Thursday, 1 September 2011

Review: Lily Renee, Escape Artist

Lily Renee, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer by Trina Robbins, illustrated by Anne Timmons and Mo Oh.

Release date: 28 September 2011
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Pages: 96
Source: Netgalley
Genre: graphic novel, biographic
Order Online: Bookdepository
In 1938, Lily RenĂ©e Wilheim is a 14-year-old Jewish girl living in Vienna. Her days are filled with art and ballet. Then the Nazis march into Austria, and Lily's life is shattered overnight. Suddenly, her own country is no longer safe for her or her family. To survive, Lily leaves her parents behind and travels alone to England. Escaping the Nazis is only the start of Lily's journey. She must escape many more times—from servitude, hardship, and danger. Will she find a way to have her own sort of revenge on the Nazis? Follow the story of a brave girl who becomes an artist of heroes and a true pioneer in comic books.

Lily Renee is a lucky child: she has a family who loves her and she is very good at painting. But then the Holocaust begins and all changes: in fact, Lily is jewish, her only way to survive is to escape from Austria to England, alone and without money, as a guest in the family of one of her penfriend. But in her new home she is treated as a servant and left without anything to eat. So she has to escape again, but it won’t be the last time: she’ll travel through different cities, meeting many people, until she’ll find her place in the world, becoming a comic book pioneer.

The story is interesting and I think it’s a very good means for children to know and learn something about holocaust and the second world war.

For older readers, it’ really to short! All the events are so fast-paced that you haven’t got the time to really get into the story: I’d have preferred to read more about Lily’s life in America and how she became such an important artist. In addiction to that, all seems too easy compared to the true reality of the holocaust.

The drawings are really beautiful and well made, and I appreciated a lot the insights at the end of the graphic novel.

In conclusion, an educative and interesting story for younger readers.

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