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What to Read #3

October 30, 2013

PrideofbaghdadWe’re going to take a turn toward something a little different today; a graphic novel.  Today’s recommended reading is Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Niko Henrichon, with lettering by Todd Klein.
This book is about the escape of a pride of lions from the Baghdad Zoo, which was damaged by an American bombing raid in 2003.  This actually happened.  Just so you know up front, it didn’t end well for the lions.  In the real world, that’s pretty much the only way it can go.  The lions were scared and starving.  There was no one to take care of them even if they had been humanely caught.  But… Here’s the thing, I cried at the end of  300 (the comic, not the overly-oiled film).  I want things to end well, even when I know they can’t.  That they didn’t.  I wanted these lions to make it.  Here’s a story NPR did about the lions and the graphic novel when it came out in 2008.
The graphic novel is told from the perspective of the lions and each individual in the pride comes to represent a different viewpoint on the Iraq war.  The book has a bias, but it’s not one I found overly overt or preachy.  The art is beautiful, and I found the story profoundly moving.


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