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Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (1991)
by Art Spiegelman
Jewish Books (25)
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This book is appropriate for 5th grade. It's about a rat's time in the Auschwitz concentration camp. This book is heavy, so I wouldn't have it available for students younger than 5th grade because it is about the concentration camps and that can be really dark and sensitive for kids. I don't know that I would have it in my classroom for elementary students. ( )
Continuing the story from Maus I, Art Spiegelman relates his father's experiences in several concentration camps and what happened to the survivors at the end of the war. This book is darker and more 'graphicly' depicts the deplorable conditions suffered by Jews and other groups the Nazi's imprisoned. The graphic comic also shows his interactions with a parent that is battling multiple illnesses and habits held over from his time in the camps.
Instead of trying to ban these books, I think they should be required reading for everyone.
This was a good second volume, though it was more about the present than the past (both the present of the characters, and the emotional rollercoaster the author hit after publishing the first one, which got a bit dicey and uncomfortable at times). I did not feel this volume packed as much punch, nor had much of anything in culminating or having any sort of ending, either in the past or the present. It just abruptly ended, which felt entirely anthithesis of the whole story about how nothing does end.
Once again, we see the relationship between Art Sjpiegelman and his father who never leaves his struggles behind. His father can't let anything go to waste because he couldn't as a Jew during WWII, which annoys Art. Families are difficult, and Art is honest in his portrayal of their strained relationship. He finishes telling his father's story and goes to his father's death.
Perhaps no Holocaust narrative will ever contain the whole experience. But Art Spiegelman has found an original and authentic form to draw us closer to its bleak heart.
By writing and drawing simply, directly and earnestly, Mr. Spiegelman is able to lend his father's journey into hell and back an immediacy and poignance... In recounting the tales of both the father and the son in "Maus" and now in "Maus II," Mr. Spiegelman has stretched the boundaries of the comic book form and in doing so has created one of the most powerful and original memoirs to come along in recent years.
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Wikipedia in English (2)
A memoir of Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and about his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his story, and history. Cartoon format portrays Jews as mice, Nazis as cats. Using a unique comic-strip-as-graphic-art format, the story of Vladek Spiegelman's passage through the Nazi Holocaust is told in his own words. Acclaimed as a "quiet triumph" and a "brutally moving work of art," the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegelman. The story succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. As the New York Times Book Review commented, "[it is] a remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness ... an unfolding literary event." This long-awaited sequel, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Vladek's troubled remarriage, minor arguments between father and son, and life's everyday disappointments are all set against a backdrop of history too large to pacify. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale--and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)940.53180922History and Geography Europe Europe 1918- World War II Social, political, economic history; Holocaust Holocaust History, geographic treatment, biography Holocaust victims biographies and autobiographies
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