Today’s Book Spotlight! is on War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by: Sharon E. McKay.
Jacob lives in Gulu, Uganda. He’s fourteen years old and attends a seminary school for boys his age. He lives in a comfortable home with his father surrounded by friends and family. He’s going to do something important with life and he’s well on his way to making that happen. At least, that was his plan before he and his friends were abducted by the LRA.
The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) is a guerrilla army dedicated to promoting Joseph Kony as the leader of Uganda as well as purification of the Acholi people (a group of people native to the north of Uganda). They use the Bible to manipulate people into fighting for them. And their ranks are made up of mostly abducted children. Children like Jacob and his friends.
They are made to do horrible things: it’s either kill or be killed with the LRA with plenty of beatings and starvation along the way. Jacob knows that what the LRA does isn’t right, that it isn’t God’s will, and that it won’t help the people of Uganda, but resisting them is taking a toll on him. Death is almost certain until he meets an LRA officer who has plans to help him escape. But it’s risky and the price of getting caught escaping would be a brutal death. Jacob really wants to leave, but he doesn’t know if he has it in him to even try.
This graphic novel is brutal and heartbreaking at times. It’s very violent, although most of the violence is off-screen or silhouetted in black so it isn’t as overt. Even so, it’s a great read. If you like stories about underdogs overcoming great hardship and tragedy, you might like this book. The story of Jacob isn’t true, but it is based on interviews done with people from Uganda who have lived with and in the LRA.
We are only coming to the schools on last time before the semester ends. If you would like us to bring this book for you to check out, please fill out a book request form.