________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 11. . . .November 15, 2013

cover

The Road to Afghanistan.

Linda Granfield. Illustrated by Brian Deines.
Toronto, ON: Northwinds Press/Scholastic Canada, 2013.
32 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-1356-4.

Subject Headings:
Canada-History, Military-Juvenile fiction.
Soldiers-Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-8 / Age 7-13.

Review by Lara LeMoal.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

But on one hot summerís day, on a battlefield that was once glorious with ripening wheat, an explosion changed his life.

 

The Road to Afghanistan is a uniquely Canadian story of common soldiers, historical and present-day. With a measured, deeply felt tone, and a quietly surprising ending, this insightful picture book presents the story of a soldierís experience.

internal art     Illustrations by Brian Deines ensure its emotional expressiveness. His paintings are oil on linen, and the depth and texture of those media are fitting to the difficult, intimate topic it explores. They are somehow dreamlike: colourful scenes, always resting on the edge of dawn or dusk, blurring the distance that would otherwise rest between the familial generations depicted in the story.

      These images are effectively paired with a simple, direct, and eloquent text. Linda Granfield writes a first-person account from the perspective of an unnamed protagonist whose words relate the impact of war on one family.

      The Road to Afghanistan neither glorifies war nor condemns it. It is, rather, the voice of one soldier attempting to speak for many. At its core, it is a story about family, and about the strong, if seemingly invisible, connections that span generations.

      This picture book prompts us to recognize the detachment created by time, to remind us of forgotten histories and personal stories. The Road to Afghanistan helps us to remember: war remains a part of our lives - any war, all wars.

Recommended.

Lara LeMoal, who holds an MA in Childrenís Literature from the University of British Columbia, is a writer, an editor and a teacher living in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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