When the German forces surrendered at the end of World War II, a select unit of Jewish Soldiers, British and Palestinian, became an unofficial unit known as The Jewish Brigade. These soldiers made detours during their official missions in order to hunt down elite Nazis or save any Jewish survivors of the Concentration Camps. This story focuses on Leslie Toliver. Toliver and his Palestinian friend, Ari, rescue a girl named Safaya from a church where a former SS official was acting as a priest. Ari and another British officer covertly rescue truckloads of Jewish civilians from the Russian city of Graz before it comes under British control because they feared Anti-Semitism that would make like difficult or impossible for those survivors. The Jewish civilians are trying to make their way to Palestine, where the U.N. had a planned Jewist State. Later, Toliver supports the Jewish forces in Palestine fighting for their own state. He and Safaya are reunited, but now, Safaya is a soldier fighting for her people against the Arabs in Palestine who oppose the partition of their country.
I didn’t have nearly enough prerequisite knowledge to fully enjoy this book. There were a lot of situations, names, and places that I probably was supposed to know because they weren’t really explained during the narrative. Despite my lack of knowledge, this was an enjoyable book that focused on a piece of history that sometimes doesn't make it to the History class curriculum. Many students know that there is a country in the Middle East called Israel, but I would venture many of them don't know the bloody mess that was its forming. In recent years, there have been films focusing on hunting down Nazis after the war, but I haven't seen any about Jewish soldiers taking on that role. Another important piece from this book was bringing to light the Anti-Semitism from other countries besides Germany, especially the Anti-Semitism from British soldiers that stemmed from fighting in Palestine.
Marvano's illustrations are very classic, reminiscent of comicbook artistry from the 1990s. The colors are very true to life. There are a couple of panels that are disturbing to look at, but that reflects the disturbing nature of the Holocaust.
This book would be best for students in high school who have had some study on World War II. There is a scene where a character is beheaded by a metal string strung up between two trees on either side of the road, so that could be unsettling for younger readers.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible by the publisher providing a copy of this book.
Publisher: Dead Reckoning
Publication Date: September 29, 2021
ISBN: 9781682477236 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Graphic Nonfiction, War, History
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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