This graphic novel deals with the very difficult subject of child soldiers. I find the topic both upsetting, and important to share. I think the author did a great job of showing that these soldiers are victims. Even the ones who commit atrocities do so under such duress that they feel they have no other option. That loss of innocence is mourned in the comic and beautifully illustrated through facial expressions and body language. Unlike many graphic novels, this one has a narration that I think of like a voice-over to a documentary. It works for me personally as a reader but I wonder if teens who read more comics that I do would prefer it to be more dialogue based.
I think this is something that could potentially be used in a classroom. It deals with history, social studies, art, and literature. It could spark a lot of discussion. It is mature subject matter, and I can see young teens becoming upset as they read it. I got emotional and frightened as I did. This is the point though, and I think it is essential that Canadian teens be aware of what goes on in the world. That it is in graphic novel form makes the story more accessible to youth, and I was relieved it wasn’t as gory as I feared while maintaining the serious nature of the story.