Nan’s Notes: Refresh, Refresh

I found this book during my visit to the library on my first day of summer vacation. I wandered by the Green Mountain Book Award table and decided to pick it up.

Refresh, Refresh is the story of 3 boys whose fathers have gone to fight the war in Iraq, told in a graphic novel. The boys fill their days practicing fighting by boxing with each other, hunting, and hitting refresh on their computers to see if their fathers have sent them e-mails. I read this book in one sitting. But, I’m really stuck on how to write about my thoughts. I think this is one of those books that will rattle around in my head for quite awhile, and then I will know how I feel about it. Overall, the book was sad. I really felt for the boys who were dealing with a anger, fear, and loneliness while also trying to grow and find their own place in the world. The violence that the boys kept surrounding themselves with was an outward expression of the mixture of emotions. There was sadness mixed with anger throughout the book, but the ending was also sad, leaving me with a feeling of hopelessness. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the book, it’s just a hard book to write about.

One problem I had with the book was I had trouble knowing which character was which. When one of the father of one of the boys died, I wasn’t sure which boy it was. This may have been my fault for reading the book too fast. I tend to do that with graphic novels, especially when I read them in bed before going to sleep. Have you read this book and if so, did you have the same problem? I am thinking of doing a reread of it before returning it to the library to see if I can follow them better.

You can see some  examples of the artwork in the book by visiting the artist’s website: Danica Novgorodoff.

I know this is a short review… I read the book over a week ago and I need to return the book to the library in a couple of days.