Posted by: Lizzie Ross | October 1, 2010


I nearly let the day go by without a post. But not so fast! Here it is:

Maus I, II (1973-1991), Art Speigelman.

There’s nothing comic about this book that began as a series of comics — although there are moments of humor, as Artie interviews his father, Vladek, a Polish Holocaust survivor, about his life in Poland before and during WWII. And what a brilliant move to people this story with animals rather than humans! Mice, cats, dogs, frogs, pigs — not like Steig’s stories of friendly and colorful multi-anim-ethnic communities, but one filled with horrors starkly illustrated in black and white.

If you know kids with no interest in history, this book might pull them in. And remember: it has the added enticement of having been banned, for its depiction of ethnic groups (according to the ALA’s list of banned graphic novels).

I can find little more info than that. Polish citizens evidently objected to being portrayed as pigs, but that’s all I’ve got.

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen has a great post from January 2009, including a YouTube video excerpt of Spiegelman talking about comics.

If you haven’t read Maus, put it at the top of your to-do list. Don’t let its graphic format fool you. This is most definitely NOT kid’s stuff.

BTW: I never thought to check YouTube as a source of info re Banned Books Week, but my friend at Round-Colored Corner posted a link to this video with a great soundtrack:

Just dance the Banned-Book-Blues away!

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