Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marzi: a memoir by Marzena Sowa

This is the first graphic novel that I have read. I thought I would read through it quickly, but it took me longer to read than a regular book because I enjoyed looking at all of the pictures.  It is a memoir, Marzi's story of growing up in communist Poland during the last 10 years of communism.  She shows what it was like to live under the communist regime from the viewpoint of a child.  She tells about standing in long lines at stores when they got one product in, and hoping that they did not run out before it was her family's turn to buy it.  She wonders about the constant grumbling of the adults and their unhappiness due to the political situation.  They had to sign in with her parent's bosses and march in the Labor day parade and smile and pretend to be happy. It was very frightening for her when her father went on strike with his company and did not come home for many days.  She illustrates her day to day life in Poland as well, of going to the family garden plots and orchards and harvesting produce and bringing it home and selling it.  She tells of visiting relatives and playing games and going to school and trying to find out what solidarity was and what it meant to her country.  She describes the quiet end to communism in her country followed by the others of the soviet bloc and the falling of the Berlin wall. 
I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!  I think it could be used in schools and that students would relate to Marzi and it would make history more real to them.
I got this book to read and review from Goodreads.

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