Kirkus Reviews QR Code


The Graphic Novel

by C.M. Butzer and illustrated by C.M. Butzer

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-156176-4
Publisher: Bowen Press/HarperCollins

This sophisticated contender in the graphic nonfiction market opens with “The Story So Far,” setting the stage for the events that led to the bloody Civil War battle at Gettysburg. Clearly defined art and sharply delineated panels portray all of the horrors of battle: the numerous casualties, both human and animal, the impromptu and severely unhygienic operating rooms and the impact that this event had on those who lived there. A vast cast of characters—an even and improbable dozen—introduced early on does little to help readers follow the action. Rather, this feature obfuscates things, as many of the men have similar looks, varying only slightly in their coiffed hair or a hat and a mustache. It shines in its closing pages, compressing Edward Everett’s two-hour speech into a few panels and giving Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address a good 20 pages to make itself felt. Undoubtedly smarter and more astute than many of its graphic-nonfiction counterparts, this book should speak to those seeking a visual account. (map, author’s notes; footnotes, bibliography, not seen) (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)