'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Review: Vampyre

Graphic Novels for Young Adults have arrived, but Vampyre is not a Graphic Novel. It holds true to the style of a simple picture book with tight language and short sentences, however, Vampyre is not for younger children. It pulls in the attention of an older audience with dark, desolate images. Vampyre's themes of discrimination, rejection and taking life threatening risks are also not for younger children.

What do you do when you don't feel you belong? How can you explain when your dreams are different? What does it take to fully become?

Even though Vampyre loved his childhood, becoming a mature member of the family fills him with turmoil. He is expected to do things repulses him. His inclinations repulse his family in turn. Can Vampyre be the one to oppose what causes him revulsion? Will it cost him life itself?

Vampyre is a poignant portrait of being different and refusing to let go of the dream of personal fulfilment. It is a perfect metaphor for so many things: sufferers of oppression, discrimination, even those whose dreams are laughed at. Anyone who feels like an outsider will identify with Vampyre. He allows us to contemplate the cost of being true to ourselves.

Vampyre offers a perfect starting point for studying Social Justice. Its simple language and explicit illustrations allow the topic to be accessible for all - with or without reading prowess.

- this review by Jo Burnell

Title: Vampyre
Author: Margaret Wild
Illustrator: Andrew Yeo
Publisher: Walker Books, $29.95
Publication Date: September 2011
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921529221
For ages: Secondary students Years 9-12
Type: Picture Book - NOT a Graphic Novel