Lenni Reviews: “Radium Girls” by Cy.

(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This graphic novel tells the story of The Radium Girls; a group of women who worked in one of many factories painting parts of glow in the dark watch faces. They used their tongues to keep the point of the brushes sharp and were assured they were safe only to be slowly poisoned over time.

I love the art style. I think it’s effective at allowing the reader to focus on the stories of these women and what they went through. It looks simple but it’s very effective. This provides a great primer to encourage people to learn about what is sadly a little-known part of history. This is very short but it tells enough of the story about this tragic group of women. I hope more people learn about stories like this. 3.8 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “The Waiting” by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim & Janet Hong

56269286._SX318_(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim goes on a search for the experiences of Korean families who have been separated by the Korean War after hearing from her mom that her mother had lost her sister, hoping to collect their stories.

The art for this is perfect, giving great visuals to the feelings of loss without showing anything too graphic; giving it a wider audience. This is overall sad but at times straight up heartbreaking. This brings light to what happened to all these people so quickly and violently displaced and separated from loved ones. It’s good to tell these stories so more people know about it. 5 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “The Day the Klan Came to Town” by Bill Campbell & Bizhan Khodabandeh

57566660

(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In Carnegie, PA, 1932, the Ku Klux Klan is at the height of its power and they decided to celebrate themselves and show who they as a threat – including Catholics and Jews – how much power they have to keep them in their place. In this fictionalized retelling, there is a riot when the locals, lead by Sicilian immigrant, Primo Salerno, refuse to back down.

While I respect the research and detail in this, I would have appreciated translations of the non-English text. Just to keep the flow of reading without having to whip out my phone to use the dubiously successful Google Translate. Also, like a lot of historical graphic novels I read, this feels rushed. It is a great way to get the word out for further research but I felt it wasn’t complete. 3 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts” by Rebecca Hall & Hugo Martinez

55711552

(Image Source)

Part memoir, this graphic novel details Rebecca Hall’s research into women who have lead slave revolts and the barriers to the silenced stories of the past.

This book can be dry. It’s hard to go through historical events and show research and statistics and also be entertaining but entertainment isn’t the point. I feel like I learned a lot from this book in an easily digestible format. I think it should be used to teach others about this part of our history. 4.7 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” by Steve Niles, Matt Santoro & Dave Wachter

(Image Source)

During WWII, a Allied plane crashes near a small Jewish villiage. While the citizens don’t agree on whether or not to hide the injured pilot, the Nazis come to investigate the village. Rightfully fearing the worst, they summon a golem made of mud to protect themselves.

Poignant and short, this is a beautiful story about family, faith, and honor. It does a great job with it’s story; leaving no room for fluff. Usually something this short would feel incomplete but this is satisfying and highly recommended. 4 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre” by Alverne Ball, Stacey Robinson, Reynaldo Anderson & Collette Yellowrobe

55977699

(Image Source)

Starting from the founding of Greenwood by C. W. Gurley, this graphic novel tells the history of Black Wall Street as more than just the place where the Tulsa Race Massacre occurred.

I liked that the focus in this graphic novel isn’t just how Greenwood was destroyed. Normally all people talk about is how great it was but only detail how it was destroyed; not the professionals and business people who lived and thrived there. This is a great resource to learn more about this time in history; especially for young adults. 4.7 out of 5.

 

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “White All Around” by Wilfrid Lupano, Stephane Fert & Montana Kane

56796061._SX318_

(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In Canterbury Connecticut 1832, Black people may not be slaves but they are not free. When an all girls boarding school moves to accept Black students, that fact becomes sadly and dangerously clear.

This is as realistic a portrayal as it can be if you want young children to read it; telling a little known story in American history. I think people should check tis book out as a starting point to learning more as it shows how racism endured after slavery and what education access means – especially to minorities. It’s beautifully drawn but breezes along a bit too quick but that’s to be expected of historical graphic novels as page limits and entertainment value are factors. 4 out of 5. 

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Irena: Life After the Ghetto” by Jean-David Morvan, Séverine Tréfouël & David Evrard

55156790._SX318_

(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This volume follows Irena as she continues to help children and others as the war winds down; acting as  a nurse to help injured people.

This is still a great series highlighting the bravery of a woman who just wanted to do the right thing during horrible times. Everything is handled tastefully and it’s really inspiring. I think Irena would like this series if she could see it. 5 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Irena: Book Two: Children of the Ghetto” by Jean-David Morvan

54233023

(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In a switch up in form, this volume starts with Oliwka, one of the children Irena saved, telling her story to her own daughter before an event where Irena speaks to continue from where the first volume left off. Irena is saved from prison and immediately goes back to helping people escape.

Much like the first, I found this to be beautifully and tastefully done. If you want to introduce someone to Irena’s story and work, I think this is a great primer for further research. The art may be simple but it gets the point across as to the horrors of this point in history. If you like historical graphic novels, this is a great read. 4.9 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Tiananmen 1989” by Lun Zhang, Adrien Gombeaud & Améziane

48695994
(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Our narrator, Lun Zhang; a sociology professor, recounts his experiences in Tiananmen during a mass protest by students for political reforms in China.

Like the other graphic novels I’ve read about historical events, this book breaks down a complicated event into an easily digestible and visually interesting way that I believe will inform and entertain the reader. I was only 8 years old when all this wend down so I had no idea what as going on. The book is a bit dry in parts and there are historical names dropped that I don’t have enough context to be impressed by but this is pretty darn solid. 3.9 out of 5.