I must admit I already knew much of what I wanted to say before I read this book. It’s no stranger to me for I have read it twice before. Reading these books again is like visiting an old friend, but “friend” seems the wrong term to use, for there is nothing friendly in the tale it has to tell.
Maus, written by Art Spiegelman, is actually not one book, but two. It is comprised of two volumes. My Father Bleeds History tells of Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, and his life a few years before the start of World War II, from the time he met his first wife, to living in the Jewish ghettoes as the Nazis took control, to his arrival at the gates of Auschwitz. And Here My Troubles Began is the account of Vladek’s life in the concentration camps and also of Spiegelman’s own life after the successful publication of the first volume.
These books also detail the difficult relationship between the author and his father. What I like about these graphic novels is that the author, in depicting his father, does not shy away from the more unpleasant qualities of his personality. He does not set out to make his father a saint, but to portray him as honestly as possible. His father can be stingy, suspicious, and critical, but when you read his story, you see where much of those feelings come from.
This book has been both praised and criticized for how the characters are drawn (Jews are portrayed as mice, Germans are portrayed as cats), but that characterization in no way lessens the impact of the story. To see characters beaten, shot, and even hung is just as disturbing, whether they look like mice or people. This is definitely not a book for young children.
That said, I still feel this book is worth reading, and it should be read. Maus does for literature (and yes, to those snooty-nosed purists, this is literature) what Schindler’s List does for movies. Some things you just have to see and some things you just have to read. (Incidentally, a good follow-up read is MetaMaus, which is the story behind the story of Maus.) For its harsh, yet honest, portrayal of life for the Jews under Nazi rule, there has been nothing to equal Maus in graphic novels before or since.
Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess
One of the benefits of living in a California coastal city is the ability to enjoy time at the beach. Whether you want to stroll along the promenade, surf, kiteboard or just people watch, Surfers Point at Seaside Park is a great place to go. If you want to get a little further out of the city, try the Rincon, just up the coast a few miles. Surfers come from all over the world because of the great waves along our coast. If you are interested in learning to surf or just want to find out more information about the sport and its variations, Foster Library has the materials you're looking for!
Ventura County Libraries now have a new bookdrop at Kimball Park! Drop your materials off at this convenient spot right across from the aquatic center. Make sure it is a library book from the Ventura County Libraries before dropping it in the box!
“Ventura Libraries Inside Out” happening at Ventura Community Park May 4, 11am-2 pm
Community members are invited to attend the first-ever fresh-air library outdoor event – Ventura Libraries Inside Out -- Saturday, May 4, from 11 am to 2 pm, at the Ventura Community Park, 901 South Kimball Road. Ventura’s libraries and their friends go “inside out” to share all things new and exciting happening inside and outside our city’s libraries.
Enjoy live music by the Jill Martini Soiree, storytelling and face painting for kids, a food truck and used book sale, and many other fun recreational family activities at this free event.
Haiku winners have been announced!! Thank you to everyone that participated. You blew us away with your beautiful poetry.
the puddle’s surface
each raindrop falls from one sky
In the morning light
Sits a damp, lonely flower,
Thankful for the dawn.
This week at Foster!
All events are free and open to the public.
Call 648-2716 for more information.
|5/1 Raising Confident, Competent Children 6:00 – 7:30 - Raising Children for families with children birth to 12 years old. Raising a child may be the hardest job you’ll ever have. Learn some tips to make your job easier and more rewarding!|
|5/2 Straight up Mortgage Talk 6:00-6:45 - Community class covering three primary steps to prepare responsibly for sustainable home ownership. The class will be led by educator and consumer advocate Elizabeth Alvarez.|
|5/2 Open Mic Night 7:00-8:30 – Bring your best work to share with the group. All writers welcome!|
|5/4 Libraries inside out - 11:00 -2:00 - Bring the family, pack a picnic and whet your appetite for all of the new and exciting things happening in and outside of Ventura’s libraries during our first-ever library outdoor event! Come to Kimball park to take part in the jolly jump, story time and much more.|
|5/4 Book Appétit - All About Tea 5:00-6:00 - Free tea tasting and talk. Come celebrate the joys of traditional hot tea and bring your teapot to show off!|
Charles Freericks will read from his hysterical book:
My Imaginary Friend Was Too Cool To Hang Out With Me
Mr. Freericks has enjoyed a successful career in television as an executive and executive producer. As a young boy he wasn't always popular. The journey from "loserdom" to popularity takes many an amusing turn in his collection of true stories about growing up in New Jersey.
For more information call the Ojai Library, 646-1639