Graphic novel: “Prison Island”


Prison Island: A Graphic Memoir  “Prison Island” by Colleen Frakes is a memoir in graphic novel form that takes place on McNeil Island in Washington state, the last prison island in the United States. Colleen and her family lived on the island when her parents worked at the prison.  The story, told in black-and-white illustrations, describes her atypical childhood as a resident of the island where only families of employees lived.  Although Colleen sometimes balked at the security drills and lack of pizza delivery, she conveys a sentimental reflection of being different from other kids her age  as an island resident.  I enjoyed learning about the history of the island and imagining Colleen’s life as both isolated from others and connected to a unique population including prisoners and prison employees.

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