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Holocaust
Graphic Novels
Prepared by James Bryan

 

Croci, Pascal. Auschwitz. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004. {GN300L}

This graphic novel depicts an elderly couple as they recall their nightmarish experience at Auschwitz. The story’s present-day climax, which encompasses contemporary manifestations of hatred, strikingly conveys the message that the evil manifested at Auschwitz persists to this day.

 

Dauvillier, Loic. Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust Hardcover. New York: First Second, 2014.

In this young graphic novel, Dounia, a grandmother, tells her granddaughter the story even her son has never heard: how, as a young Jewish girl in Paris, she was hidden away from the Nazis by a series of neighbors and friends who risked their lives to keep her alive when her parents had been taken to concentration camps.

 

Eisenstein, Bernice. I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors. New York: Riverhead Hardcover, 2006.

With poignancy and searing honesty, Eisenstein explores with ineffable sadness and bittersweet humor her childhood growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust. But more than a book about the Holocaust and its far-reaching shadows, this moving, visually ravishing graphic memoir speaks universally about memory, loss, and recovery of the past.

 

Heuvel, Eric. A Family Secret. New York: Square Fish, 2006. {400L}

While searching his grandmother’s attic for likely items to sell at a yard sale, Jeroen finds a photo album that brings back hard memories for his grandmother, Helena. Helena tells Jeroen for the first time about her experiences during the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War, and mourns the loss of her Jewish best friend, Esther. Helena believes that her own father, a policeman and Nazi sympathizer, delivered Esther to the Nazis and that she died in a concentration camp.

 

Heuvel, Eric. The Search. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. {320L}

Esther remembers her own experience of the Holocaust as a Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, and recounts to her grandson and his friend, how she escaped from the Nazis and survived by going into hiding in the countryside.

 

Hudson-Goff, Elizabeth. Ann Frank. New York: Graphic Biographies, 2006.

These high-interest, low reading level biographies chronicle the lives of inspiring individuals and use a vivid, graphic-novel format that will capture the attention of reluctant readers. This edition brings the story of Ann Frank to life in vivid color.

 

Jablonski, Carla. Resistance: Book 1. New York: First Second, 2010. {200L}

Paul and Marie’s bucolic French country town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII, but the siblings still live in the shadow of war. Their father is a Prisoner of War, kept hostage by the Germans. When their friend Henri’s parents disappear and Henri goes into hiding because of his Jewish ancestry, Paul and Marie realize they must take a stand. But how can they convince the French Resistance that even children can help in their fight against injustice?

 

Jablonski, Carla. Defiance: Resistance Book 2. New York: First Second, 2011. {300L}

World War II has taken its toll on the French countryside. German soldiers patrol the towns, searching for any challenge to their rule. The Tessier siblings, Paul, Marie, and Sophie, keep their noses clean and their faces blank as the French military police tighten their grip on their small country town. But all three are secretly doing their part for the Resistance: the men and women working hard to undermine the Germans and win back France’s freedom . . . even if it ends up costing them their lives.

 

Jablonski, Carla. Victory: Resistance Book 3. New York: First Second, 2012.

World War II thunders to a conclusion in this third and final installment of Jablonski and Purvis’ critically-acclaimed historical trilogy. As the Allied Forces move to retake France from its Nazi invaders, siblings Sophie, Paul, and Marie Tessier must risk their lives once more and journey into the belly of the beast: Paris. They are on a mission to deliver top-secret intel for the Resistance movement . . . they are its youngest agents.

 

Katin, Miriam. We Are On Our Own: A Memoir. Montreal, Quebec: Drawn and Quarterly, 2006.

In this captivating and elegantly illustrated graphic memoir, Miriam Katin retells the story of her and her mother’s escape on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest. With her father off fighting for the Hungarian army and the German troops quickly approaching, Katin and her mother are forced to flee to the countryside after faking their deaths. Leaving behind all of their belongings and loved ones.

 

Kubert, Joe. Yossel. New York: Vertigo, 2011.

In 1939, Yossel and his family were relocated by the Nazis to a special section of Warsaw “for their protection.” What no one knew, though, is that this was only the first step of a so-called “Final Solution” to try and wipe out the Jewish population. Yossel finds himself a pet artist for the Nazis who are entranced by his drawings of superheroes, but all will change when a face from Yossel’s past tells the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto what is really happening in the outside world.

 

Lemelman, Martin. Mendel’s Daughter: A Memoir. New York: Free Press, 2006.

Gusta’s story opens with a portrait of shtetl life, filled with homey images that evoke the richness of food and flowers, of family and friends and of Jewish tradition. Soon, however, Gusta’s girlhood is cut short as her family experiences Hitler’s rise, rumors of war, invasion, occupation, round-ups and pogroms, forcing Gusta into flight and hiding.

 

Renee, Lily. Escape Artist. Minneapolis, MN: Graphic Universe, 2011. {510L}

In 1938, Lily Rene Wilhelm, a 14-year-old Jewish girl, is living in Vienna when the Nazis march into Austria. After a ship voyage fraught with danger from Nazi torpedoes, teenage Lily reunites with her parents in New York. One day she sees an ad in the paper: a comics publisher is looking for artists.

 

Speigelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.

Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. “Maus” studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us

 

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