Maus: A Survivor’s Tale


Author:  Art Speigelman

Title:  Maus A Survivor’s Tale My Father Bleeds History

Genre:  Alternative comic books; Autobiographies (Adult literature);  Graphic Novels (Non-fiction)

Publication Date:  1973

Number of Pages:  159

Geographical Setting: New York, Poland

Time Period:  1935-1958

Series (If applicable): Maus

Plot Summary:

Art Speigelman depicts the experiences of his father, Vladek Speigelman during World War II.  Vladek is a Polish Jew who lived through the Holocaust.  Vladek tells about the discrimination he faced, the work camp that he was taken to, his eventual release, hiding with another Polish family and the story of how he met Art’s mother.  The illustrations and dialogue in the story are simple yet powerful.  The Nazis and Germans are depicted as cats, the Jews are depicted as mice and the Polish people are depicted as pigs.  This is a great story of a father-son relationship in addition to hearing the plight of the Jewish people during this time.  This book is good for teens and adults as it takes a difficult topic and makes it more accessible to readers, while still maintaining the integrity of history.  This graphic novel is the first of two novels continuing the story of Vladek and Art.

Subject Headings:  Speigelman, Art; Speigelman, Vladek; Children of Holocaust survivors; Father and sons—Queens, New York City;  Holocaust, Jewish (1933- 1945)—Poland;  Jewish- Americans- Biography; Comic- book writers—Comic books, strips etc.

Appeal: Haunting, Moving, Sobering, easy, bleak, nostalgic, atmospheric, realistic, multiple points of view, detailed, accurate, historical details,

3 terms that best describe this book:

Haunting; Moving; historical details

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Persepolis: a story of a childhood By Marjane Satrapi (A graphic novel of a child growing up in Tehran during the Islamic revolution.  It also explores family and relationships).

Safe area Gorazde: the war in Eastern Bosnia  By Joe Sacco (A graphic novel that describes the lives of those living during the Bosnian War).

I was a child of Holocaust survivors  By Bernice Eisenstein (The author depicts her experiences of growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors and details her families’ memories of the war and the Holocaust).

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The contract with God trilogy: life on Dropsie Avenue  By Will Eisner (This is the story of Jewish people living in New York. This is a 3 part series.)

Adolf 1, a tale of the twentieth century  By Osama Tezuku

(This is a novel that portrays the stories of 3 Adolf’s, one that is Adolf Hitler.  This is the first book of a series.)

            The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay  By Michael Chabon

(The story of a refugee from Hitler’s Prague and the superhero adventures in New York).

Name:  Sara Bartels

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