was drawn into the story right away with the exceptional illustrations of the jungle and Ugandan life. It is really difficult to use a word like "enjoy" was describing how one felt about a book which deals with such a sad reality as child soldiers. There was nothing to "enjoy" in this story, except for the masterful storytelling which kept the humanity in the children who had been turned into brutal killing machines; that managed to show the deep faith of the people that may waver but comes back stronger in the end even when the rebel soldiers use God against the children to brain wash them into thinking they are fighting and killing for God. The book is a testimony to how religion does not start wars but how people use religion as a tool in their wars. Uganda is 84% Christian, which is common in African countries and this strength of faith is evident in the survival of the main characters and their healing afterwards.

The story is harsh and brutal but not graphic in visual detail. It will be dependent on the reader whether they can handle the reality of the material. If they can, I highly recommend this for ages 10 and up. The main characters range in age, but the main group is 12-14. An extremely important subject for western children to be made aware of when they are mature enough to handle it and this is the book that might just make an impact on their outlook. Powerful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Powerful and worth reading Jan. 7 2014
By Travis Starnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book has a powerful message, one which is non-spoilerish. The entire book can be boiled down to this epilogue:” Where does the victim end and the criminal begin? Whom do we punish? Who is accountable? What happens when the child becomes an adult and continues his path of destruction?” This is all the book is about, seeing what is done to those children, how they are broken and twisted by the actions of others into inhuman killers. In time they will start the cycle again by abducting other children to enslave as soldiers, assuming they survive long enough. Are they to blame though? Do the adults in this book who take those children away bear all the guilt and need punishment for those crimes, or were they themselves merely continuing on the cycle that someone else started for them? It is a powerful message and made all the more poignant by the fact that this is all based on real accounts, so while the story itself is a fiction the events that are depicted are all real.

I would never chose to read a book like this and I will never read one by choice again, but it is definitely something that is worth reading. I have said similar sentiments about stories like the Crow and the Last of us, but while they are works of fiction and powerful in their own right, the fact that this is true (to a point) makes this all the more important. I cannot recommend this book, either as a comic or as a story because I did not enjoy it on either level. What I can say is that if you want to show someone a comic that breaks the mould and proves that comics are not for kids, then this is it. If you are interested in the subject or wish to read something that is not merely a throw away superhero story then this might be the book for you. For me, it is one of those stories that I simply wish to forget, but probably never will.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
45 Minutes well spent March 6 2013
By Rob Slaven - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
By now you know the spiel; I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway. Even though it was free I'm not above giving a crushing review to a free book. As further preamble, I don't seek out to read graphic novels but I will look at anything put in front of me, so here we go.

As I said in the intro, I'm not a comic books sort of reader in general so right off that puts me at a bit of a disadvantage. I don't have a whole lot to compare this to. In simple terms it was about a 45 minute read even with the distraction of pedaling an exercise bike the whole time. Being a comic book it's very easy to read and very accessible. The illustrations were well done, dark and foreboding. That fits well since the topic was itself so dark and foreboding. So as graphic novels go, absolutely no complaints at a technical level.

The content, as you have no doubt surmised from the publisher's description, surrounds the conscription of young men by Ugandan rebels. Written from the perspective of a young man who is a victim of this conscription, it does tend to tug at your heart strings. In the U.S. there's not a lot of awareness that this sort of thing goes on so I applaud the book for introducing this hitherto untold story to domestic readers. It tells the story in a heart-felt way but left me as a reader rather wanting more information. The graphic novel genre only supports so much throughput so this isn't an especially surprising eventuality.

To sum up, an interesting story told in far too brief a format. I wanted more data but what was presented was fairly intriguing. Not the most amazing thing I've ever read but certainly a 45 minutes well spent.
Excellent! April 24 2014
By Bethany Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought that this graphic novel effectively told the story of a fictional child soldier in Uganda, especially being ostracized upon return to the village. However, I only gave it 4 stars because it was difficult to read on the Kindle. For some reason, it would not let me zoom in and I could only read it in landscape mode.
Great story, it's a must read. March 9 2014
By Carmen Morales - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I will tell you now that story is not for the faint of heart. It is a story of anguish and despair, it is a story of lost innocence, but it is also a story of hope. Though the book is a work of fiction, the story is no less real than ground beneath our feet.

Told from the point of a young boy named Jacob, abducted from his school to fight in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, we see him begin to question his faith and wonder why god would permit such atrocities in his name. But, even in the darkest of times Jacob holds on to a last shred of hope, that he will be reunited with his father.

This is by far one of the best graphic novels I have ever read; the depiction of the characters is so profound, you are able to feel their pain, their fears and their hope. As you read this book, your heart will go out to not only to the boys in the story, but the thousands of children lost to the corruption of god’s word by a man who cares only for himself.
Excellent graphics Feb. 28 2014
By Buddha Baby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a graphic novel based on events in Uganda with Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army.  The authors state that everything in the story has happened and they put the events into fiction story form.  It is of course, a horrifying story.  And yet, it is one of success for some characters, in the form of recovery from trauma and their attempts to help others.  This book is one of those attempts at getting the story out.  I don't suppose I can say I enjoyed a book about such a horrific topic, but some of the colored illustrations were certainly evocative of the beauty of Uganda.  Four stars.

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