War Brothers Share this with a friend

The Graphic Novel

by Sharon E. McKay and Daniel Lafrance
illustrated by Daniel Lafrance

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens List, Top Ten, YALSA Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Maverick Graphic Novel List, Texas Library Association USBBY Outstanding International Book Honor List Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, YALSA Independent Publisher Book Award, Gold Cybils Award finalist Book of the Year Award finalist, Foreword Reviews Eisner Award, Best Graphic Novel nomination Stellar Book Award nomination, B.C. Young Readers’ Choice Award

The unforgettable story of a child soldier.

When fourteen-year-old Jacob is brutally abducted and forced to become a child soldier, he struggles to hold on to his sanity and the will to escape.

Daniel Lafrance’s striking artwork and the poignant, powerful text capture the very essence of life as a child soldier. Readers will never forget the experiences of this young boy struggling to survive, unsure who to trust, afraid of succumbing to madness, and above all, desperate to get to freedom. In the end, Jacob engineers a daring escape.

This graphic novel is based on the acclaimed novel of the same title, winner of a 2009 Arthur Ellis award. The author spent time in Uganda and based this story on real-life accounts of the horrors inflicted on child soldiers and their victims. This is a story of unthinkable violence, but also one of hope, courage, friendship, and family.


“A truly important work that is well worth the read.”
—School Library Journal, *starred review, 03/13

“As upsetting as this story is—all the more for its basis in the ongoing reality for children still conscripted into the LRA—McKay doesn’t leave readers without a sense of hope.”
—Publishers Weekly, *starred review, 04/29/13

“A challenging, uncompromising work and, in its graphic form, a beautiful treatment of stark ugliness.”
—Quill and Quire, *starred review, 02/21/13

“Powerful storytelling based on documented experiences . . . it’s as relevant as ever.”
—Kirkus, 02/13

“His story has haunted me for weeks.”
—School Library Journal, Reaching Reluctant Readers, 03/13

“This title would be a great addition to any junior high or high school . . . Highly recommended.”
—Library Media Connection, 10/04/13

“A powerful narrative, densely layered.”
—Professionally Speaking, 06/15

“A great resource to have in any library collection.”
—VOYA, 04/01/14

“Tells in vivid and harrowing detail the story of children abducted to become soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.”
—Horn Book Magazine, 07/13

“This is a sorrowful and all-too-true story, but one that ends on a hopeful note.”
—Booklist, 04/13

“A great resource to have in any library collection.”
—VOYA, 08/13

“With its haunting images and powerful text, this is a story of spirit, friendship, loyalty, and courage.”
—Skipping Stones, 01/15

“Not an easy book to read but it is an important book . . . There is no shame in closing this book now. Please don’t. Read it, and then find someone to recommend it to.”
—Guys LitWire, 04/16/14

“It is essential that . . . teens be aware of what goes on in the world. That it is in graphic novel form makes the story more accessible to youth.”
—Libraries and Young Adults, 04/28/14

“One of the most powerful graphic novels of 2013.”
—Ich Liebe Comics!,11/10/13

“These components—strong story, powerful storyteller, talented artist—make for a winning combination.”
—January Magazine, 05/30/13

War Brothers is a truly important work both in the original version and in this graphic novel version.”
—CM Reviews, 09/13

“The book had clearly moved him [the author’s son], and he was ready to begin thinking about what violence can mean to real-life people—including children.”
—huffingtonpost.ca, 07/24/13

“This is poignant. Intriguing. Disturbing.”
—Tatal (Teens at the Arlington Public Library), 12/18/13

“Contains a powerful message about the redemptive power of hope and the resilience of individuals.”
—Reading Today Online, 06/12/13

“An unforgettable glimpse into child soldiers’ vivid and painful experiences.”
—Unshelved, 07/19/13

“Wow. Intense. Brutal. Moving . . . exceptional illustrations . . . masterful storytelling.”
—itsallcomictome.blogspot.ca, 05/19/13

“This is a must for the classroom.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 04/13

“Highly recommended, this is a story that is riveting to read as long as you are brave enough to continue turning the pages.”
—wakingbraincells.com, 04/19/13

“Very accurately portrays the criminality of adults who abduct kids to carry out crimes against humanity . . . This engrossing book . . . should be read by anyone wanting to know about Kony's LRA."
— Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (Retired), international child soldier advocate

“This is the kind of graphic novel everyone should read.”
—NetGalley, 02/24/13

“It’s done with such a delicate finesse that it offers a path to empathy without causing a kid to sink into depression about the implications and possibilities.”
—Reverse Direction, 03/08/13

“While capturing the horrific tragedy of the life of child soldiers, co-creators Sharon E. McKay and Daniel Lafrance also manage to offer inspiration: war decimates, and yet everlasting bonds can also be forged.”
—Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, BookDragon, 03/11/13

“Powerful historical fiction. It is an important story to tell, and this team has done so admirably.”
—Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 04/02/13

“A powerful graphic novel and a really good read.”
—Comic Book Resources, 02/13

“A fine job of making the stories of child soldiers accessible to younger teen readers without making it too overwhelming.”
—Amy’s Marathon of Books, 02/17/14

“Tells the story in a sensitive and appropriate manner.”
—From the Biblio Files, 03/25/14

“Everyone needs to read this book!”
—Book Snob, 08/12/14

“[An] important history lesson as well as exciting page-turner.”
—muskokaregion.com, 09/26/14

“An unflinching and brave look.”
—Finding Wonderland, 11/28/14

“A message of hope, courage, family and friendship.”
—Literacy, Families and Learning, 02/23/15

“A gritty read, graphic in its story premise, in its details, in its reality.”
—Canlit for Little Canadians, 06/01/13

“One of the best graphic novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading and is highly recommended!”
—Lower Columbia Review Group, 06/15

“Brutally raw.”
—It’s All Comic to Me, 10/17/15

“A haunting and grim tale. This would be a great lit circle book.”
—Strathcona Library, 10/26/15

—The Joplin Globe, 11/08/15

“One of the best graphic novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading and is highly recommended!”
—Lower Columbia Review Group, 06/15

“In the best tradition of the graphic novel, this one brings an immediacy and power to a story that will sear itself into the mind of every reader.”
—Eat the Book, 12/18/15