Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We Are on Our Own: A Memoir by Miriam Katin YP FIC KATIN

Told as a series of flashbacks, this is a graphic novel memoir of Miriam Katin’s childhood escape from the Nazi occupation of the Eastern European nation of Budapest. Facing discovery first from the Nazi’s and later fearing the advance of Russian soldiers, Miriam and her mother struggle to survive as the same Antisemitism and inhumanity that threatened them in Budapest follows them throughout their journey. Along the way they find the best and worst of humanity at every turn leading Miriam conflicted about her faith and her relationship with her own daughter.

This is an amazing story of triumph and struggle that can be very dark and depressing, but also has many moments of tenderness and hope. This is not a sentimental look at the past and confronts firsthand the atrocities that women and children often face in war. The art has a rough look to it because of the heavy hatch marks used for shading. The art seems similar to the style of storybooks which works well because this is a story of a child’s memories. This is an amazing work that stands up with other graphic works like Maus by Art Spiegelman(940.5318 SPIEGEL) and should be a good companion piece to Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (949.2 FRANK).

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