Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book talk: A Game for Swallows by Zeina Abirachad

Most of you have been at home alone while you waited for your parents to return home, right? It’s a fairly typical teen experience. But what if you had no way of contacting your parents when they were gone? What if you worried they’d get hit by sniper fire when returning home? In this graphic novel, Zeina drew us a map of how tricky it was to avoid the sniper near their apartment. 
Avoiding the sniper in A Game for Swallows

And what if the block and the area you lived in got bombed so regularly that all your neighbors would come join you in the foyer of your apartment because it was considered the safest spot? Imagine living with all your neighbors in a tiny room for hours and hours and even days. It’s a hard way to live, but Zeina and her little brother have grown up with this. They live in Beirut, Lebanon, during a time of civil war, a civil war which dragged on from 1975-1990. They know of people who have disappeared and were never seen again. But there’s humor in this novel: her neighbors – virtually family since they live in close quarters – are protective, loving, and quirky. If your world shrank to one room, would you be able to laugh?

A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return by Zeina Abirached. Graphic novel. 188 p. Booktalk to middle school, high school.

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