Amazona - Review
*The original genre was marketed as a children's graphic novel when I wrote this review. It was later changed to the Young Adult genre
I sort of went into this book blind, which wasn't what I expected. I thought I was getting a "based on a true story" surreal-like story, and it turns out this was a very real, heartbreaking situation in the deep Amazons in Columbia. Rather dark for a children's story.
"Andrea, a young Indigenous Colombian woman, has returned to the land she calls home. Only nineteen years old, she comes to mourn her lost child, carrying a box in her arms. And she comes with another mission. Andrea has hidden a camera upon herself. If she can capture evidence of the illegal mining that displaced her family, it will mark the first step toward reclaiming their land. This socially conscious thriller from graphic novelist Canizales examines the injustices of his home country in a stark, distinctive style."
I always try to pick up books dealing with social issues from different eras and parts of the world because sometimes I forget that life is bigger than my backyard. We hear about the unthinkable of the world, but we never take the time to sit, reflect, or take action on it. In this particular story, the audience saw an account of one of the tragedies in Columbia and the continuation of hardships afterward. A woman named Andrea travels back to her native land to bury her daughter in the home she was forced out of. She also had a secondary agenda to expose the unjust of how they were executed and banned from their lands.
The story was engaging, yet it also jumped all over the place. We could still piece together the bigger picture regarding the storytelling, but I wish it were more consecutive when the protagonist was telling her story. Honestly, I think this graphic novel would have done well as a book, and we could've gotten more detail. But I think what makes this book special is how it was drawn. The illustrations were rudimentary at best but still raw and gritty, and I think that helps capture the essence of this story.
Overall, I do not have a rating for this title. This story is not made for kids. But with the world's horrors being exposed in so many ways (i.e., The recent shooting at Uvalde), how can you shield the innocent from the evil? I can see this being categorized as a Young Adult, given the content and how it was narrated. I think teenagers would have a better understanding and grasp of processing what's going on in the story.