International Literacy Association reviews The Strange

“More Graphic Novels” / International Literacy Worldwide / Carrie Thomas and Carolyn Angus / August 27, 2018

In his first book translated into English, Jérôme Ruiller (who was born in Madagascar and lives in France) tells the story of the journey of an undocumented immigrant. With a third-person narrative and paneled artwork of colored pencil drawings, Ruiller portrays the life of an unnamed oversized dog–person, one of “the stranges” in an unnamed country, from the points of view of individuals he encounters as he tries to adapt and survive in the city while under the constant threat of deportation. These individuals (animal–persons of various species) reflect a range of responses to the immigrant: indifference, fear, hostility, exploitation, kindness, and advocacy. The epilogue tells how he is put on a plane by authorities and returned to the country he left nine years earlier. This beautifully crafted graphic novel is realistic, universal, and timely. 

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