A Game For Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached (Graphic Universe, 2012; 192 pages)
We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. The We Need Diverse Books movement was spearheaded by author Ellen Oh and a group of 21 other children’s book writers and industry professionals in response to the announcement of an all-white, all-male panel of children’s book authors at a major book and publishing convention. What began as a social media awareness campaign quickly grew into a global movement that demanded the attention of the publishing industry, the media, and readers everywhere.
I am a firm believer in this initiative and as a result I am making efforts to be more aware of reaching out to diverse books in my own reading time. The book A Game for Swallows. To Die, To Leave, To Return is a book written by Zeina Abirached, who was born in Beirut in 1981 in the middle of a civil war. She was ten when the war ended. She studied graphic arts and commercial design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, and in 2002 was awarded the top prize at the International Comic Book Festival in Beirut for her first graphic novel, Beyrouth-Catharsis. Some years later, while surfing online, she came across a television documentary made in Beirut in 1984. The reporters were interviewing the residents of a street near the demarcation line that cut the city in two. A woman whose home had been hit by the bombing spoke a single sentence that startled her: "You know, I think maybe we're still more or less safe here."
That woman was her grandmother and Zeina Abirached knew she had to tell the story of their lives in Beirut. She did and she created this graphic novel with tight drawings that sharpen every detail, and every detail here matters. This is a beautiful remembrance in black and white, and a moving tale of the life of an ordinary family living in Beirut in extraordinary times.
Readers who enjoyed Marjare Satrapi's Persepolis will dive into this book and learn a lot.
Find this title in our catalog: A Game For Swallows
Recommended by: Maite