November book review: Graphic novels that deserve attention

Disclaimer: The following review may contain some spoilers revolving around the plot and background. The review is simply my own opinion, you may disagree.

This year, I will be reviewing books based around their genres. This month’s genre is graphic novels.

In these reviews, I will rate the books on a starring system using an appropriate symbol: bookmarks.

5/5 Bookmarks: This book will land in my all-time favorite book list and you should stop what you are doing and read it, no matter what.

4/5 Bookmarks: You should try to read it at some point in your free time.

3/5 Bookmarks: If you are bored or going on a long trip, it might be fun to read.

2/5 Bookmarks: I would not really bother unless you enjoy the author.

1/5 Bookmarks: The book would make a better coaster for your Coke than a book.

0/5 Bookmarks: Congrats! You now have kindling! (just kidding, please do not burn books; just do not waste your money or your time with this one)!

I understand that some people aren’t huge fans of reading. Many of my peers don’t like to read, or maybe just have a hard time doing it. So, this month instead of reviewing books with only words, I’m going to review some graphic novels that I personally have really enjoyed.

Maus
This November, I read Maus by Art Spiegelman. This is a graphic novel and a historical memoir about the Holocaust from the artistic perspective of the Jewish people as mice and the Nazis as cats.

This graphic novel is a historical memoir from the perspective of the artist himself being told his father’s story of surviving the Holocaust. The story is told by portraying the humans in the story as different animals. The Jewish people are mice, the Nazis are cats, the Polish are pigs, and so on. This creative way of telling the story allows for some disturbing imagery along with some imaginative usage of the characters and places. It certainly makes readers question the humanity of some of those who are depicted. This is a slower book, but the art is beautiful and the story important. Although the subject matter makes for a rather heavy read, I really enjoyed it. Anyone looking for a very human or historical book should pick up this one. A tale of survival and humanity rated 4/5 bookmarks.

The Prince and the Dressmaker
This November, I read the Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. This graphic novel is a lovely break from the expected fairy tale.

This is a modern fairy tale if I ever saw one. The Prince and the Dressmaker focuses on the crown prince of Belgium, Sebastian, and the Parisian dressmaker, Frances. as they embark on a friendship full of secrets. While Sebastian spends the summer days in Paris meeting young eligible princesses, he spends the night in the streets of Paris as the glamorous Lady Crystallia, Paris’s hottest fashion icon. I am usually a person who avoids cute, sappy stories like this, but I was drawn in by how pretty this book is. The story is simple, but still somehow new. I greatly enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone looking for something light and fluffy yet meaningful. A romantic modern fairy tale that strays from the traditional path of a Disneyesque tale, rated 5/5 bookmarks.

Maus by Art Spiegelman is currently available in the McNicholas High School library, and the Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang is under review. Do you have a book that you would like me to review? Please suggest it in the comments or send me an email via 102867@mcnhs.org.

If you are interested in reading and discussing books with your peers and librarians, you should join the book club! They have snacks, books, and opinions! The read for this month is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. The next meeting is on November 29.

Next month’s genre: Christmas!


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