Abirached, Zeina. I Remember Beirut. Minneapolis: Graphic Universe, 2014. 978- 1467738224. 96p. $29.27. Gr. 9-12.
Zeina Abirached wrote and illustrated a beautiful graphic memoir about her time growing up in Beirut, Lebanon, during the civil war between neighboring Christians and Muslims. Many of her memories are especially powerful because they are seen through the eyes of a child. Her view of ordinary life during extraordinary times is heartbreakingly real. One memory in particular that stands out is her brother’s collection of shrapnel from the bombings, and how he enjoyed finding new and unusual pieces.
The memoir is told using bold black and white beautifully drawn and detailed images. The language is also simple and real with many 1980s pop culture references. Although this graphic memoir is about one little girl’s view of the war around her, it can also be seen as a reflection of what so many children in the world face in their own lives as they wake up to the conflict around them and just try to live their lives and be safe with their families.
Graphic Memoir Marian Kohan, Erie School District