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Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: The Faithful Spy– A Graphic Novel about Dietrich Bonhoeffer by John Hendrix

In this graphic novel, John Hendrix’s combines a compelling true story and illustrations to introduce the work of Bonhoeffer to a new generation.

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Title: The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

Author: John Hendrix

Genre: Graphic Novel/ Nonfiction

Synopsis from the back cover: Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more menacing every day. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor upset by the complacency of the German church toward the suffering around it, forms a breakaway church to speak out against the established political and religious authorities. When the Nazis outlaw the church, he escapes as a fugitive. Struggling to reconcile his faith and the teachings of the Bible with the Nazi Party’s evil agenda, Bonhoeffer decides that Hitler must be stopped by any means possible!

In his signature style of interwoven handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to free the German people from oppression during World War II.

Get your copy on Amazon! It is available in Kindle edition and in paperback. 


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My Review:

Graphic novels are a great way to inspire young people with a love of reading. In the past, graphic novels have often faced a stigma as being “lesser,” reading than serious books; however, The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix proves that the graphic novel can tackle serious topics. Hendrix uses his distinctive art style to combine the compelling story of Bonhoeffer’s life with a narrative that both adults and young people are certain to find engaging.

During my time as a student teacher, I discovered that young people were more likely to pick up a graphic novel rather than a book without any illustrations. I came to realize that graphic novels could serve as a gateway and help to inspire a love of reading, especially for people who are visual learners. Over time, I came to appreciate the graphic novel as an art form in its own right and not just as a gateway to other types of reading.

The Faithful Spy is a work of art. The story and the images work together to form a complete narrative. The images enhance the story, and add a significant amount of pathos to the text. These illustrations will help readers of all ages to connect to Bonhoeffer in a way that is not normally achievable through the use of words alone.

Due to the serious subject matter, this book would not be appropriate for very young readers; however, it would make a great book to discuss with a youth group or even an adult Sunday School class. The Faithful Spy is a wonderful way to introduce people of all ages to the story Bonhoeffer. Even adults will find something new to learn and appreciate in the text. I plan on adding a copy to our church library.


Note: *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Mike Morrell at Speakeasy. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Other Related Posts:

If you enjoy nonfiction, Erin Kelly’s powerful  autobiography about life as a writer with cerebral palsy is one you won’t want to miss!

Bald is Beautiful is a lovely book that helps children deal with cancer and hair loss.

Check out my recent article about how you can support people with disabilities or people with low immune systems during the COVID19 pandemic. 


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My name is Rev. Rebecca and I blog about faith, books, and disability awareness. Please subscribe by typing your email into the box labeled “Subscribe,” so that you never miss a post! I am also  the author the books Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse and The United Methodist Church and Disability. 

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