Graphic Novels Reading Rainbow
You’ll Never Know Book 1: “A Good and Decent Man” By: Carol Tyler

1. Hayden Elliott

2. The story is based off the author Carol Tyler’s life, how she went through a tough divorce with her husband recently, being a single mom most of her parenting life, and mostly about how she was trying to get her dad to tell her his stories of him being in World War II. The story starts off with Carol telling us about her dad and uses the title to cleverly tell people “You’ll never know that my father had participated in the war…” He always acted normal, he was just her dad for all she knew, and he never showed the war affected him. Until, one day, Carol received a phone call from her mother telling her dad would like to tell her, his story about the war and battles he fought in. As her father is telling her a lot of information, she decided to make a scrap book for him about his stories so he let her take all his pictures to make this book for him. It starts out with how her father met his beautiful redheaded mother, and it takes off from their with stories about him. Her dad was a plumber for the camps around Europe, but he did fight in the war as well. The stories start flowing out and it is pretty interesting to see what actually happened. While she is making the scrap book for him her ex-husband tells her and their daughter that he is coming home. Her daughter is a teenager and she is a preppy girl, but is very excited her dad is coming back from California to live with them in Ohio. There is more, but this is where it starts to climax.The book is a unique comic book style, it has some full pages as panels or a odd looking page with a lot of writing for description. It was the first time I have read a graphic novel like this, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Also, she made the scrapbook pages very different to help you try and put yourself, into the scrapbook and keep out of the side stories about Carol’s life.

3. The art is a unique style as well, the textures are very grainy and it looks like she wrote mostly in pencils, colored pencils, and used ink for details. It is a cool style, you can tell what everything is, even though it has the grainy pencil coloring throughout the book and I like its simplicity. The drawings are what an average artist can make, and I think that’s awesome for people to see and it could inspire people to make their own comics or own pieces of art. The book is the realistic pictures, but they’re very expressive in many ways. She puts a lot of emphasis on the pictures leaving captions on people, or tell you more about the subject being discussed in the book. The pictures have nice backgrounds that sometimes are shadow like, and they’re there to emphasize a city or town, but most of the time she took her time to make very detailed backgrounds. Although, the characters and backgrounds are good sketches and grainy lines, the book has a unique art style, and that’s why I like the artwork so much. The pictures all pop unless the war scenes are at night. I also noticed she used a lot of mid-toned colors. It was never really dark blue or dark green, but its not a light color. It makes the book easy on the eyes, and it’s something you don’t see often.

4. The authors purpose of this story was to inform people about the World War II and its effects on the people in the war. She mentions she heard a lot of stories about people who came back from the war and went nuts with post-traumatic stress syndrome, but her dad acted like he never left for some reason. I think she wants people to ask their families stories so they can be passed down with the whole family. She was also a single mother who was poor, dealing with divorce issues, and her daughter was a teenager. She did a great job of trying to stick with issues that other people are dealing with in their everyday lives.

5. One big strength of this book is definitely the backstory of each character. At the very beginning Carol Tyler has pictures drawn of all her characters/family members and she gives a physical description of each one, their personalties, and what they always wear. It helped you connect to her and the others in the story. If books don’t have well fleshed out characters or some type of connection from reader to character I feel like it kills the story, because you just don’t care about the people. I also liked the fact how personal the scrap booking portions were, very well done. I like that she made drawings of photos that her father had and some from the memories, I liked that each picture has a story and a paragraph description. If this portion of the book wasn’t the way it was, it definitely would of killed the story.

6. One weakness of this book was the fact that the story was just not that intriguing to me. It was the story. It just didn’t grab my attention right off the back, and the main story is daughter trying to get stories from her dad. I get that its based on true events, but for how bad she wanted what happened to her dad in World War II she didn’t try very hard. Then about 10 pages in her dad called her and just started telling the stories. It just seems forced in the story, and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Also, some of the pages were very obscure and sometimes hard to read in order , because she had so much going on. It would have been nice to make the slides smaller and easier on the eyes.

7. I definitely recommend this graphic novel to people of military families, they have a lot of stuff here to connect with. I feel that this book would be great for families who have had experiences in war, seeing how different people dealt with the war and it’s struggles, and seeing how families were affected by the war and still are today. The age groups I think would be a wide range, I would say 16 and up. I think some younger kids might like it, but older high schoolers, college, kids and most adults could find this book interesting. Another group could be middle-aged women. Carol is a mom who has troubles in her life and I feel like a lot of women would like this book. I would definitely stay away from elementary kids, there is quite a bit of swearing in this and I don’t think it would be good for them to read it. I could recommend this book to one of my friends parents who was a marine and the men before him were all marines as well. He might enjoy it and it may bring back memories from their past. I know if I read a book, it may remind me of one of my parents and or a memory that could make you happy, sad, or nostalgic.

8. This book is part of a series and if you want to read this and you actually enjoy it. I don’t see why you wouldn’t try to read the next one when it finally is released. She also has 2 other books made in 2005 called “Late Bloomer and 1993 she made “The Job Thing”. She also has written in various art books.

9. I would give this graphic novel a 3/5. Some parts I really like, but overall I doubt I would continue the series. It was a decent read and if you’re apart of a military family or someone in your family in World War II, I would definitely read this.