Art Spiegleman’s parents survived a Nazi concentration camp before moving to America. Years after his mother’s suicide, Art decides to tell his parents’ story in words and pictures, hoping that the bonding experience might ease some of the tension in his relationship with his father relationship. This Pulitzer Prize winning memoir captures Spiegleman’s struggle of growing up in the shadow of his parents’ past, as well as the poignant and heartbreaking story of Vladek and Anja Spieglman’s love and life in Nazi occupied Poland.
This is one of my favorite books, and I highly recommend it. It is written for adults, but I read it for the first time in 8th grade and appreciated it as much then as I do now. The reading level is not difficult, but the subject matter is heavy. I realize that some people do not like books in graphic novel (panel art/comics) format, but if you have never tried reading a graphic novel, or assume that graphic novels are limited to stories of superheroes or fantasy worlds, this is a superb graphic memoir to try. I cannot recommend it enough!
Spiegleman’s story is completed in Maus II.