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

Sunday 21 October 2018

Review: Zenobia

Zenobia will break your heart, but you must read it.

Everyone, when they are ready, should read this book.

A graphic novel with very few words, the story belongs to a girl called Amina. 

Amina is fleeing war-torn Syria on an overcrowded boat. 

When the boat capsizes, she is alone in the ocean with only her thoughts. 

Thoughts of her life before the war, of when the war came to her village, of how she ended up on that crowded boat in the middle of the night. 

Amina remembers playing and cooking with her mother. She remembers the stories her mother told her about the great warrior Zenobia — the queen of Syria.

Amina tries to be brave like Zenobia, but it’s hard to be brave when you’ve lost everything.

Zenobia reveals to readers the heartbreaking consequence of war. It shows readers what it means to be that child on the boat who has had everything they know ripped away from them for reasons they don’t really understand — reasons that are not their fault.

It is a haunting and deeply emotional story. It is confronting, but the subject matter has been handled with great care. 

There are very few words in the book, but each one chosen tells a deep and powerful story of love, family, sacrifice, heartache and tragedy. 

When you read this book, the brevity of the text forces you to read slowly, to explore the details of the equally powerful illustrations and to think and feel as you move through the pages. 

It is a story that stays with you. And so it should.

Everyone, when they are ready, should read this book. Amina is a fictional character, but her story is the real and true story of so many people — so many children — around the world. 

And everyone should know it.

Title: Zenobia
Author: Morten Dürr
Illustrator: Lars Horneman
Publisher: UQP, $19.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2018
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9780702260254
For ages: 12+
Type: Graphic Novel