I picked this graphic novel up from a library’s display as I loved the cover and the title. I didn’t know until I got home what the novel was about and after I read the synopsis, I realized that I had picked up a gem. I loved everything about this novel.
The story is about the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) which is ran by Kony, a man who stops at nothing. Reading these words, I had to laugh as I just finished reading Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton and here I was reading about the same Army two weeks later, only now I was reading a graphic novel. Both novels were based on actual events. Even though both of their accounts were similar in what had transpired, each story was unique and it was fantastic reading another novel based on what is happening in Uganda. Just as I had imagined from reading Soldier Boy, this novel’s illustrations reaffirmed my notion of what these children went through after being captured.
In this novel, the boys were taken from their school, a place they thought was safe, and now the boys are part of the war. It is either kill the enemy and be given food to eat and survive or to refuse to fight and have to scrounge for your own food and hope you will survive. Don’t get hurt or you will be left behind to die, this regiment had a mission and they were not slowing down. Fighting the government’s army or overtaking villages, the LRA did it to please God, for those are the words of Kony. I had to shake my head as I read about their commitment to God. It was amazing how their twisted minds worked, believing that God choose them to fight for him, to kill innocent individuals and to torment others. They were violent and brutal in their ways to get what they needed, to do God’s will and to get their abductees to break down and fight with them.
I loved the illustrations in this novel. The colorful, bright artwork tells the whole picture. It pulls you in and my emotions harden as I read. To walk day-in and day-out in the bush, keeping your head up while your spirit was diminishing. I liked how the illustrator used a white border around the text boxes when life was safe for the boys and then changed to a black border when the boys were under the LRA rule. It really was a powerful message. Looking at the side of this novel, I saw white, black and then white again, there was hope for what had transpired. I can’t say enough about how powerful and effective this novel is, in portraying this event that is still occurring in Uganda.