Staff Pick: Belonging – A German Reckons with Home and History
This book is a gem for several reasons. First, it is a graphic novel and serves as a wonderful introduction into that genre of literature for those that have not experienced the joys of reading graphic novels. Nora Krug, an award-winning artist, has written a deeply personal and moving graphic novel about her search to discover the truth about her family’s involvement with the Nazi regime during World War II Germany. Krug herself immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s. A chance encounter shortly after her arrival in America with a concentration camp survivor sparked a renewed interest in the war and her family’s situation as Germans living during wartime. She pursues her own research in archives, libraries, flea markets and personal interviews on trips to Germany. In particular, she is eager to find out how her grandfather and an uncle served the Nazi government. Her narrative of that search is fascinating. Yet, it is the graphics that give Belonging the power to take the reader into her family’s life during the war. Belonging is highly recommended for young adults and all readers as it gives a compelling account of Krug’s German family life under the Nazis. The bonus is all Krug’s artwork enhances the power of her story.
– Roy B.