Take What You Can Carry

Take What You Can Carry - Kevin C. Pyle

What were we comparing here; I had to wonder as I read this graphic novel. It wasn’t until the final pages did I finally see the connection as these two stories were running simultaneously throughout the novel. I was grasping for how they could be related, how a story from an internment camp in 1942 could be linked to the Chicago suburbs of 1978. How a boy who seemed to be taking in his surrounding so quietly, trying to survive and make the best of his situation could be compared to two punk-ass kids causing trouble just for the thrill of it, just pushing the limits until the day they would finally get caught. When the stories finally showed the connection that they held, I hoped in the end that Kyle understood the true impact of Ken, the shopkeeper’s story; for I felt that his story had importance and strength if only Kyle was listening.


I came upon this novel while volunteering at the library. I have chosen to straighten up the children’s graphic novel section as one of my responsibilities at the library and this cover grabbed my eye. Reading the synopsis on the back: history and current events, it sounded like a winner to me. The story inside is told in two different shades. The story of Ken, the shopkeeper, his past is told in brown and white tones and the story of the two teens, their tale is portrayed in baby blue and white hues. I thought this was interesting and added to the effect of the novel. There isn’t much printed text to read especially in Ken’s portion of the story. I especially liked the author’s Historical Notes that we included in the back of the novel. These were very informative and helped to explain what was occurring in Ken’s portion of the novel. I understand the moral of this novel but I feel that the stories portrayed here were so different and to pull together, didn’t work for me. I can’t elaborate any further for I feel that to do so might spoil the novel but I feel to me, it had to do with how the stories were connected.   I did enjoy the author’s work and I would like to read more of his offerings.