STARRED REVIEW
August 2018

One boy’s journey

By Andrew Donkin & Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano

We’ve all heard news reports about refugees fleeing their homes for any number of reasons in search of a better life. And for most of us, once the news report ends, so do our thoughts about their lives. But Illegal does something special—it forces readers to stop and consider the humanity of the people who are so often portrayed as mere statistics.

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We’ve all heard news reports about refugees fleeing their homes for any number of reasons in search of a better life. And for most of us, once the news report ends, so do our thoughts about their lives. But Illegal does something special—it forces readers to stop and consider the humanity of the people who are so often portrayed as mere statistics.

Twelve-year-old Ebo is determined to make it out of his poor village in Ghana. His older sister and brother have already fled, so Ebo decides to slip away and risk everything to cross the Sahara Desert and the unforgiving sea in hopes of making it to Europe. More of Ebo’s history is revealed through flashbacks as the narrative jumps between his current situation—floating helplessly on a slowly deflating life raft—and the pivotal moments of his life in Ghana.

With Illegal, writers Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) and Andrew Donkin—along with award-winning illustrator Giovanni Rigano—have created a gripping account of a 21st-century refugee’s experience. This vivid, powerful graphic novel, drawn from original interviews with undocumented immigrants, asks the reader to take in someone else’s plight, and then leaves them with a new sense of empathy, understanding and compassion.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Illegal

Illegal

By Andrew Donkin & Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN 9781492662143

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