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No Country

Written by Joe Brady

Illustrated by Patrice Aggs

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No Country Review

Books of the Month Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Graphic Novels & Comics Gritty Reads

A tense graphic novel of life during wartime

June 2021 Book of the Month

Set in an unspecified time not too dissimilar to now, and in a country that strongly resembles our own, this tense, gripping graphic novel demonstrates just how quickly civilisation can fall apart. Bea lives with her dad, big sister and little brother; her mother has already had to flee their country, which is in the midst of a civil war, the forces of the state fighting the rebel Free Kingdom movement, with civilians bearing the brunt, enduring food shortages, power cuts and bomb attacks along with casual brutality from both sides. The family know they’ll have to leave soon, and the book describes the events that trigger their decision to go and live as refugees. The story describes what it’s like to live in a society where trust has collapsed, and where everyone is scared and desperate. But it underlines too the power of family to hold together during the most difficult times and the importance of hope. Powerful and original, it makes for thought-provoking reading, text and illustrations carrying a very strong message.


Brian Conaghan explores similar territory in his prize-winning dystopian novel The Bombs That Brought Us Together while the refugee experience is captured in A M Dassau’s Boy, Everywhere.

Andrea Reece

No Country Synopsis

What would you do if your home wasn't safe any more? Bea and her family are trying to live as if everything is normal. She and her sister Hannah look out for one another, at home and in school. But their country is starting to fall apart.

Bea lives with her dad, her older sister, and their baby brother. She goes to school, squabbles with her sister, and tries to live a normal life. But she and her family aren’t allowed to leave the community they live in. The country is at war around them, and everyone’s looking for a way out. Bea realizes her life, and her relationship with her family, is on the edge of permanent change. And the war is drawing ever closer to their home… 

A civil war is raging, and it's getting closer. Bea is desperate not to leave home, but how long will it be before they have to run?

With insightful social commentary woven into a riveting story, the marriage of words and pictures build a taut atmosphere, sure to captivate both keen and reluctant readers.

No Country Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

I have never read a graphic novel before but I absolutely loved this and will be reading lots more. Full review

Lily O’Dwyer (Age 12)

Very good book with pictures and short text. Full review

Harry Aconley (Age 9)

This book shows the importance of family and friends above all else and how important it is to stand up for what you believe in, a wonderful read. Full review

Seren Daly (Age 14)

Really well drawn book about a family living in a country going through a civil war, that shows how difficult life would be. Full review

Joshua Bertenshaw (Age 9)

No Country Press Reviews

'A stunning graphic novel with a powerful, poignant message' North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards 

'A thought -and empathy- provoking comic' Three Peas, an organisation supporting refugees.

Praise for Joe Brady:

 ‘Claire [Justice Ninja] shines in her first graphic novel’ The i Newspaper Best Books of 2019

‘Perfect for young activists’ BookTrust

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788451833
Publication date: 04/03/2021
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788451833
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Author: Joe Brady
Illustrator: Patrice Aggs
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 208 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Graphic Novels & Comics, Gritty Reads
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reviewed by Children

About Joe Brady

Joe Brady is the deputy editor of the ground-breaking, critically acclaimed The Phoenix story comic. He is the writer of comic stories Izzy Newton: Kid Billionaire and Claire: Justice Ninja as well as No Country. He's from California and is currently living in Oxford. 

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