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HPPR Radio Readers Book Club Presents Their Spring Read 2022: Graphic Novels—Worth a Thousand Words

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It's time for the new season of books, and we expect this one will really DRAW you in! Get ready for some illustrated works by some award-winning authors and artists.

If you love getting "drawn" in by HPPR Radio Readers Book Club's new selections for the forthcoming season, here's the "sketch" of your 2022 Spring Read: Graphic Novels—Worth a Thousand Words. Get lost in a world of pictures with these award-winning, personal narratives about growing up, looking back, & pushing forward.

Interested in participating? Please contact Kathleen Holt for more info about becoming a book leader and writing/recording an on-air BookByte reveiw! Thanks, readers! Here's a rundown of the books for this new season:

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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon Graphic Library)
by Marjane Satrapi
~ Paperback – Illustrated; June 1, 2004

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love

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Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home
by Nora Krug (Author)
~ Hardcover – October 2, 2018

* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award * Silver Medal Society of Illustrators

* Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Comics Beat, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal

*This “ingenious reckoning with the past” (The New York Times), by award-winning artist Nora Krug investigates the hidden truths of her family’s wartime history in Nazi Germany.

Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow over her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. Yet she knew little about her own family’s involvement; though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it. After twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier. In this extraordinary quest, “Krug erases the boundaries between comics, scrapbooking, and collage as she endeavors to make sense of 20th-century history, the Holocaust, her German heritage, and her family's place in it all” (The Boston Globe). A highly inventive, “thoughtful, engrossing” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) graphic memoir, Belonging “packs the power of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and David Small’s Stitches” (NPR.org).

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March: Book One Paperback
by John Lewis (Author), Andrew Aydin (Author), Nate Powell (Illustrator)
~ Paperback – Illustrated; August 13, 2013

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole). March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

"With March, Congressman John Lewis takes us behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In graphic novel form, his first-hand account makes these historic events both accessible and relevant to an entire new generation of Americans." — LeVar Burton

"A must-read monument... As Rep. Lewis continues to carry the civil-rights flame, this graphic achievement is a firsthand beacon that burns ever relevant today." — The Washington Post

"This memoir puts a human face on a struggle that many students will primarily know from textbooks… Visually stunning, the black-and-white illustrations convey the emotions of this turbulent time… This insider’s view of the civil rights movement should be required reading for young and old; not to be missed." — School Library Journal (starred review)

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March: Book Two
by John Lewis (Author), Andrew Aydin (Author), Nate Powell (Illustrator)
~ Paperback – Illustrated; January 20, 2015

Don't miss the long-awaited sequel to the #1 bestseller March: Book One! Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, continues his award-winning graphic novel trilogy with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, inspired by a 1950s comic book that helped prepare his own generation to join the struggle. Now, March brings the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world. After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence — but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the movement’s young activists place their lives on the line while internal conflicts threaten to tear them apart. But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy... and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the landmark 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

"A gripping visual experience that enhances the power of Lewis’s unforgettable tale." — Publishers Weekly

“Heroism and steadiness of purpose continue to light up Lewis's frank, harrowing account of the civil rights movement's climactic days... Powell's dark, monochrome ink-and-wash scenes add further drama to already-dramatic events.” — Kirkus Reviews

"[Lewis's] story is an essential piece of this country’s history, and March: Book Two brings it to the page with incredible power that makes this graphic novel an unforgettable read." — The AV Club

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March: Book Three
by John Lewis (Author), Andrew Aydin (Author), Nate Powell (Illustrator)
~ Paperback – Illustrated; August 2, 2016

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling March trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.

By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: "One Man, One Vote." To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.

With these new struggles come new allies, new opponents, and an unpredictable new president who might be both at once. But fractures within the movement are deepening ... even as 25-year-old John Lewis prepares to risk everything in a historic showdown high above the Alabama river, in a town called Selma.

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Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind (Vol. 1)
by Yuval Noah Harari (Author)
~ Paperback – Illustrated; October 27, 2020

The first volume of the graphic adaptation of Yuval Noah Harari's smash #1 New York Times and international bestseller recommended by President Barack Obama and Bill Gates, with gorgeous full-color illustrations and concise, easy to comprehend text for adult and young adult readers alike.

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

In this first volume of the full-color illustrated adaptation of his groundbreaking book, renowned historian Yuval Harari tells the story of humankind’s creation and evolution, exploring the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens challenges us to reconsider accepted beliefs, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and view specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Featuring 256 pages of full-color illustrations and easy-to-understand text covering the first part of the full-length original edition, this adaptation of the mind-expanding book furthers the ongoing conversation as it introduces Harari’s ideas to a wide new readership.

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Sapiens: A Graphic History, Volume 2: The Pillars of Civilization
by Yuval Noah Harari (Author)
~ Paperback – Illustrated; October 26, 2021

This second volume of Sapiens: A Graphic History, the full-color graphic adaptation of Yuval Noah Harari’s #1 New York Times bestseller, focuses on the Agricultural Revolution—when humans fell into a trap we’ve yet to escape: working harder and harder with diminishing returns.

What if humanity’s major woes—war, plague, famine and inequality—originated 12,000 years ago, when Homo sapiens converted from nomads to settlers, in pursuit of the fantasy of productivity and efficiency? What if by seeking to control plants and animals, humans ended up being controlled by kings, priests, and Kafkaesque bureaucracy? Volume 2 of Sapiens: A Graphic History–The Pillars of Civilization explores a crucial chapter in human development: the Agricultural Revolution. This is the story of how wheat took over the world; how an unlikely marriage between a god and a bureaucrat created the first empires; and how war, plague, famine, and inequality became an intractable feature of the human condition.

But it’s not all doom and gloom with this book’s cast of entertaining characters and colorful humorous scenes. Yuval, Zoe, Prof. Saraswati, Cindy and Bill (now farmers), Detective Lopez, and Dr. Fiction, all introduced in Volume 1, once again travel the length and breadth of human history, this time investigating the impact the Agricultural Revolution has had on our species. The cunning Mephisto shows them how to ensnare humans, King Hammurabi lays down the law, and Confucius explains harmonious society. The origins of modern farming are introduced through Elizabethan tragedy; the changing fortunes of domesticated plants and animals are tracked in the columns of the Daily Business News; the story of urbanization is portrayed as a travel brochure, offering discount journeys to ancient Babylon and China; and the history of inequality unfolds in a superhero detective story; with guest appearances by historical and cultural personalities throughout such as Thomas Jefferson, Scarlett O'Hara, Margaret Thatcher, and John Lennon.

Sapiens: A Graphic History, Volume 2 is a radical, witty and colorful retelling of the story of humankind for adults and young adults, and can be read on its own or in sequence with Volume I.

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Kathleen Holt has served High Plains Public Radio—in one way or another—since its inception in 1979. She coordinates the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club.