AUTHOR: Brian K. Vaughan
ILLUSTRATOR: Niko Henrichon
LETTERING: Todd Klein
PUBLISHER: Vertigo (an imprint of DC Comics)
GENRE: Animal Fantasy
FORMAT: Trade paperback
COLOR: Full color
Inspired by a true story, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD follows the struggle for survival of four lions freed from the Baghdad zoo after the US invasion in 2003.
PRIDE OF BAGHDAD is not about the lions or the zoo or the war in Iraq, but rather it is about survival, life, freedom, and in the hands of Vaughan the story becomes a piece of unforgettable modern literature and is well deserving of the designation of “classic”.
This is comic realism at its best. Henrichon’s desert-hued palette brings the setting alive, ripe with the smell of sand and the piercing heat of the sun baking the back of the neck.
My Rating: High School
Publisher’s Rating: Mature readers
School Library Journal’s Rating: Grade 9 and older
Considering the mature themes of the book, this is only appropriate for serious students who wish to study real literature and make deep connections.
There is some language along with animal procreation, pain and sorrow, blood and death.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Despite the mature themes, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD is worthy of study, even in a public school setting. However, it should be reserved for the serious, mature student and the literature or an advanced social studies classroom. It’s good. It’s great. It’s just not for everyone.
A hardcover edition is also available.
Recommended with Strong Reservations
I offer strong reservations because the book will likely be controversial especially in some communities, and it is certainly not appropriate for just any high school classroom. But it could be, and should be, used in the right circumstances.
Warning: My son just finished the book (and I did as well). Did not like the lioness "rape" scene. And was a little put off when another female lioness wispered "Take me now!" to her male companion! Book would have been just as good with out the sexuality.
i am having a hard time understanding why this book is acceptable in a junior high library for the same scenes mentioned on the previous post.
@Spencerd: Both The Graphic Classroom and School Library Journal rated this book for high school. The publisher gave it a Mature Readers rating.
I am surprised that you are put off by the "rape" scene, but not by the scene of a giraffe being graphically decapitated by a fly-over attack! There are some elements that could be useful when teaching critical literacy or perspective (see my blog review and lesson ideas at http://misstforteachers.blogspot.com/2011/02/collection-of-graphic-novels-focused-on.html) but was disappointed by the one-dimensionality of this book. Not enough redeeming quality here to warrant my praise.
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