Graphic Literature as a Mirror of Current Events with Deogratias
From the first prehistoric man to depict the great hunt on a cave wall, to the Egyptians' use of hieroglyphics, graphic literature has also been a tool for portraying history. One of the most harrowing and horrific events in recent history, the Rwandan Genocide during the 1990s, may not be as well known as the Holocaust, but is just as important in teaching us about the atrocities mankind is capable of.
The award-winning graphic novel, First Second Books' Deogratias, is an example of literature that is able to shed light on historical events shrouded in darkness. Because your students may not be familiar with the time period depicted, the novel (which has received raves in School Library Journal and Booklist, as well as Starred Reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review) can both inform and enlighten
Additionally, make sure to assign the book's introduction, "From the Depths," by translator Alexis Siegel. At 10 pages, the introduction is an excellent overview of the events depicted and also provides the proper context for the story itself.
Sample Reflection Questions:
See below for information on the graphic novel used for this lesson plan. For more information on this and other titles for your school or library, please contact Allan Greenberg by phone at (800) 452-6642, ext. 864, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEOGRATIAS: A TALE OF RWANDA