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by Stéphane Marchetti and Hannah Chute
Illustrated by Cyrille Pomès
Graphic novels are on the rise and are highly accessible nowadays. However, not all present superheroes or historical romance. The following graphic novel published by Graphic Mundi contains 128 pages of heartbreak and it was inspired by a true story.
The plot follows the tragic tale of a few children fleeing war and poverty in Afghanistan. The main character, Adel is sent to live with the Taliban following his father’s death. He becomes a pawn and is forced to become a suicide bomber despite being only twelve years old. Luckily, his detonator fails and he runs away, hoping to find refuge in the UK.
Together with his cousin, Shafi, he embarks on a perilous 6000-mile journey. A big part of their path to freedom is on foot, crossing mountains, cliffs, and jungles. They are packed in trucks with other people, starve, and get sick, all for a dream they have to work hard to achieve. Many other children follow the same journey to safety, but get killed, have accidents, or die of starvation, all alone, without their friends or family around.
The book might have had a different impact if it was only presented as text, but the images accompanying the story of the two children vividly show the painful truth of trying to escape the Taliban. It also presents the sad reality of terrorists using children to carry out despicable attacks, and of children fighting each other to the death for a slice of bread.
Reviewed by Deviant Quill Reviews
Publisher: Graphic Mundi; 1st edition (April 26, 2022)
Hardcover: 128 pages
Reading age: 16 years and up