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This is a powerful and timely story about one boy's epic journey across Africa to Europe, a graphic novel for all children with glorious colour artwork throughout. From Eoin Colfer, previously Irish Children's Laureate, and the team behind his bestselling Artemis Fowl graphic novels.

Ebo: alone.

His sister left months ago. Now his brother has disappeared too, and Ebo knows it can only be to make the hazardous journey to Europe.

Ebo's epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his sister.

*Winner of the Judges' Special Award at the Children's Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards*

'Beautifully realised and punchily told.' Alex O'Connell, The Times Children's Book of the Week
'A powerful, compelling work, evocatively illustrated ... It would take a hard heart not to be moved by this book.' Financial Times

144 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 4, 2017

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About the author

Eoin Colfer

192 books10.9k followers
Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) was born in Wexford on the South-East coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four brothers were brought up by his father and mother, who were both educators.

He received his degree from Dublin University and began teaching primary school in Wexford. He has lived and worked all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. After the publication of the Artemis Fowl novels, Eoin retired from teaching and now writes full time. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,455 reviews
Profile Image for Swrp.
561 reviews106 followers
September 24, 2021
Brilliant graphics and an impactful story!

Illegal is beautiful, thought-provoking and heart-breaking.

With stunning illustrations and a wonderful narration, Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano share with us the story of Ebo, a 12-year-old boy who leaves his village in Niger in search of his older brother who seem to be heading towards Europe. They pass through the Niger city of Agadez, Sahara Desert of Africa, Tripoli of Libya before getting on a boat that is going to Italy.

[Ebo in Illegal © Giovanni Rigano]

The narration is deep and moving, particularly the thoughts and attitude of Ebo are just wonderful : here is a 12-year-old who does not have a place to stay or food, but thinks and acts selflessly. The illustrations are a highlight for this graphic novel : particularly the facial expressions and the boat journey scenes are outstanding.

This book is about the major 21st-century crisis of refugees. According to the International Rescue Committee, by the end of 2020, there are 82.4 million people who were forcibly displaced around the world due to war, violence, hunger and other emergencies. Illegal focuses on the dangerous sea journey between Northern Africa and Italy, that thousands undertake every year. "Every person making the choice to embark on that journey has their own reasons for doing so. And every person is a human being.".
Profile Image for Nasia.
353 reviews80 followers
June 25, 2018
Βαθιά ανθρώπινο και συγκινητικό graphic novel, για ένα θέμα που είναι πιο επίκαιρο από ποτέ. Με απλές λέξεις και σκίτσο/ εικονογράφηση που ανατριχιάζουν περιγράφει καταστάσεις που αποτελούν δυστυχώς καθημερινό φαινόμενο...
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books547 followers
February 1, 2019
This is a short book and though I wished some parts were a bit more fleshed out, it is worth reading! I also think the graphic novel format would make important subject matter more accessible to students, if this were used in school. The story of the refugee is not a new one, but it has been in the news a lot these past few years. This makes it important, I think, to consider the individual stories of these people who are desperate to leave their homeland for whatever reason. I did think the book could have focused a little more on the scenes in the present than the past, which would have made it more impactful, but all in all, it was a good book and a powerful story. I'm glad I read it.

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Profile Image for Maria Bikaki.
781 reviews378 followers
November 12, 2020
,b> «Το πλοίο παίρνει κλίση και πέφτουμε. Παντού ουρλιαχτά. Το νερό μοιάζει σκληρό σαν πέτρα. Παγωμένο. Δεν υπάρχει κάτι να πιαστώ. Και βυθίζομαι. Ξανά.»

Βαθύτατα ανθρώπινο και συγκινητικό το graphic novel του Eoin Colfer περιγράφει την οδύσσεια του μικρού Ίμπο να συναντήσει ξανά τον αδερφό του και την αδερφή του. Σ’ ένα ταξίδι γεμάτο κακουχίες,αναποδιές, πόνο ο Ίμπο και οι φίλοι του θα διασχίσουν θάλασσες και ωκεανούς. Στοιβαγμένος μαζί με άλλους σε μια βάρκα θα επιχειρήσει το μεγάλο ταξίδι ζωής και θανάτου στην Ευρώπη.

«Μας βρήκαν πάνω στην ώρα.
-Ναι, εάν…
-Τι εννοείς εάν; Εάν τι;
-Οφείλουν να μας βοηθήσουν
-Είμαστε άνθρωποι

Κάτω από τον ήλιο το δέρμα μας ψήνεται. Τα χείλη μας ξεραίνονται. Το νερό μας έει τελειώσει εδώ και ώρα. Ο μόνος τρόπος να μείνουμε ζωντανοί είναι να πιούμε το νερό από τα σώματα μας. Αλλά το κάτουρο σε τρελαίνει. Κι άλλωστε δε μας βρίσκεται ούτε αυτό πια. Περπατάμε….

Κάθε 2-3 βράδια έρχεται στο γραφείο ο Αλί. Ο Αλί είναι από τους πιο αγαπημένους μου πελάτες. Έρχεται πολλές φορές απλά για παρέα ή για να μου ζητήσει να του βρω νύφη αλλά νέα όχι της ηλικίας μου γιατι του πέφτουν μεγάλες. Η μαμά μου τον αγαπάει πολύ, περνάει ώρες να του κάνει κατήχηση ότι δεν πρέπει να κυκλοφορεί με το μηχανάκι, ζακέτα να πάρεις κοκ. Ο Αλί σήμερα δουλεύει συγκολλητής. Έχει καλή δουλειά με καλά χρήματα, είναι εργατικός και το πιο χαμογελαστό παιδί που έχω γνωρίσει. Μπαίνει πάντα στο γραφείο παρφουμαρισμένος με τα φανταστικά κίτρινα φούτερ του και ένα αστραφτερό χαμόγελο. Δε σταματάει να γελάει. Ονειρεύεται να πάρει άδεια διαμονής. Όταν θα την πάρει λέει το πρώτο πράγμα που θα κάνει είναι να πάρει μια bmw και να έχει ένα κορίτσι να το πάει βόλτα. Ο Αλί είναι 21. Ο Αλί είναι εδώ από τα 17. Ο Αλί ξεκίνησε το ταξίδι από το Πακιστάν στα 13. Ο Αλί, ο Ίμπο του βιβλίου και χιλιάδες άλλα παιδιά καθημερινά αγωνίζονται για ένα καλύτερο μέλλον. Μην τους το στερείτε.

Profile Image for Diane.
1,080 reviews2,631 followers
May 10, 2019
This is one of those stories that stays with you for days after you've finished reading it.

"Illegal" is the story of a boy in Africa who leaves his home in a desperate attempt to make it to Europe. Our hero is Ebo, who doesn't have any papers and who is always worried about being picked up by the police. Ebo's dangerous journey starts by chasing after his older brother, and both boys hope to eventually find their sister somewhere in Europe. Their journey involves a perilous trip across the Sahara desert and a life-threatening sea voyage.

This story was incredibly moving and was beautifully illustrated. Highly recommended.

Opening Quote
"You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?" -- Elie Wiesel

Profile Image for Chad.
7,470 reviews857 followers
September 21, 2018
Ebo is a young boy in Africa whose parents are dead, his sister has already made it to Europe and his brother has just left this morning. So he sets out on a journey to find his brother and make it to Europe. Along the way, he has to cross the Sahara desert, avoid soldiers, and cross the Mediterranean on a dinghy.

This is a gripping, harrowing tale. I found myself holding tight to the arm of my chair as I rooted Ebo on, not knowing if he was going to live or die. Ebo is a joyful, determined soul in an awful, hellish place. The book will make you think about how a simple twist of fate like where you are born can truly determine the kind of life you can have.

Received a review copy from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,497 reviews2,315 followers
June 17, 2021
Very good book to show desperation!

By Doin Colder, Andrew Tonkin
This was a terrific book showing the desperation and extent and plight many people go through to get a better life. They actually risk their lives rather than live where they started at. Death would be a better option. What a sad choice.
Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews152 followers
January 5, 2021
Ok, so, well, I enjoyed this. I don’t generally read a lot of graphic novels. In fact, I don’t remember picking up a graphic novel until January last year, which was Heartstopper by Alice Oseman which is completely different in nature to this. In fact, the graphic novels I have read have largely been fairly wholesome tales, and this naturally wasn’t that. Instead, it details the journey of a young boy Ebo, who is just twelve years old and his journey from Niger to Italy. It really is quite a bittersweet story, in that there are good wholesome moments, but also so much sadness and tragedy contained within this book’s mere one hundred and twenty-two pages.

I generally do prefer novels written completely in prose, just because I often feel there’s a lot more depth and that it explains everything - like a character’s thought process, or describing how a thing may feel, smell or taste. Naturally we get a lot of that here as well, such as the expressions on the character’s faces and that as a reader, we can infer how things may be going. I frankly don’t know much about art at all so I feel that in some respects, I can’t fully appreciate what the artist is going for here. Nonetheless, I found that the art style told the story well and that it suited the novel - in that oftentimes, the art was sort of bleak and dark, and that there were few bright moments. Everything often seemed quite dismal and sad and broken, which accurately portrays the story.

Like, I can’t draw at all - couldn’t do it to save my life, so I as a reviewer, it’s hard to critique for me. Although, I noticed on the first page where there is an artistic of Mediterranean Sea that something was off and then I realised -

that poor Crete was missing

But that’s not even a critique - it’s more of a small detail that I noticed because I like maps(comes from too many fantasy books).

I felt terrible for the main character, and every character for that matter for their situation and what they went through and while it is a fictional story, it feels devastatingly real. That is because that the world has a serious crisis going on, and while I believe this novel is based on what occurred in 2015 with the mass migrations to Europe from Africa and the Middle East, we still are in a refugee crisis. These experiences that these young people go through in this novel are what tens of millions of people are going through currently. I’m online a fair bit, but aside from a few people, very few people are talking about it and what these poor, poor people are going through, so this book was good in that I hope more people become aware of these issues.

I almost like that the novel ends on a somewhat note, after quite the miserable ride. See, it’s good that the main character who has gone through so much death, hurt and loss gets something good. But also, Ebo is a character that has so much hope in Europe and that things will be better and not realising, perhaps just how racist, cruel and outright unsympathetic a lot of people are. The novel itself doesn’t touch on why Ebo alongside millions of others are refugees, but the fact of the matter is, the countries’ that he is hoping will help him are a large cause of the issues that his country is facing. Add in catastrophic climate change mainly fuelled on by developed nations, some good old imperialism from the United States and her allies, and the prejudice so many people hold, no wonder why these people, like Ebo are suffering so much.

You know, it’s nice having a character like Ebo who has hope and sings to solve his problems and is so loving and brave. So, I’m glad where the authors’ ended it this story, and where they began it, all while interweaving Ebo and Kwame’s backstory. There’s not much focus on the character beyond Ebo and Kwame, yet for a book that is quite short, I didn’t really expect otherwise, though we did get some interesting titbits from Razak.

Going off the premise of the novel, the plot was what I largely expected, detailing the journey of a refugee and exploring just how dangerous and perilous that journey is. I enjoyed yet and despite some things in the end that was somewhat unexpected, it went along as I thought that it would. Half the novel is also just flashback chapters, which was cool, as otherwise there would not have enough plot just on the main timeframe(unless the authors’ wanted to drag it on and on).

Overall, I thought that this was good, despite me wanting perhaps that little bit more from it(and no, I’m docking a star off because the first frame was missing the island of Crete). I found the art style really suited the story that it wanted it tell, and I do believe it is quite important that these stories are being told as long as we have a refugee crisis and afterwards, so that we avoid such a catastrophe(not that humans ever learn, unfortunately). 6.5/10

Edit: In retrospect, I've decided to lower my rating to three stars. After thinking about it, I realised that while the story is interesting and needs to be told, it almost feels too optimistic. I know maybe that sounds bad, considering it is more of a middle-grade/YA graphic novel, but many things in this book are actually quite easy and I feel that in some ways, it simplifies the struggle of so many people, and this simplification is through the lens of a few white guys, who haven't had these experiences. Yes, it seems that they've done solid research on the topic, however it also feels unauthentic to me in some respects and people should be aware that the story told here feels like the stereotypical refugee story without going into a lot of details. In fact, it doesn't actually provide the reason as to why Kwame, Sisi and the protagonist left their town in the first place. Maybe Ebo doesn't know, as it is not mentioned throughout the novel, but I sincerely doubt that. It sort of feels in way that these white dudes are just showing that oh look, these poor African people are looking for a better life in white people land, without detailing why. It also doesn't help that towards the end, they do somewhat glorify Europeans as these people's holy saviours - and look, we know they are not. Anyway, I'll stop this here before it gets too much of a rant.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,122 reviews171 followers
November 2, 2018
Sick day! Chest cold and laryngitis. Time to rest, read, and review.

The European migrant crisis becomes fodder for a generic dramatized graphic novel by what looks like a bunch of European white guys. Hmm. There was an over-reliance on coincidence and having a split time-line throughout much of the book took away a lot of the dramatic tension of the desert sequences, as we know who makes it to the boat later in the story's chronology.

A happy ending is slapped on, but I feel the protagonist's problems would be far from over if he were a real person. I guess this is simplified for kids, focusing on the dangerous and adventurous parts of the hero's quest, but really glossing over the causes, consequences and potential progression of this sad and difficult time of upheaval for millions of people in our world.
Profile Image for Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice).
1,147 reviews154 followers
July 5, 2019
This is a powerful graphic novel, told in both the past and present-day and following young Ebo. He lives in Africa and like his siblings, he dreams of a better life in Europe. First, he plans to find his older brother and meet up, before making the dangerous crossing by boat towards Italy. The illustrations were powerful and very poignant. It was harsh but very realistic. For younger readers, this may be better read together with an older reader due to the subject content.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,249 reviews393 followers
September 15, 2019
12 year-old Ebo realizes that his older brother, Kwame, has left their village in Ghana to go to Europe where their older sister, Sisi, headed several months ago, and decides to follow. This graphic novel is pretty graphic about the plight of refugees as Ebo has three arduous trips: first to get to the big city by himself to find Kwame, then to cross the arid Sahara desert to get to Tripoli, and finally, to find a seaworthy vessel to cross the dangerous waters of the Mediterranean. Unlike other refugee stories, this was not about the inhospitable reception upon arrival, but the unscrupulous traffickers who prey on them. Ebo's singing voice and cheerfulness carry him far.

There were two things about the book, which I did not like so much. The shifting back and forth in time was not well done, and I don't think the reasons for their pilgrimage were explained, other than wanting a better life in Europe. Nice collaboration, and well illustrated.
Profile Image for Catherine⁷.
340 reviews720 followers
January 7, 2021
“Every year, many thousands of men, women, and children risk their lives by trying to make the dangerous three-hundred-mile sea crossing between northern Africa and Italy. They pay large sums of money to smugglers who in return provide poorly prepared, unseaworthy boats. The distances involved are formidable and the sea currents are unpredictable. The smuggling networks that run these operations make fortunes with no regard for human life. They send their victims out to see in death traps.”
I don’t normally read graphic novels, but this is one I highly recommend for all my graphic novel lovers.
“You, who are so-called Illegal Aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?” -Elie Wiesel
Profile Image for Beth.
616 reviews24 followers
August 16, 2018
I was very excited to read this book, and when it was chosen as a Powell's Pick, that increased my excitement. I read it as soon as I could get my hands on a copy, and...I have mixed feelings.

I think it's an important story, particularly considering the current atmosphere around the word "illegal" as applied to any group of people. I think that it will be an important piece in having conversations - particularly with young people - around this heated topic. However, I have reservations.

The story is a compilation of possibilities. It's not based on one actual story of any one individual. Not necessarily a problem in and of itself, however the ending (no spoilers) felt...convenient. Parts of the book are somewhat dark, as befits the experiences of many of those making such a harrowing and perilous journey. The end, though, felt a little too...contrived? Convenient?

The other concern I have with this book is that I felt like it was...not enough? Like the chance to truly make a more powerful statement regarding the bias shown to these people was wasted. The word "illegal" in the terms of this story is so powerful, and so loaded, that the expectation I had going in was not met. So many of these people, who experience hardships that few Americans have ever known, become model citizens. They are productive, and they give back to their new country - and to the people within it - in ways that are often not truly recognized. I guess I wish the story had done more to show that aspect?

Having said that - I still believe that this book is valuable it its way. I know I intend to ask my children to read it, then have a conversation with them afterwards. It should be on library shelves, bookshelves, and anywhere else people might pick up a copy. Because in the end, even the barest education that these people are HUMAN BEINGS - not animals, not some horrific plague sent to bother everyone else - is (unfortunately) a necessary reminder to us all.
Profile Image for Amina.
1,235 reviews255 followers
December 27, 2018
Ebo's sister Sisi made it from Africa to Europe, when he realises his brother Kwame also left, Ebo undertakes a journey to reunite with his siblings. And what a journey...
This story is, unfortunately, an everyday reality for a lot of people who try by any means and at any cost to leave their country to a better place and a better future.
It was a suffocating, heart wrenching, sad story about hope, cruelty, loss and humanity.
Profile Image for Deborah.
731 reviews46 followers
August 21, 2021
“How can a human being be illegal?” - Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Laureate

12-year old Ebo loves to sing and lives in Niger with his brother and drunk uncle. His brother, Kwame, takes off leaving a note that he has left to go to Europe, to find their sister, Sisi, and that he will send money for Ebo to travel by helicopter. Ebo is determined to join Kwame for them to find Sisi together. Everyone goes to Agudez to work, save money, and then cross the Sahara desert to the ocean in Libya. The illustrations depict the detailed emotions, hardships, and landscape traversed of two brothers united in their quest to reunite with their their sibling. Afloat in a overcrowded and patched up inflatable raft, Ebo, Kwame, and 12 others desperately want to get to Italy. This is a voyage where one encounters thirst, hunger, sun, smugglers, gangs, thieves, trauma, sickness, and loss. Can they survive?

In 2015, the authors wrote that “more than a million migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe. The United Nations has described the situation as a ‘colossal humanitarian catastrophe’ and it is still going on.” Their search for a better life may lead to hope but unfortunately to too many ... death.
Profile Image for Vishy.
668 reviews210 followers
December 26, 2018
I discovered 'Illegal' when I was browsing in the bookshop a couple of weeks back. A new Eoin Colfer book is always a reason to celebrate and in this case it was a graphic novel too, and so I was doubly overjoyed.

The book starts with this Elie Wiesel quote - "You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong. But illegal? How can a human being be illegal?"

The book then proceeds to tell the story of Ebo, a boy who lives in a village in Niger. One day Ebo discovers that his brother has disappeared, and people around tell him that his brother has left for Europe. Ebo doesn't have much of a family left - his parents are no more and his uncle who is supposed to take care of him is drunk most of the time. The story is narrated by Ebo as we follow his quest in search of his brother across the desert to the big city and across a bigger desert to a huge capital city and the journey into the sea and beyond. Is Ebo able to find his brother? Do they manage to get to Europe? The answers to these questions form the rest of the story.

'Illegal' is a fascinating book. Though it is fictional, it is based on real stories of real people who have had experiences similar to Ebo. It is sometimes beautiful, sometimes bleak and it is hard to believe that this story happens every year. At the end of the book there is a map which shows Ebo's journey and we discover that the distance covered is unbelievable. The artwork by Giovanni Rigano is brilliant. The scenes depicting the voyage through the sea are spectacular.

I loved 'Illegal'. Eoin Colfer continues to surprise by experimenting with new narrative forms and it works brilliantly. I loved the artwork by Giovanni Rigano and I can't wait to read more books illustrated by him. I hope they make this into a movie.
Profile Image for Thomas.
236 reviews69 followers
October 21, 2017
Βαθμολογία: ★★★★★

Φανταστική έκδοση, από το περιτύλιγμα (σκληρόδετο, πανέμορφο εξώφυλλο) μέχρι και το περιεχόμενο (ιστορία, σχέδιο). Η υπόθεση είναι άκρως επίκαιρη και συγκινητική. Το τέλος ίσως φαίνεται βεβιασμένο, αλλά δεν έχει σημασία, γιατί αυτό που θέλει να σου δώσει το βιβλίο στο έχει ήδη δώσει.
Profile Image for Mindy.
164 reviews5 followers
January 13, 2023
I'm not going to lie, this was an emotional story about loss, hope, friendship, survival and so much more.

It touched me deeply as someone who works with humans.
Profile Image for Abby Johnson.
3,373 reviews309 followers
June 30, 2018
This graphic novel follows a pair of brothers escaping a dismal life in Niger by attempting to flee to Europe. The journey is long and dangerous. Many don't make it. But they keep on, hopeful to reunite with their sister in Italy and start a new life. The storyline alternates between past, detailing Ebo's journey to find his older brother, and present as the two brothers are together on a raft heading acorss the sea towards Italy.

I think this graphic novel does what it sets out to do - it details the harrowing journey that many immigrants undertake to get to a new land. Although back matter is provided and it seems the authors and illustrators did their research, I just can't help but think it would have been a stronger story with Own Voices authors involved. I suppose that the brothers were considered "Illegal" the moment they left their country without papers, but I think that connection could have been stronger - why did they have to leave this way? Why were their only choices under the table transactions and trusting whoever had more power than they did? These are things I think need to have been clarified for the young adult audience this book is aimed at.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,785 reviews87 followers
August 16, 2018
I am so glad my library got this graphic novel. It truly is amazing, with stunning artwork and a thought provoking storyline. I think this story of a child refugee's quest for a better life is very much needed in the world today.
Profile Image for Clare Lund.
604 reviews7 followers
August 27, 2018
Heartbreaking and powerful. Would make for an incredible unit if taught in combination with Refugee by Alan Gratz. Ages 10 and up.
Profile Image for Ashley Owens.
404 reviews69 followers
July 26, 2018
3.5/5 stars. I received a electronic ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I really loved this graphic novel. It was emotional in a way I wasn’t expecting. This novel tells the story of Ebo, a boy from Africa who has just found out this his brother has left to try to make a life in Italy, and will eventually send him money. Their sister, Sisi, is already there so they are hoping for a reunion.

Because most of this novel takes place either on the sea or outside trekking across Africa, I definitely felt the struggle and emotional toll that having your life constantly in upheaval which these siblings go through without a break. Things seem to go wrong for them at every turn, and it feels unfair and so sad.

I think this novel was very straightforward in its goal to inform readers about this inhumane struggle that many Africans are going through just to get a shot a better life in some way. It makes me want to appreciate everything I have so much more, because the lengths they will clearly go to to get away from their home is incredible. It was a good choice to have the main character of the novel be a child, because that made all of the heartache and struggles even more hard-hitting. It would be good for middle grade children to educate them about this situation in Africa. “Illegal” really made me think and I enjoyed it very much.
Profile Image for Shaye Miller.
1,236 reviews81 followers
April 29, 2019
Heartbreaking! :( But such a great story jumping back and forth between time periods. Full review to come soon...
Profile Image for stefiereads.
308 reviews118 followers
August 10, 2020
Crying mess.
I don’t know what to tell you.
Please read this book. So important. Very very very important book.
If you would buy any graphic novels, pick this one.
Profile Image for Maria.
177 reviews2 followers
January 1, 2021
You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful. They can be fat or skinny. They can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal? ... Elie Wiesel
Profile Image for Bridget.
1,136 reviews72 followers
April 26, 2018
What a gem of a book! The tone is exactly right, we come to feel the fears, hopes, exhilaration and live through the trauma of Ebo, as he searches for his brother who has headed off to try and get to Europe as a refugee. This is only the beginning though, after rejoicing at finding Kwame, he is then trying to earn enough money to gain passage on a boat for them to go together to Europe, where they hope to find their sister. It is hard to read, and it is quite an emotional experience for the reader to see their struggle in the pages of this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel. Hard, because for every good thing that happens to them, several terrible experiences occur to them. I felt a bit like I needed to take a break from the suffering at times. This was especially the case when they were sleeping in a water pipe which at any time might gush huge tons of water and drown them in their sleep. Gahhhh that was horrible.

This book is a must have addition to a secondary school library, you’ll probably need several copies, Social Studies teachers will use it with their classes studying refugees, art students will be drawn to the gorgeously drawn comics. Readers will enjoy, yet be horrified by, the experiences of the brothers. I liked so much about it. I liked the way that the authors didn’t shy away from the horror of the experiences of these people, I loved the change in tone in the colouring, which indicated the timelines and which made the then and now seperate, and yet relevant to the ongoing action in both storylines. This is clever but not too clever for it’s own good. I love that this graphic novel isn’t trying too hard, it just gets on with the stark story and draws you in. The fames are so well placed and the story is clear.

I’d love to see another story from this team on a social issue. Take a look at the clip below to see the beauty and sadness. Turn your sound up.

Profile Image for Alex.
776 reviews30 followers
October 27, 2017
Συμπαθητικό κόμικ που διαπραγματεύεται ευαίσθητο θέμα. Το σχέδιο ήταν πανέμορφο όπως και ο χρωματισμός, το σενάριο δεν βρίσκω λόγο να το αξιολογήσω μιας και είναι ιστορία που διαβάζουμε δυστυχώς καθημερινά στα media.

Σίγουρα σκοπό έχει να ευαισθητοποιήσει και να αφυπνίσει, αλλά δυστυχώς μου άφησε την πικρή αίσθηση στο τέλος ότι βγήκε και λίγο σαν αρπαχτή πάνω στην επικαιρότητα όπως τόσα και τόσα άλλα. Για τον ίδιο λόγο δεν συγχαίρω τον εκδότη με την τόσο γρήγορη έκδοση αφού μάλλον βρήκε ευκαιρία για εύκολο χρήμα παρά ότι όντως πίστεψε στην επιτυχία του κόμικ σαν κόμικ και μόνο.

Αξίζει ένα βλέφαρο κυρίως για την εικονογράφηση, τα πρόσωπα ειδικά κρύβουν πολλά συναισθήματα, πράγμα αξιέπαινο για όχι και τόσο γνωστό σκιτσογράφο.
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