Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book review: Heart Transplant by Andrew Vachss

Heart TransplantHeart Transplant by Andrew Vachss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Author and attorney Andrew Vachss has been a passionate advocate for children both as an author and lawyer. This is a new approach for him, collaborating on a graphic novel aimed primarily at teenagers (but anybody could benefit from its message.) Working with illustrator Frank Caruso, Vachss tells the story of a young man who is beaten and bullied by his step-father and other children. After his mother and step-father are murdered, he is taken in by the man's father, a hard man with a heart of gold. Both the old man and the young man learn from each other and develop a deep and unexpected bond. The hard man is a stand-up guy who places himself in danger as part of a plot to make the younger man break out of his shell and stop the bullying once and for all. This is a very touching coming of age story that deals with loyalty, dignity and heart in a way that people of all ages can understand. The artwork and the text blend perfectly and this is a very thoughtful and well written story. There is a lengthy essay at the end of the graphic novel portion of the book by caseworker Zak Mucha that speaks candidly about the nature of bullying and the trauma it causes for children. With this topic very much in the news it is a timely reminder that we all must be vigilant about making sure no one is marginalized and left out.

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Heart Transplant - amazon.com

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