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In 1941 in occupied Paris, brothers Maurice and Joseph play a last game of marbles before running home to their father's barbershop. This is the day that will change their lives forever. With the German occupation threatening their family's safety, the boys' parents decide Maurice and Joseph must disguise themselves and flee to their older brothers in the free zone. Surviv In 1941 in occupied Paris, brothers Maurice and Joseph play a last game of marbles before running home to their father's barbershop. This is the day that will change their lives forever. With the German occupation threatening their family's safety, the boys' parents decide Maurice and Joseph must disguise themselves and flee to their older brothers in the free zone. Surviving the long journey will take every scrap of ingenuity and courage they can muster. If they hope to elude the Nazis, they must never, under any circumstances, admit to being Jewish. The boys travel by train, ferry, and on foot, facing threats from strangers and receiving help from unexpected quarters. Along the way they must adapt to the unfamiliar world beyond their city and find a way to be true to themselves even as they conceal their identities.


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In 1941 in occupied Paris, brothers Maurice and Joseph play a last game of marbles before running home to their father's barbershop. This is the day that will change their lives forever. With the German occupation threatening their family's safety, the boys' parents decide Maurice and Joseph must disguise themselves and flee to their older brothers in the free zone. Surviv In 1941 in occupied Paris, brothers Maurice and Joseph play a last game of marbles before running home to their father's barbershop. This is the day that will change their lives forever. With the German occupation threatening their family's safety, the boys' parents decide Maurice and Joseph must disguise themselves and flee to their older brothers in the free zone. Surviving the long journey will take every scrap of ingenuity and courage they can muster. If they hope to elude the Nazis, they must never, under any circumstances, admit to being Jewish. The boys travel by train, ferry, and on foot, facing threats from strangers and receiving help from unexpected quarters. Along the way they must adapt to the unfamiliar world beyond their city and find a way to be true to themselves even as they conceal their identities.

30 review for A Bag of Marbles: The Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I really liked this memoir, adapted by Kris in 2011 from the 1973 memoir by Joffo and translated by Edward Gauvin about Joffo's Jewish family's emigration from Paris as Nazi occupation made it increasingly dangerous to be there. Four sons, a mother and father, all proceed out of Paris in various ways, though our focus is on the youngest, Jo, 11, and Maurice, a little older, who are sent out of Paris (alone!) on a trip across Europe as danger ensues. There are several worries/pitfalls with Holoc I really liked this memoir, adapted by Kris in 2011 from the 1973 memoir by Joffo and translated by Edward Gauvin about Joffo's Jewish family's emigration from Paris as Nazi occupation made it increasingly dangerous to be there. Four sons, a mother and father, all proceed out of Paris in various ways, though our focus is on the youngest, Jo, 11, and Maurice, a little older, who are sent out of Paris (alone!) on a trip across Europe as danger ensues. There are several worries/pitfalls with Holocaust escape memoirs, in my opinion. One is the heroic Hollywood story, the unbelievable Hollywood thriller where everyone lives happily ever after. Even if it's true it is a problem as a story. But without revealing too much, let me just say that this does have it's thrilling and inspiring aspects, and yet is not perfect--shall we just say--for all family members. It has sadness in it even beyond the broad Holocaust horrors. And likable people, Jo and his family! I have read a LOT of Holocaust novels and memoirs, so have a tendency to be a little jaded at this point, but I was pretty completely captivated by this story and the warm and inviting watercolor illustrations. It's a comic, not a picturebook, probably intended for young adults, primarily, and should be used in schools! Very good stuff.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    As a teacher, I've watched graphic novels change the habits of reluctant readers. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to get some of my colleagues to treat them as the quality stories they often are. Bag of Marbles covers so many fronts. It's a stunningly told story about the relatively lucky families persecuted during WW2. This is a title that should accompany any unit covering the Holocaust. Secondly, just as with Little White Duck, the visual format enables both graphic novels and memoirs to f As a teacher, I've watched graphic novels change the habits of reluctant readers. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to get some of my colleagues to treat them as the quality stories they often are. Bag of Marbles covers so many fronts. It's a stunningly told story about the relatively lucky families persecuted during WW2. This is a title that should accompany any unit covering the Holocaust. Secondly, just as with Little White Duck, the visual format enables both graphic novels and memoirs to find a new audience. My students, the ones who tear through anything visual, will be opened up to a new dimension of thought about story. And, as I saw with Little White Duck, my highly able readers who previously saw GN as beneath them, will grow in their appreciation for this outstanding format.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    The things parents had to do to keep their children safe! Having them go out and fend for themselves? It's an incredible story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Raina

    This book totally impressed me. It surpassed my expectations. But then again, maybe I had the bar pretty low. I don't typically gravitate to holocaust stories (due to high exposure at a young age), and I'm always suspicious of adaptations and translated works - I fear dilution, what can I say. Ok, that's a grand generalization, but whatevs. Anyway, this was awesome. It's a different angle of World War II than I've read before, and the story is told really really well. Although the illustration st This book totally impressed me. It surpassed my expectations. But then again, maybe I had the bar pretty low. I don't typically gravitate to holocaust stories (due to high exposure at a young age), and I'm always suspicious of adaptations and translated works - I fear dilution, what can I say. Ok, that's a grand generalization, but whatevs. Anyway, this was awesome. It's a different angle of World War II than I've read before, and the story is told really really well. Although the illustration style is not my normal jam, the color makes it pop off the page, and I found myself feeling for this little kid as he was forced to lie his way across France. The adapter chooses moments which show rather than tell the story, and youthful vocabulary is translated well. Although this may not attract kids who are not already interested in stories of Europe during World War II, anyone would be wise to pick it up. Definitely recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    I read the memoir (English edition) about a year ago and loved it. The graphic version is charming, evocative, I would hazard to say beautiful, and brings the time and place uniquely to life. That said, the non-graphic book was a lot more detailed and I missed Joffo's often amused, sometimes terrified or bewildered, but always life-affirming narrative voice.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    An engaging, poignant graphic memoir about French Jewish children fleeing to Unoccupied France. Adapted from the French memoir by Joffo.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    This is an amazing book.... the story is pretty thrilling, fast-paced, and has some fantastic escapes in the dark and scary forest from evil Nazis. I realize there are some elements missing, but what is shorted it made up by the beautiful and so vivid artwork, just amazing. I would have never thought that a graphic novel could transcend the hardcovers of literature, but it can, and they do. The story is about Joseph Joffo's family and how they escaped occupied France and being sent to concentrat This is an amazing book.... the story is pretty thrilling, fast-paced, and has some fantastic escapes in the dark and scary forest from evil Nazis. I realize there are some elements missing, but what is shorted it made up by the beautiful and so vivid artwork, just amazing. I would have never thought that a graphic novel could transcend the hardcovers of literature, but it can, and they do. The story is about Joseph Joffo's family and how they escaped occupied France and being sent to concentration camps. While there are four brothers, two have entered adulthood are not the focus of the story. The story is about the journey of the younger brothers Maurice and Joseph who leave the family home ahead of the Nazis and travel across the country to the Zone Libre. The story is about the stolen childhood of these children I am now addicted to graphic novels! What a brilliant idea. 4 stars Happy Reading!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anna Morgenstern

    Beautiful artwork

  9. 4 out of 5

    ıllıllı αíndч ıllıllı

    It was a really good book about two Jewish boys who lived in France during World War 2.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Schwartzberg

    Years ago I read the original Sac des billes and enjoyed it so I was curious to see how it had been translated and adapted as a children's graphic novel. I received an eARC through NetGalley and while the artwork wasn't sharp like the final book will be, I definitely enjoyed reading it. It catches the spirit of cheerfully courageous survival in the face of terror and anguish that is so much a part of the original. It will also be a good window on an aspect of life during WWII that is not often c Years ago I read the original Sac des billes and enjoyed it so I was curious to see how it had been translated and adapted as a children's graphic novel. I received an eARC through NetGalley and while the artwork wasn't sharp like the final book will be, I definitely enjoyed reading it. It catches the spirit of cheerfully courageous survival in the face of terror and anguish that is so much a part of the original. It will also be a good window on an aspect of life during WWII that is not often covered in Jewish Holocaust novels, that of survival in everyday surroundings. I also appreciated that it mixed French and German phrases into the story along with their translations. Sometimes books are overtranslated, but this is a very good translation. Highly recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daisya Spencer

    In 1941, in Paris, France, Joesph and Maurice one day comes home bloodied from a fight and their father tells them that it's time for them to leave Paris and flee to where their older brothers live, in Italy because the German occupation is threatening the safety of their family. When I read the synopsis I expected the whole book to be about their travels, but it wasn't. I think around 30-something percent or so was when they made it, safely to where their brothers were, but then the family had In 1941, in Paris, France, Joesph and Maurice one day comes home bloodied from a fight and their father tells them that it's time for them to leave Paris and flee to where their older brothers live, in Italy because the German occupation is threatening the safety of their family. When I read the synopsis I expected the whole book to be about their travels, but it wasn't. I think around 30-something percent or so was when they made it, safely to where their brothers were, but then the family had to be on the move about two or three more times. I also did not know that this was actually based on the author, Joesph Joffo's, life for some odd reason when the character's name and the author's name are the same, but that was me being dumb. I feel bad judging a book that was based on someone's actual life, but there were moments that if he were to tell me this face-to-face, then I wouldn't believe it. There was a moment in the book where Joesph and Maurice ran into this kid named Raymond and he was able to help them cross but only if they delivered the meat to the rest of their route. For some reason that didn't seem believable to me at all. Also, sadly even though it was only 126 pages I was a bit bored with it and I wasn't a fan of the artwork. I do, however, liked how Joesph and Maurice were able to survive and care for themselves while they were fleeing. Overall, I thought this was an okay graphic novel, but at the same time, it was very inspiring to see Joesph tell his story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yari

    I’ve read many accounts of suffering and tragedy in concentration camps. This one is a little different because this family actually had the foresight to escape. I probably would have preferred the actual memoir. The graphic story comes across as too disconnected with wide, not well explained gaps in the story. The narrative is weak but the illustrations are beautiful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Shank

    I've only read a handful of graphic novels, and the only other WWII graphic novel I've read is Maus, which is one of my all time favorite books. This one would definitely be a good option for kids who love graphic novels but aren't into history. I loved the illustrations but overall felt the story was somewhat forgettable.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jalee Boucher

    I felt this book was confusing in some parts but otherwise it was really good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    This is a tough one for me to review because I had a few issues with it and frankly, found it boring. I have not read the memoir this graphic is adapted from so cannot compare. I've had a look at reviews of the original memoir to see what it's all about and it appears to be a book for adults, readable by high school age, and has received good reviews for being from the heart and for the message it brings to this generation of readers. It is however, noted as being "uneventful" and "not exciting" This is a tough one for me to review because I had a few issues with it and frankly, found it boring. I have not read the memoir this graphic is adapted from so cannot compare. I've had a look at reviews of the original memoir to see what it's all about and it appears to be a book for adults, readable by high school age, and has received good reviews for being from the heart and for the message it brings to this generation of readers. It is however, noted as being "uneventful" and "not exciting". Unfortunately, the graphic novel seems to have missed the mark. There is no message here and what we get is a rather humdrum cross country survival story of two brothers, mostly, though the family is included at times, that happens to occur during WWII and the family happens to be Jewish, though in name only. It is made evident that the family does not practice their religion, nor do the boys even know what Jewish is. The father admits to not knowing either giving a brief political description of Jews always being run out of their countries from the beginning of time, not ever mentioning the religious issue. The family's means of survival is to deny they are Jewish at any and all circumstances, come what may. The father even gives the boy a brief lesson in this denial by getting angry and slapping him while he still must deny it to him. Not that I'm saying anything against this, it's just that since the boys have been presented as not even knowing what Jewish is, it's hardly a difficult thing to deny in this. More pathos on this very real and troubling decision and choice that many Jews had to actually deal with spiritually would have been appreciated. The boy's adventure is not very exciting, they never are in danger of their lives, though their parents are, and we see them having a good time despite the hardships they endure. Don't get me wrong, this was all interesting but I can't help but think that the author's original story is not expressed here. The translator made many unfortunate choices of words, making the children sound as if they were 21st century boys; probably by not translating the French vernacular appropriately. Anyway, sad to say either the graphic novel lost the integrity of the memoir, or it's just the English translation. On the other hand I give kudos to Vincent Bailey for a beautiful piece of art work presented here which captures both the time period and the mood.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Muller

    This graphic novel follows Jo Joffo and his brother, Maurice through Nazi occupied France from 1941-1944. The story begins where the brothers only concern is losing her favorite shooting marble. Their world quickly changes when Nazi soldiers arrive at his father's barber shop and orate their hatred of Jews. The father knows his children's only hope is to leave Paris, and move to the 'free' or 'safe' region of France. Jo and Maurice use their clever methods as the live on the run for several year This graphic novel follows Jo Joffo and his brother, Maurice through Nazi occupied France from 1941-1944. The story begins where the brothers only concern is losing her favorite shooting marble. Their world quickly changes when Nazi soldiers arrive at his father's barber shop and orate their hatred of Jews. The father knows his children's only hope is to leave Paris, and move to the 'free' or 'safe' region of France. Jo and Maurice use their clever methods as the live on the run for several years. Take time to examine the graphics of this novel (double tap to zoom in to the frames.) It illustrated the landscapes, fear, exhaustion, and innocence lost. It is important to examine the faces of the characters because the power of this tale is through the illustration and the short but clear dialogue between characters. The illustrations do a wonderful job of avoiding stereotypes, and provide a realistic view of what an everyday Jewish person acted and looked. This book would be a wonderful option for students while studying WWII. It presents the reality everyday people faced, the struggles of the Jews not in the concentration camps, and the desire for families to survive. I rated this book 4/5 starts and used the Database for Award Winning Children's Literature.

  17. 5 out of 5

    KatieS

    Although I typically enjoy World War II literature, I was fairly unimpressed with this book. I used the DAWCL database in order to find this book. It won the Society of School Librarians Honor in 2010. The story, although true, seemed to be told hastily without much of a plot line. It was a true story of Jo Joffo's experience during the war, but there didn't seem to be much of interest that actually happened to Joffo- he was held for a time in a jail, got sick, but that was about as bad as it got Although I typically enjoy World War II literature, I was fairly unimpressed with this book. I used the DAWCL database in order to find this book. It won the Society of School Librarians Honor in 2010. The story, although true, seemed to be told hastily without much of a plot line. It was a true story of Jo Joffo's experience during the war, but there didn't seem to be much of interest that actually happened to Joffo- he was held for a time in a jail, got sick, but that was about as bad as it got for him. I was glad to see that the Joffo family was able to be reunited at the end of the war. However, I wasn't terribly connected to the characters, so while I was glad, I wasn't terribly moved that they all survived. This novel was originally written in French and I am curious if the translation is part of my problem with it. Perhaps a better translation, or reading it in its original French, would help it make more of an impact.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    Vincent Bailly has cobbled a beautifully illustrated graphic novel based on Joseph Joffo's memoir of the same name. The book starts with 2 brothers playing marbles and segues into the frightening travel they must undertake to evade the Nazis wanting to eliminate the Jews. The journey they experience takes them from Paris in the Occupied Zone to at least two different locations in the Free Zone and eventually to Nice (almost Italy). Free Zone was a very misleading description, though. In the "Free Z Vincent Bailly has cobbled a beautifully illustrated graphic novel based on Joseph Joffo's memoir of the same name. The book starts with 2 brothers playing marbles and segues into the frightening travel they must undertake to evade the Nazis wanting to eliminate the Jews. The journey they experience takes them from Paris in the Occupied Zone to at least two different locations in the Free Zone and eventually to Nice (almost Italy). Free Zone was a very misleading description, though. In the "Free Zone", the French Police were under the thumb of the Nazis and relentlessly pursued the Jews as well. The illustrations are VERY well drawn and the navigation provided by Kindle allows the reader to see one panel at a time. I was very impressed with the story line and the navigation. Thank you Goodreads Friend Maria for making me aware of this story. 5 stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    This graphic novel tells the interesting story of two brothers and their trip to safety out of occupied territory during World War II. While the story was compelling enough to keep me going, the review copy I was sent had poor quality illustrations that were pixeled out, but the idea I got from the cover art was that of pleasant watercolors. Could be used with kids in grades 3-7.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wally

    Fantastically told tale of two Jewish boys sent by their parents away from Nazi-occupied Paris to find their brothers in free France. Based on a memoir by Joffo, the story telescopes much time into a little over 100 pages with watery watercolors. The opening scene at the Jewish barbershop run by their father is incredibly tense.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars This is a nice world war II graphic memoir done in a water-color art style.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Josie

    The book I read is called Bag of Marbles and it is about World War 2 and the Nazis. Imagine it is 1940 and you live in Paris, France and you are a young boy who loves to play marbles with his friends. Then 1941 comes and the Nazis have came to Paris and taken over because of this you have had a huge chunk of your childhood taken from you. This is exactly what happened to Joseph and Maurice. Since you are so young before the Nazis came you had no idea what it meant to be a Jew until you had to be The book I read is called Bag of Marbles and it is about World War 2 and the Nazis. Imagine it is 1940 and you live in Paris, France and you are a young boy who loves to play marbles with his friends. Then 1941 comes and the Nazis have came to Paris and taken over because of this you have had a huge chunk of your childhood taken from you. This is exactly what happened to Joseph and Maurice. Since you are so young before the Nazis came you had no idea what it meant to be a Jew until you had to be forced to wear a yellow star. Since you are against wearing the yellow star that tells everyone that you are different from them you decided to trade your friend the star for a bag of marbles. Being a Jew is very hard during this time for you. Since your father and mother care for you so much and they don't want you getting hurt and maybe even getting taken they decided to have you leave with your brother to get away. Their father the owner of a hairdressing salon tells them what they have to do when they leave. Despite having to leave their home and parents because of their identity as jews they are told by their father if anyone asks if you're Jewish you always answer with no. You and your brother are attempting to escape from Hitler just one problem every time you get to a new city Hitler and his men seem to always be right behind you. You travel through northern France to southern France. You then cross the Demarcation line very late at night with the help of a guy named Raymond. Once into the safe in France you travel to a place where you spend an amazing day at the sea which you have never seen before in your life. You then meet up with your brothers that you spend 4 months with. Then after the 4 months you have to leave because your parents are waiting for you in another city. After the summer ends you have to leave again because unfortunately the Italians have surrendered and then the Germans have arrived in the safe where you are. You then decide to flee for a boys camp. You and your brother are safe here for a while and make some friends while you are there. Then one day you and your brother have to accompany the lorry driver into Nice. While doing this something happens that was unintentional and unexpected. To figure out what happens you are going to have to read the book to find out. This book was very enjoyable. The pictures helped a lot to tell the story which I really liked about it because I feel like pictures with a book explaining something really helps to visualize it better. I also really liked how it told the story from the perspective of the two boys and what it was like for kids during that time. Having it told from that perspective helped because I am very close in age to them and that showed what it could have been like for me if I lived back when all of this happened. After reading this book I would definitely try to find other books by this author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelsie

    The book A Bag of Marbles is real story in the 1940s during Hitler's rule over Germany. It is about ten year-old Joseph Joffo and his brother Maurice who are Jewish and are living in Paris, France. They are living in the Occupied Zone, which means that there are a lot of German soldiers. Their parents tell them to go Dax, France, which is in the Free Zone and there are not a lot of German soldiers. The brothers go on the journey, dodging danger as they make it to Dax where their older brothers a The book A Bag of Marbles is real story in the 1940s during Hitler's rule over Germany. It is about ten year-old Joseph Joffo and his brother Maurice who are Jewish and are living in Paris, France. They are living in the Occupied Zone, which means that there are a lot of German soldiers. Their parents tell them to go Dax, France, which is in the Free Zone and there are not a lot of German soldiers. The brothers go on the journey, dodging danger as they make it to Dax where their older brothers are. For some months they live a good life there. But are they entirely safe from the German soldiers? What about their parents? A Bag of Marbles in a fantastic book to read. It may have a lot of pages but the artwork is great and there are really interesting things in there. They translated French and German words into the English, and you can find out what they mean at the bottom of the page or in the glossary. There is also history of France being under German occupation in simpler words in the back of the book. When I read the book, I learned more about just the Jewish people getting persecuted. I learned that France was split up and that Jewish families had to give moving around from place to place until they found safe shelter from the Germans. I would recommend this book to people who love adventure stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    What a great story! @ boys and their family having to deal with the Nazi overthrow of France. While the family tree may have started off Jewish they are not practicing Jews and have no real identity as Jewish. Their mother is Catholic and their father says he is not really sure what he is. But, because of the last name, they are Jewish in the eyes of Nazi Germany. The 2 youngsters are sent , on their own, to travel to Vichy France when the Germans occupy Northern France. It is a great story in a What a great story! @ boys and their family having to deal with the Nazi overthrow of France. While the family tree may have started off Jewish they are not practicing Jews and have no real identity as Jewish. Their mother is Catholic and their father says he is not really sure what he is. But, because of the last name, they are Jewish in the eyes of Nazi Germany. The 2 youngsters are sent , on their own, to travel to Vichy France when the Germans occupy Northern France. It is a great story in a time of great sorrow for Europe. They come of age early because they have to. But the family, even when not [hysically together, shows the strength of the love they have for one another. Based on a true story it really would be a good way to give a youth a look at how some people had to survive by being creative. There are moments of fun as well so it is not a dark story. The illustrations were very good as well.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paterson Dave

    my gf brought the video from the library. it was the second time they filmed this story. she reads the saddest books about africa, thought this would be much sadder, but the story was very well done, and we all know how many of my people were lost before the end of the war. this story is a MEMOIR, and not a fiction, and jo and his brother maurice had many amazing moments. after watching the video, i got the book from the library and finished it in three days. how much you enjoy it depends on how my gf brought the video from the library. it was the second time they filmed this story. she reads the saddest books about africa, thought this would be much sadder, but the story was very well done, and we all know how many of my people were lost before the end of the war. this story is a MEMOIR, and not a fiction, and jo and his brother maurice had many amazing moments. after watching the video, i got the book from the library and finished it in three days. how much you enjoy it depends on how you feel about the outcome of ww2, but i loved it. i recommended it to a book freak friend back east and he requested the 'graphic novel' from his library. i told him either see the movie or get the real book. this is not 'maus', and is well enough written that a comic book approach will not show you the depth of his writing, even though it is translated. i liked it a lot.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenna West

    I absolutely LOVED this book! This is a really great way to teach teens about the Holocaust and show how families were affected front he war. It was an easy read and I had to finish it all in one sitting, because I wanted to know if Jo’s family would all make it through the many Nazi raids throughout the book. It was both inspiring and heart breaking to read about the troubles two young brothers (Jo and Maurice) went through during their childhood, as a result of the war and Nazis. The illustrat I absolutely LOVED this book! This is a really great way to teach teens about the Holocaust and show how families were affected front he war. It was an easy read and I had to finish it all in one sitting, because I wanted to know if Jo’s family would all make it through the many Nazi raids throughout the book. It was both inspiring and heart breaking to read about the troubles two young brothers (Jo and Maurice) went through during their childhood, as a result of the war and Nazis. The illustrations were amazing and very well suited for a historical graphic novel. Again, I loved this book and think it would be a great addition in schools to give teens another platform while learning about the Holocaust.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    Probably more like a 2.5, but I feel bad about giving it a low rating, given that these things actually happened to someone and were probably pretty terrifying. Someone else pointed out that parts of the story may have been lost in translation, and I definitely think that could be the case, but this particular telling if the tale feels choppy and disconnected. The ending especially seems rushed, and the overall narrative is somewhat hard to follow. The illustrations are ok, but not remarkable. A Probably more like a 2.5, but I feel bad about giving it a low rating, given that these things actually happened to someone and were probably pretty terrifying. Someone else pointed out that parts of the story may have been lost in translation, and I definitely think that could be the case, but this particular telling if the tale feels choppy and disconnected. The ending especially seems rushed, and the overall narrative is somewhat hard to follow. The illustrations are ok, but not remarkable. Also, I kept waiting for the title to have some significance (early in the story, Jo trades his Star of David for a bag of marbles, which I was sure would turn out badly for the other boy), but it never did.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    This graphic memoir tells the true story of Joseph and Maurice Joffo, young French brothers, who spent 1941-1945 on the run in France trying to escape the grasp of the invading Nazis. The Joffo family has to divide in twos and Jo and Maurice are quite young when they’re sent away from the parents in order to hide. They repeatedly escape the Germans by hiding their Jewish ancestry and bravely learning to fend and provide for themselves from boyhood. The watercolor illustrations are nice and the s This graphic memoir tells the true story of Joseph and Maurice Joffo, young French brothers, who spent 1941-1945 on the run in France trying to escape the grasp of the invading Nazis. The Joffo family has to divide in twos and Jo and Maurice are quite young when they’re sent away from the parents in order to hide. They repeatedly escape the Germans by hiding their Jewish ancestry and bravely learning to fend and provide for themselves from boyhood. The watercolor illustrations are nice and the storyline is easy enough to follow, and [spoiler alert] though the ending is happy it’s also a bit abrupt and anticlimactic after their years on the run.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    ***SPOILERS*** A Bag of Marbles is one of the best WWII/Holocaust stories I have read so far. It takes place in France in 1945, when the Germans were almost done with the war. At the end of the book, the family ends up together, since they were all around the country. Everyone thinks that they are Jewish, but in reality, they were Russians that moved to France. They aren't Jewish, yet they have to run from the Germans.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin THE BEST

    The illustrations is good.The part i like was when it show the boys on there trip.And the encounters they had along the way. I wish there where more background information about the event. Apart form that this book is good if you don't like to read a lot and the illustration is really really good. plus the style is like a comic book so it doesn't feel like your reading a long boring .

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