Sarah's Stars

Art Spiegelman.  Maus: A Survivorís Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Pantheon Books  $21.00  ISBN 0-394-74723-2  159 pg.
Reviewed by Sarah, Age 15

None of us can even begin to imagine the devastation that the Nazis caused. Artie, a young writer, is trying to extract the story from his father, who had been in a concentration camp and knows exactly what it was like. As he and his father struggle with each other, his father reminisces of the horrors of the war.

Unlike most stories about the Holocaust this one isn't written with people as the characters, instead they are all mice, in particular, two mice - a young aspiring writer and his father. Therefore there are two plots, the story about surviving the Holocaust and the young mouse learning to live with his father.

Art Spiegelman has done an excellent job on this graphic novel. MAUS won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award. I found the art a little more difficult to read than some of the other graphic novels I have read, but I think it suited the story. This is a format in which I have never had Holocaust information presented before: the Jews were mice and the Nazis were cats.

I think that this novel deserves four stars because of the difficulty in understanding some of the plot and pictures. I was very disappointed in the ending. I am guessing that it was left hanging in anticipation of a second book, but I think that a better place to leave off could have been chosen.


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