The shadows by Vincent Zabus
Illustrated by Hippolyte
A young man and his younger sister flee their home in The Low Country, which is being ravaged by violent bandits, and try to immigrate to the High Country and on to another place they call The Other World. Along the way, they are kidnapped by an ogre who forces them to work in his factory or risk being eaten. Upon escaping the factory, the siblings and two other refugees travel together, all trying to make it to a better life. The story is told through the interview of the Older Brother, who is being evaluated for whether he can enter a country or not, and he is surrounded by the shadows and memories of his loved ones who he’s lost along the way.
This is a very emotional story about a refugee and some of the dangers and unfairness of the systems we have in place. To see it in a fantasy setting calls out some of our practices as ludicrous. This story was not written about the United States, but I definitely saw some of the same issues with our immigration system. The Low Country and its bandits could easily be drug cartels in Mexico, or terror cells in the Middle East. The United States and many other countries require Immigration Interviews just like what Older Brother went through where he was forced to relive the trauma of his escape, and choose between the truth or a lie that might make his immigration case stronger. There are definitely things about immigration systems across the world that should be re-examined.
The illustrations in this title are very interesting and unique. The cover is what initially drew me to this story, and the art is showcased there. Hippolyte makes use of lots of scribbly lines inside her outlined forms, which gives the illustrations a lot of texture.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
ISBN: 9781506725345 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Family, Grief, Dark Horse
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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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