To the Heart of the Storm, by Will Eisner. 1991.
Semi-autobiographical graphic novel.
It’s 1942. Willie, a young draftee on his way to the induction center, remembers his life growing up as a child of Jewish immigrants in New York. We also learn about his parents’ lives. His mother, born on the boat on the way from Rumania, has to deal with the breakup of her family while she’s still young. His father was an artist who’d left Austria to avoid the draft.
Along the way, all three have to deal with anti-semitism, the Great Depression, and family problems.
I picked up this book because of the gorgeous cover illustration. Yes, I judged a book by its cover, and it turns out I wasn’t wrong. The drawings and the writing tell the story well and keep it interesting without becoming overly dramatic or sappy.