Sachi Ediriweera

Book - 2023

"A fictionalized biography of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha, the progenitor of Buddhism"--

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2nd Floor Comics New GRAPHIC NOVEL/Ediriweera (NEW SHELF) Due May 1, 2024
Biographical fiction
Graphic novels
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2023.
Main Author
Sachi Ediriweera (author)
First Atheneum hardcover edition
Physical Description
pages cm
Ages 12 up
Grades 7-9.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Siddhartha's metamorphosis from crown prince to the founder of Buddhism propels this straightforward graphic novel debut. In monochromatic blues, blacks, and whites with terra-cotta accents, Ediriweera showcases teenage Siddhartha, the son of King Suddhodana of Kapilavastu, who is trapped both mentally and physically by his royal responsibilities ("How can I be the king... if I'm not even allowed to visit the city?"). When Siddhartha attempts to escape the palace, he's intercepted by his father's chief adviser, who guides him through the city. There, Siddhartha meets elderly and sick residents, and for the first time comes face-to-face with the concept of death. He also encounters a bald, robed monk who Siddhartha learns "is on a journey for peace of mind," information that plants an inquisitive seed within him. As he grows older, Siddhartha wonders, "Is this feeling of emptiness all I will have... the rest of my life?" He soon departs Kapilavastu to uncover "the truths of this world." Bold linework and clean-cut panels depict Siddhartha's struggle to reconcile the suffering of society beyond his privileged upbringing in this practical history of Buddhism, a philosophical primer. Siddhartha cues as South Asian; background characters appear racially diverse. Ages 12--up. (Sept.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A fictionalized graphic biography of Siddhartha, from sheltered prince to founder of Buddhism. Readers meet young Siddhartha as a boy shielded from the outside world by his father, a king who fears the negative influences of the world and seeks to protect his son from pain. Siddhartha's compassion for an injured swan sets the tone for a life of kindness and determination. Though living within the protected walls of a palace, young Siddhartha remains curious about the world. Unsatisfied by the imposed separation from the people he will one day serve as king, he disguises himself and sneaks into the city. There, he witnesses harsh realities that change his perspective, fueling his quest for understanding. Even meeting Yashodara, the princess he later marries, doesn't quell his concerns about the world, suffering, and impermanence. Siddhartha leaves the safety of home to join a teacher, following a spiritual path of meditation and restraint. After six years, he realizes neither indulgence nor denial provide clarity. Once he grasps the relationship between desire and suffering, Siddhartha's path to enlightenment unfolds in flowing images of the eightfold path. The Awakened One inspires disciples and returns home, not as king but spiritual leader. The book conveys complex concepts in an accessible way and will appeal to readers who are curious about the origins of Buddhism. Ediriweera's atmospheric illustrations include monochromatic, soothing blue watercolor-style backgrounds, and single-color accents of brown and orange highlight the crisp linework. Vividly rendered. (further reading, developmental sketches) (Graphic historical fiction. 12-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.