Book Review: Elizabeth Choy: Her Story by Danny Jalil and Zaki Ragman

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Elizabeth Choy (1910 – 2006) was an educator and councillor who is regarded as a war heroine in Singapore. I’ve heard of her but never really knew about her life and what she did. After reading this book, I was full of respect and admiration for her. Her story should be told to all who grew up in Singapore.

This softcover comic book only has 132-page which I thought was quite few. The limited number of pages is probably intentional to make the book more accessible to people but the more I read, the more I wished there was more to read.

Her story in this book started with her as a kid growing up in Kudat, North Borneo (now Sabah), how she came to Singapore, went through World War II and her life after the war. During the war, she supplied medicine, money and messages to prisoners at Changi Prison. After Operation Jaywick where six Japanese ships were sank, she was brought in to be interrogated for information. She was held in prison for 200 days and tortured. She did not break or gave in, or told a lie to save her life.

Writer Danny Jalil and artist Zaki Ragman did a fantastic job to tell her story in this comic form. The art looks great and the storytelling is gripping. The subject matter is heavy but handled really well with good pacing and panelling. There’s even one chapter told from the perspective of a Japanese prison guard. That threw me off slightly because the narration is mostly from Elizabeth Choy, but it worked, thankfully.

Asiapac Books publishing this book is a big deal. Bringing Elizabeth Choy’s story in the form a comic book is a good move to makes it accessible to more readers. This is a great book I can recommend easily to anyone into comics and Singapore history.

5 out of 5 stars.

The book is priced at SGD $15.90 and you can get it from Asiapac Books at
https://asiapacbooks.com/products/elizabeth-choy-her-story

Do check out the other books I’ve reviewed from Asiapac at https://www.parkablogs.com/tags/asiapac

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Source: parkablogs.com

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