Maus II: A Survivor's Tale--And Here My Troubles Began

Spiegelman, Art (1992). New York: Pantheon. ISBN-10: 0679729771
ISBN-13: 978-0679729778
Maus II, subtitled with vicious irony, “And Here My Troubles Began”, follows Vladek and Anja, Speigelman’s parents, when they are sent to Dachau after losing all that they owned and their precious son. At the same time, Spiegelman records the process of eliciting from the aged Vladek his testimony about events during the war, and depicts his difficult relationship with Vladek over the years and at the end of Vlatek’s life. This book is the sequel to the great Maus I—My Father Bleeds History. In this volume in addition to the ink drawn Jewish mice, Nazi cats, and pig Poles, there are some frog Frenchmen in the camp, and the rescuing Americans are dogs. Vladek continues to use his observant opportunism to increase their chances of survival, but after the war these same traits intensify, making him impossible to live with. Anja survives the war and she and Vladek are reunited, but she remains mentally fragile and later commits suicide. Of Vladek’s entire family, only his younger brother was left after the war—not even one picture.

Reader’s Annotation
The Holocaust in small pen and ink comic book frames—mouse Jews, Nazi cats, and pig Poles. In this sequel Art Spiegelman’s aging and difficult father Vladek continues telling his son about his years in the Auschwitz and after, when he and his wife Anja leave Poland, first for Sweden and later for America.

Maus II is a seamless continuation of the narrative, style, and quality of the first book—see review under Maus I posting. Both books were originally part of an ongoing serial in Raw magazine.

About the author
In addition to the facts given in the Maus I posting, Art Spiegelman is, amazingly, the creator of the Garbage Pail Kids.

Graphic Novel

Curriculum Ties
History, English

Booktalking Ideas
Can a person who endures experiences such as Anja and Vladek survive avoid passing their damage on to their children?
What pictures would you save if they would be all you would have of your past?
How can someone who survived genocide still be prejudiced against other races?

Reading Level/Interest Age
High school-adult (SLJ)

Challenge Issues
Horrific events;Format?

Be knowledgeable about the book and prepared to discuss it calmly. Provide complaint form per board policy; Refer to reviews available on Amazon:

Pulizer Prize

Why Included?
Sequel to astonishing Maus I

Selection Tools
Recommendations from own children; reviews/

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