Teachers, I think this might be a book for you. It is aimed at the child reader, but I am not sure a kid would appreciate all the subtleness. Your Turn, Adrian has a story that is simple. All ages can read but the concept is deep. There are illustrations that tell the main story by giving the ambiance of the time, place, people and of course, the main character. While I cannot think of who I could recommend it to, I feel people need to read to understand the message/metaphor. Helena Oberg’s book is one that no two people read the same way. It is a book to experience on your own personal level.
Kristin Lidstrom’s illustrations left me unsure about them. And yet, there was something about them that was mesmerizing. I am thinking it is because of how Lindstrom decided to highlight things and what they highlighted. Adrian is usually in the front. But sometimes he is off to the side. But that says more than you would think. What Lindstrom decides to focus on to move the text along is important. And you should not just focus on Adrian. There are mini stories in the backgrounds, look at the posters on the walls of buildings. Where is this set? What era? I would say it was a large village 1940’s to 1970’s. Yet, there is a very modern feeling to it all.
At first, I was not sure where it was set, but when I started to read the images, the text is not English. I figured German, Portuguese, or even Italian. Though it is translated from Swedish by Eva Apelgyist. This also will affect your feelings about the book. But I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying the story itself. Adrian has issues with reading. When he is called on, time stops. He is beyond uncomfortable. One day, he finds a dog he calls Heidi. She helps calm him. He can read and is confident about it. But just as quickly, Heidi is returned to her owner. Yet, this is not the end of the story. In many ways, this is just the beginning.
This is not a sad or happy book. It is both. It is not a comfortable read or one leaving you feeling uncomfortable. It is both. You will laugh, cry and think. This picture book/graphic novel is something not seen too often. It is a book all its own.