Thursday, 28 August 2008

My Thoughts: Yossel: April 19 1943 by Joe Kubert

For some reason I seem in a bit of a concentration slump at the moment, I can't concentrate on reading, preparing lessons, studyi ng or even watching a film, which as I'm sure you can imagine is very frustrating, especially as I have so much stuff I have to get done this week. So I decided to pick up a few Graphic Novels from the library, as they are generally short they don't look as scary as the 300 pages I have left of Eldest. Hopefully my concentration will snap back into place sometime soon, but till then it'll be Graphic Novels for me.

Yossel is a graphic novel about a Jewish teenage boy, a keen illustrator who likes to escape from the world by drawing comic book heroes. And, his is a world in which he'd definately like to escape. Yossel and his family are moved to the Jewish Ghettos in Warsaw, the story and pictures illustrate how life was in these camps for Jewish people.

Yossel continues drawing throughout his time in the camp, it helps him as the German soldiers favour him, and give him extra food and supplies. It also helps him as he draws the terrble scenes which he imagines after being told about the atrocities in the Concentration Camps. The novel is about the lead up to the uprising in the Ghetto, in which the Jewish members fought back against their oppressors.

The illustrations are in pencil, and give the effect of Yossel drawing them through his time in the camp, a period when he didn't have the time to ink them in. The illustrations depicting what is happening with Yossel contrast sharply with the illustrations he make of comic book heroes to amuse the solidiers, pictures which in a normal life he would be sketching out to amuse his friends.

As with Persepolis, I think the pictures and the simplistic language used to tell the story give the reader a really powerful rendition of the horrors which were created at this time. This book deserves to be read alongside other works about this time in history.
Reading Around the World: Poland
Other Reviews

If you have reviwed this book please leave a link here and I'll add it to this post.

1 comment:

Rebecca Reid said...

In the end, is it depressing? I suppose it must be. I am intrigued by the time period (and I did like reading Maus) but sometimes reading about it becomes depressing!

The illustrations look incredible!