Freiheit! by Andrea Grosso Ciponte

I am not a huge graphic novel reader, but when given the chance to explore an interesting subject or approach to illustration I will pick one up.

Freiheit! by Andrea Grosso Ciponte is a good example.

With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for.

The White Rose printed and distributed leaflets to expose Nazi atrocities and wake up their fellow citizens. The Gestapo caught and executed them. Sophie Scholl was twenty-one; her brother Hans, twenty-four; Christoph Probst, twenty-three; Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, twenty-five.

But the White Rose was not silenced. Their heroism continues to inspire new generations of resisters. Now, for the first time, this story that has been celebrated in print and film can be experienced as a graphic novel. Italian artist Andrea Grosso Ciponte’s haunting imagery will resonate with today’s students and activists. The challenges they face may vary, but the need for young people to stand up against evil, whatever the cost, will remain.

I was intrigued by the description: “The dramatic true story of a handful of students who resisted the Nazis and paid with their lives, now in a stunning graphic novel.”

I found it an odd yet powerful exploration of the underground resistance to Hitler. The art is dark and almost surreal while the text is formal and driven by literature and philosophy.

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The Great Mogul Diamond (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles) by G.P. Taylor

When I first heard about The Dopple Ganger Chronicles by G.P. Taylor I was intrigued. Part graphic novel part young adult action story? Interesting, no?  So when Tyndale publishers offered a review copy of the third book in the series, The Great Mogul Diamond, I jumped at it.

Here is the publisher’s blurb:

Everything was going so well for a change. Sadie and Saskia Dopple, those troublesome twins, had been adopted by the wealthy writer and recluse Muzz Elliott. And their friend Erik Morrissey Ganger was finally on his way to becoming a full-fledged private detective. But when an anonymous note threatens someone they love, the twins are off on an express train to danger. Suddenly they find themselves awhirl in a series of crimes—stolen right off the pages of Muzz Elliott’s own mystery novels. The twins need to figure out who’s behind this twisted plot soon, or Muzz Elliott will be framed for her own greatest literary invention . . . the theft of the Great Mogul Diamond. Meanwhile, Erik speeds through the countryside in an unbelievably cool car with private eye Dorcas Potts, racing the clock and attempting to outwit a gang of robbers. At the end of the road (if he ever gets there), he and the twins will have to get their hands on the diamond first in order to save Muzz Elliott. But not even this car is fast enough to escape the nagging doubts in Erik’s mind . . . What do you do when you aren’t sure what’s right? Sadie, Saskia, and Erik face this question head-on in the third installment of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, by New York Times bestselling author G. P. Taylor.

It turned out to be a quick, unique  and entertaining read. The graphics made it visually interesting and the story was well paced and had enough suspense and twists and turns to keep the reader plugged in.

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