Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, Illustrated by Niko Henrichon

[Well, I honestly thought the last review was the last in this format but it seems there are a few more. I'll see if I can get through those first]

Title: Pride of Baghdad
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Niko Henrichon
Publisher: DC Comics
Copyright: 2006
Price: $19.99
Summary:  For the lion Zil, lionesses Noor and Safa, and cub Ali, freedom is a topic often discussed, but often discarded in favor of their comfortable life in Baghdad Zoo in Iraq. When the Americans bomb near the zoo, freedom is forced quite suddenly upon the four lions and they must quickly figure out how to survive and where to go. Together, they explore their new world and the destruction of war, dodging tanks and more bombings and questioning what is right, what is wrong, and is freedom given or earned?
Thoughts: Pride of Baghdad is based on the true story of lions in Iraq who are freed after bombings. Unfortunately, I do not know the extent of their freedom except what is on the back of the book. The lions converse about varying aspects of human society, creating a commentary about society’s good and bad sides as well as its morals. One scene in particular that stands out is the discussion about eating an already dead human. They each present a reason why or why not, and one lion’s view is changed because of this. The dialog between the lions often leaves the reader forgetting they are lions but the beautifully done art work will show that they are obviously lions. Colors are used in the illustrations to evoke peace, destruction, and fear as needed in the various scenes. Be prepared though, for a heart wrenching ending that will make sensitive readers cry.
Will Teens Like It? Probably high school teens.
Things to be aware of: sex, blood, violence
Bonus: 2007 ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens.

The first time I heard about this title was either through ALA’s Great Graphic Novel List or through The Philosopher Musician. I can say that it was The Philosopher Musician who continually reminded me that I absolutely needed to read this book. I almost didn’t read this one after my preliminary skim through and seeing the ending, but it is a worthwhile tale that needs to be told.

Source: Library

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