When fourteen-year-old Jacob is brutally abducted and forced to become a child soldier, he struggles to hold on to his sanity and the will to escape.
Daniel Lafrance’s striking artwork and the poignant, powerful text capture the very essence of life as a child soldier. Readers will never forget the experiences of this young boy struggling to survive, unsure who to trust, afraid of succumbing to madness, and above all, desperate to get to freedom. In the end, Jacob engineers a daring escape.
This graphic novel is based on the acclaimed novel of the same title, winner of a 2009 Arthur Ellis award. The author spent time in Uganda and based this story on real-life accounts of the horrors inflicted on child soldiers and their victims. This is a story of unthinkable violence, but also one of hope, courage, friendship, and family.
McKay's 2008 novel about Ugandan children abducted to fight in the Lord's Resistance Army returns in a graphic novel adaptation, which makes an already harrowing story all the more visceral. (Readers may have become familiar with the LRA through the short film Kony 2012, which generated significant attention in 2012.) McKay's fictional story, based on real events and people, focuses on 14-year-old Jacob, who is abducted from a seminary in Uganda along with 37 other boys in 2002. This is Lafrance's first graphic novel, and it's a striking debut. In much the same way that the story forces readers to see these child soldiers as both victims and killers (albeit unwilling ones, often), Lafrance contrasts Uganda's beauty with the brutality endured by Jacob and the other children. Images of lush jungle alternate with horrifying scenes, such as one in which three boys are forced to beat one of their own to death. As upsetting as this story is all the more for its basis in the ongoing reality for children still conscripted into the LRA McKay doesn't leave readers without a sense of hope. Ages 14 up.