Breath of Bones is a golem story set in Poland. This graphic novel, which contains parts 1, 2, and 3 of a series, introduces us to a boy named Noah whose father has gone away to join the allied forces. Noah’s grandfather, who is his mentor and best friend, does not expect to see Noah’s father return alive.
One day, Noah and his father are set at odds when a British plane crashes nearby and Noah insists that they take the injured pilot in and help him get better. Noah’s grandfather fears this will bring the scrutiny of the German forces, and of course, he is correct. The grandfather gifts Noah with a family heirloom, a small figure made of clay and mud.
This graphic novel isn’t just an epic fight scene between Nazis and a traditional Jewish superhero: it is also an examination of the love between Noah and his grandfather. Both beautifully and powerfully drawn, this book could be enjoyed by ages 9 and up, but could particularly be useful as a supplement to a unit on MAUS, or in a religious studies context. Perfect for superhero-crazed middle schoolers, and more substantial.