Author: Sharon E. McKay
Illustrator: Daniel Lafrance
Genre: Realistic Fiction YA Graphic Novel, Standalone
Personal Rating: 4/5 (very good)
Yearly Count: 76
The unforgettable story of a child soldier.Much has been written about the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, where, under the leadership of the infamous Joseph Kony, young children are kidnapped and forced to become rebel soldiers. Author Sharon McKay, whose research often involves spending time in the countries she writes about, traveled to Gulu, Uganda to record true-life accounts from Kony’s victims. Their stories are full of horror, but they also capture the resilience, friendship, and courage that these children experienced.Based on Sharon’s interviews, War Brothers was originally published as a (YA) novel in 2008. It tells the harrowing tale of 14-year-old Jacob who, along with his friends, is brutally abducted and pressed into service as a rebel soldier. Together with hundreds of other children, he is forced to commit brutal acts. Convinced that he and his friends will somehow be rescued, he struggles to hold on to his sanity as time passes with no sign of help. Finally, Jacob engineers a daring escape and returns to his village only to discover that he and his friends are feared and reviled as former child soldiers.
The horrible fate of these children was told in a very respectful way and offered up questions for thought and discussion. I think it was done very well, but it was still absolutely devastating to read about what Kony has done (and is still doing) to our youth. The illustrations were terrific, but I would not recommend this to young children.
My thanks go to Annick Press LTD and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.