Illegal — 8 Comments

  1. Many of my students, including my own daughter, enjoy graphic novels. So I was excited to give this one a try. I may be in the minority, but I did not enjoy this one. It was very dark with all of the death and dying aspects. Also, lots of historical information that kids may not know and would need some background knowledge to gain a greater underestanding of the text. Maybe could be used in a Social Studies class? 3/5 stars.

  2. I just finished the book Illegal by Eoin Colfer. I did not like this book, despite it being a graphic novel, I felt the content was very dark. Even though I did not like the book, the author did a great job of pulling me into the book and feeling Ebo’s feelings. I felt for Ebo. I could feel his desperation, being terrified, and his heartbreak. Graphic novels are so popular with kids these days, knowing this was a graphic novel I would have purchased it with out a second thought. However I”m so glad I read it, I’m hesitate about purchasing it for my library. The content is heavy and dark. I feel this book would have to be highlighted to the kids and caution them on the content of it. Most kids would just grab it and read it because of the graphic novel part and may not be ready to read content like that. I would rate this book a 2 and would not recommend this for classroom or pleasure reading. However I’m open to hearing other opinions about this book.

  3. I thought that this was a good story. Ebo is a very likeable character and I enjoyed the graphic novel format. It deals with current events and could be a good discussion book.

  4. I really enjoy reading graphic novels, particularly realistic and historical fiction graphic novels. I find them to be a really effective tool for communicating the setting and concurrent surrounding events that, for me, and be easy to forget or difficult to fully imagine in standard novel format. “Illegal” was no different for me. These stories are ones that we’re all familiar with from the news, UN reports, and the like, but again the magnitude of the harsh conditions is difficult to clearly communicate and thus comprehend.

    “Illegal” effectively portrays the harsh realities of migrants fleeing Africa for a better life in Europe. I think this book would be a good opportunity for older students to learn about the migrant experience as it relates to global issues, but also as it also potentially relates to their classmates and peers. When using this book with students, I would be purposeful in allowing for the opportunity to discuss the book and current events.

    Overall rating: 5/5

  5. What a powerful story. From the opening quote from a Holocaust survivor until the end, this book definitely kept my interest. That being said, the subject matter was very dark. The subject of refugees is a very hot topic in the world today, and unfortunately has been a reality for some of our students. It borders on inappropriate for this age level in my opinion. For example, the word brothel is used. While students might not know what a brothel is, I encourage my students to seek out the definitions of words them come across and do not know. I found the page with pictures of different refugees explaining their reasons for fleeing very moving. I go back and forth in my mind whether or not I would use this book or include it in my classroom library. It’s very harsh, but it’s reality. I would give it 5 stars.

  6. Eoin Colfer left his normal fantasy work to dabble in the realm of realistic fiction through the use of the ever popular graphic novel. When I cracked open this book, I was actually shocked to discover it was a graphic novel. Right away, that was a turn-off for me, as graphic novels are usually not my first choice, nor my first recommendation for students. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. It is a very “dark” novel, because of the terrible plight of refugees. There are very suttle hints of trafficking of varying trades. While I would not use this as a read a loud, I will have it on my shelf in September, and will do a book talk about it, and all the books I read for my students this summer. I will allow my students to choose whether or not they delve into this book or not.

  7. Illegal is a beautiful and heart-rending graphic novel. While I can’t say I enjoyed reading it, I am glad I did. The authors follow the journey of young Ebo from Libya to Italy. Ebo, in search of his sister and a safe future is a sort of “everyman” in relation to the struggles people are facing in many locations in this world. Although the terrors Ebo experiences in his flight to a safer place seem over-the-top, just watching the news tells us his story is all to common. The graphic format is lovely and I think it makes the subject matter come to life. I believe that this novel may promote a better understanding of the plight of refugees and others making a desperate attempt to start a new life. I think it would be appropriate for upper elementary grades through high school as a supplement to studies of current events. 5 stars.