A stunningly rendered graphic adaptation that will introduce new readers to this important chapter in history.

BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY

THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

A graphic novel treatment of Sepetys’ acclaimed Between Shades of Gray (2011) illuminates the story of a teenage Lithuanian girl’s imprisonment in a Siberian labor camp.

In 1941, 15-year-old Lina is deported, along with her mother and young brother, by the Soviet forces occupying her home country of Lithuania. They endure a grueling six-week train journey, unaware of their destination or the whereabouts of Lina’s father, who disappeared prior to their arrest. Once they reach Siberia, they are sold into a sentence of 25 years of hard labor and forced to sign a document saying that they committed crimes against the Soviet Union. The harsh struggles that Lina and her fellow countrymen face as Soviet prisoners are poignantly depicted in the graphic novel format, which utilizes spare, poetic language to throw into stark relief the images depicting the physical and emotional abuses they are forced to endure. Throughout these hardships, Lina holds onto hope that she and her family will survive to be reunited with her father; in the meantime, she documents her heartbreaking experiences through her drawing. Like Lina’s art, the stirring, watercolorlike illustrations serve as an evocative medium for relaying both the horrors of her experience and the sublime resilience of the human spirit.

A stunningly rendered graphic adaptation that will introduce new readers to this important chapter in history. (author's note) (Graphic historical fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-20416-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS

Passionate, impulsive Chloe and her popular older sister, Adalyn, were inseparable—until the Nazis invaded France in 1940 and Adalyn started keeping secrets.

Over half a century later, Alice, Chloe’s 16-year-old American granddaughter, has just inherited her childhood home in Paris. The fully furnished apartment has clearly been neglected for decades and raises more questions than it answers: Why didn’t Gram talk about her childhood? Who is the second girl in the photos throughout the apartment? Why didn’t Gram’s family return there after the war? Alice’s father is reluctant to discuss anything that might upset Alice’s mother, who’s still reeling from her mother’s death, so Alice decides to find answers on her own. What she eventually learns both shocks and heals her family. Chapters alternate between Alice’s and Adalyn’s voices, narrating Adalyn’s experience as a French Christian of the Nazi occupation and Alice’s attempts to understand what happened after the war. The girls’ stories parallel one another in significant ways: Each has a romance with a young Frenchman, each has a parent struggling with depression, and each must consider the lengths she would go to protect those she loves. Though at times feeling a bit rushed, Alice’s engaging contemporary perspective neatly frames Adalyn’s immersive, heartbreaking story as it slowly unfolds—providing an important history lesson as well as a framework for discussing depression. Alice and her family are white.

Gripping. (Historical fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-293662-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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