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Yossel : April 19, 1943 : a story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Kubert, Joe
Adult Fiction KUBERT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Kubert explores what might have been in this gripping account of WWII's Warsaw ghetto uprising. In the text introduction, Kubert recalls how his Polish family attempted to emigrate to the U.S. in 1926, but they were denied because his mother was pregnant with him. Luckily, they succeeded a few months later, and Kubert went on to become one of the most honored artists in comics history. But what if his family hadn't gotten away? In an immediate, sketchy pencil style, Kubert imagines an alternate version of his family history. Yossel is a teenaged boy with a gift for art. Uprooted and stripped of their possessions, the family is sent to the Warsaw ghetto with other Jews and undesirables, where conditions deteriorate as the Final Solution is put into action. Yossel's gift for artwork amuses the German guards and they give him special favors. Thus, when his family is sent off to a concentration camp, he is spared. He joins other young men in the underground resistance, however, including Mordechai, based on real-life ringleader Mordechai Anielewicz. An escapee from one of the camps makes his way to the ghetto and tells of the unimaginable horrors taking place, leading the resistance to stand up against the Nazis in an ultimately futile but memorable uprising. Kubert's loose pencil art excels at catching character and setting in a few lines, although the layouts are sometimes plain. A straightforward take on the events of the Holocaust, Yossel tells its tragic story with both emotion and dignity. (Oct. 2003) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Renowned artist Kubert, known for his work on DC's Tarzan and Sgt. Rock, plus the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Fax from Sarajevo, was brought to the United States from Poland in 1926 by his Jewish parents when he was an infant. His speculations on what might have happened to him if he had stayed in Poland led to this masterly, shattering piece of historical fiction depicting the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943. Kubert's alter ego in the book is the talented young artist Yossel, fascinated with American comics and determined to become a cartoonist. When the rest of his family is taken from the Warsaw ghetto to Auschwitz, Yossel is spared only because his drawings amuse the Nazi officers. When a prison camp escapee arrives and tells Yossel and his friends of the horrors he has witnessed, the seeds of rebellion are sown. Kubert's art normally has a roughness that lends it vitality. Here the roughness is magnified tenfold because the art is left un-inked and uncolored, and in this book's gray pencil sketches the vitality is replaced by a stark, chilling power. Admirers of Art Spiegelman's Maus or of Will Eisner's work for adults in DC's "Will Eisner Library" should seek out this book at once. Highly recommended for all collections, for older teens and adults. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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