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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

The first volume of a new series dedicated to exploring iconic moments in World War II history, Omaha Beach on D-Day is a fresh and captivating new take on one of the most important moments in World War II: the Allied forces storming the beach at Normandy. The photograph at the heart of this book is Robert Capa's world-famous shot of the Allied landing in 1944, and the authors of this remarkable work have gathered interviews, testimonials, contact sheets, and over forty pages of photographic archives from the Magnum Photos agency to fill in the history behind a single moment, captured forever on film. Using a combination of traditional comics narrative, photography, and nonfiction text, Omaha Beach on D-Day is a rich and accessible fresh take at a crucial moment in 20th century history…

Omaha Beach on D-Day

by John-David Morvan

Overall Book Review:

The story of Robert Capa’s iconic Omaha Beach D-Day photography is a fascinating one, made even more compelling by the decision to tell it in graphic novel form. Morvan and Trefouel have done a masterful job of relating the horrors of war in a way that elicits empathy and some shock while maintaining the innocence of the reader. The artwork is not graphic, but it does convey a sense of the terror and extreme conditions soldiers are required to navigate in battle. The tale is disturbing, but the artist mercifully creates a barrier between the reality of the events and the reader.

After telling the story of Capa’s experience leading up to D-Day as well as his participation in the battle as an official government photographer, the authors share informational articles including actual photographs from Omaha Beach and other war-torn areas of France. Reading the story as told by Capa and then through a news-article style highlighting his photographs is both captivating and educational. 

One feels as though they have experienced something profound after reading this book. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by First Second Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  In an extended scene (20 pages), soldiers engage in a violent battle with explosions, gunshot wounds, a person killed by explosion (some written detail), and multiple deaths–black and white artwork, vaguely portrayed gore; a character is reported dead by land mine explosion; in four photographs, bodies of dead soldiers are seen lying in rows, no gore; in a photograph, wounded soldiers are seen being treated, no gore.

Sex/Nudity:  A woman pulls up her shirt to reveal an appendix scar; a hospital patient is seen from behind with an open robe; characters hug; a man is seen sitting in a bathtub from the waist up; a man is seen exiting the bath wrapped in a towel around the waist.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, gambling. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Alcohol is consumed socially (adults).

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mother would often find me curled up in a corner, avoiding chores with a book–or two. When I was growing up, there wasn’t a large selection of YA books. I had children’s books and adult literature to choose from. I’ve come to love YA fiction as an adult and read almost nothing else when I read for pleasure–any genre will do.