One of the books our soon-to-be ten year old will be recieiving in his Easter basket this year is the powerful story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann’s WWII experiences which is now available as a graphic biography. (For older readers I highly recommend The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, OFM.) I was sent a review copy of this new version last year and asked my husband to preview it, and type up a short review to share with you all, but I never got around to posting it here on the blog… Here it is now:
A twenty-two year old German seminarian is drafted into Hitler’s SS; facing nazi hostility towards his religion, deadly military actions, and doubts from Church superiors, Gereon Goldmann nevertheless will pursue the Sacrament of Holy Orders – or die trying. This is the true story of Gereon Goldmann and the incredible account of his experiences in answering God’s calling. Drafted into the German army four years from ordination, Gereon crosses paths with Sister Solana May, the sacristan who taught him how to serve mass. With unwavering faith and zeal she is convinced God will answer the prayers of her convent that Gereon will become a priest within the year. Gereon embarks on a journey retold by Max Temescu that can only be described as miraculous.
Adapted from the extended original biography, Temescu illustrates and writes a condensed version that would be appealing to young readers, especially boys. Young readers, ages 10 and older can retrace Gereon’s experiences in this fast paced story adaptation that begins with a harrowing assault to conquer a hill. It then recounts Gereon’s journey in a graphic format, that we recognize in comic books.
The story itself is only captured in the first 61 pages and the remaining half of the book, like the original, includes an epilogue, photographs, and sketches from the author and illustrator. Parents may want to preview the book to screen for age appropriateness due to violence and graphic drawings of war experiences. The story reveals that with trust in God, nothing is impossible.
Ignatius Press has generously offered to send a copy of The Shadow of His Wings: A Graphic Biography to one of my visitors here at Shower of Roses.