The Boy from Clearwater

  • Date: 2023

2023 Freeman Book Award Winner-Graphic Novels for Middle and High School.

An incredible true story in graphic novel form that lays bare the tortured and triumphant history of Taiwan, an island claimed and fought over by many countries, through the life story of a man who lived through its most turbulent times.

★ “An exemplary tribute to an extraordinary hero. The stupendous achievements here are a synergistic literary success; a historic record of twentieth-century Taiwan; the remarkable account of a boy’s life; and a triumph of translation.” —Booklist (starred)

Part Taiwan, 1930s. Tsai Kun-lin, an ordinary boy born in Qingshui, recounts a carefree childhood despite the Japanese growing up happily with the company of nursery rhymes and picture books on Qingshui Street. As war emerges Tsai’s memories shift to military parades, air raids, and watching others face conscription into the army. It seems no one can escape. After the war, the book-loving teenager tries hard to learn Mandarin and believes he is finally stepping towards a comfortable future; but little does he know, a dark cloud awaits him ahead.

Part Taiwan, 1950s . In his second year at Taichung First Senior High School, Tsai is arrested simply for joining a book club and subsequently tortured, deprived of civil rights, and sent to Green Island for “reformation.” Lasting until his release in September 1960, Tsai, a victim of the White Terror era, spends ten years of his youth in prison on an unjust charge. But he is ready to embrace freedom.

Experience parts one and two of the tour-de-force graphic novel series that took Taiwan by storm – parts three and four coming May 2024.

Source: Goodreads