Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lily Renee: Escape Artist by Trina Robbins

When Lily Renée was a young girl, she had a wonderful life in Vienna. She went to the ballet and the opera and lived in comfort with her parents. Then, as the Nazi Party came to power, things started to change. Jewish people were separated from the rest of the population. People treated them differently...and then violently. Afraid for her life, Lily's family agreed to send her to live with her pen pal in England. Then, while there, England went to war with Germany, and Lily's life changed again. Fighting for her freedom at every turn, Lily struggled to be united with her family. Once in America, she did different jobs before gaining fame as a comic book artist - a job not usually held by women. This is the story of how Lily Renée faced all of the obstacles in her life and never gave up on believing in herself.

Books that deal with World War II and the Holocaust are not rare in children's library collections, but they should definitely clear some space for this book. The path that Lily's life takes is so clearly laid out, from the small details to the bigger historical events. The art is beautiful and fitting of its subject; it has an historical feel to it, but does not look old. The end of the book has pages to explain some of the historical details (everything from concentration camps to money to Automats). The book is a glimpse into Lily Renée's life and not an exhaustive biography, but it's enough to make me want to learn more about this woman, artist, and survivor.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley Cartoons from 1913-1940 edited by Trina Robbins
Bessie Coleman: Daring Stunt Pilot by Trina Robbins
Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine

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