Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City

Jerusalem: Chorincles from the Holy CityJerusalem: Chorincles from the Holy City
Written and illustrated by: Guy Delisle
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Format: Hardcover, 6 x 8.5, 336 pages, Black and White, $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-77046-071-3

One of the most overlooked genres in the graphic novel format is the travelogue. Celebrated names of the graphic novel travelogue have been limited to some of the most elite graphic novelists of the 21st century. Keeping company with Guy Delisle and his ability to take his readers on both a visual and textual journey are Craig Thompson and Joe Sacco, who have also found esteemed respect in the graphic novel travelogue format. And even though this group of elite names and their resulting work are impressive Guy Delisle seems to be their leader and most passionate enthusiast.

For example, his most recent travelogue Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City is a stand-alone masterpiece of literary storytelling with both words and images. Providing insightful reflections on his travels and visual windows into his experiences while in Jerusalem, Delisle is more than a teacher. He is a scholar, a confidant, an artist, and a friend who invites his readers to ever so gently join him on his travelogue quest to better understand the Holy lands, a place where many various religions are divided, only united in all of their unique claims to be the true experts on just what the holy relics of the city really mean and offer to the world. A world of religious enthusiasm is a world without a true sense of love for our fellow men and women of various faiths and their unique contributions to the Holy Land they live in and fight over.  

English Language Arts Elements of Story

Plot: Two categories below this plot description readers can find a list of the major characters in this graphic novel. Well, there is really only one: Guy DeLisle. A nonfiction, travelogue graphic novel readers of this text will travel with DeLisle during his day-to-day life in the Holiest and sacred places in the world. Problem is, however, as Delisle’s daily insights from Jerusalem inform us: In the holiest of places there could not be more strife, more conflict, and more disagreement.  

Setting: Jerusalem

Major Characters: Guy Delisle

Themes: Individual and Community, Faith and Reason, Relationships, Foreign Relations

Traditional and Contemporary Literary Pairing Suggestions: Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi, Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Dickens in America by Charles Dickens, Craig Thompson's Carnet De Voyage, the Bible, the Torah, the Koran

Some Teaching Recommendations For High School Readers

Suggested Alignment to the Common Core Standards:*
*Standard numbers correspond to the literal common core standards numbers, www.commoncorestandards.com
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
* Standard numbers literally correspond to those listed as the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org).

After Reading Writing Lesson Idea for Middle School Readers of Jerusalem:

Intended for high school level readers this lesson plan focuses first on the integration and evaluation of diverse ideas and their presentation in this graphic novel travelogue, and, second, on delineating and evaluating the validity of those findings.  

Directions for Integration and Evaluation:
As you read the this graphic novel memoir pay specific attention to how the words and the images present each new idea/experience of Guy Delisle. Below is a graphic organizer to help you identify each idea and its representation (remember: some ideas will be represented in both words and images). At this point in time please leave the last column blank: research findings.




Research Findings





































Delineation and Evaluation Directions:
Take each of the above noted ideas and experiences and add to them. You can add to them by conducting some online or library resource research about the words and images that inform each idea/experience.  In short, the graphic organizer above has a fourth column that you can now fill out: Research Findings.

Katie Monnin, PhD, is an assistant professor of literacy at the University of North Florida and author of Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom (2010) from Maupin House. To learn more about Teaching Graphic Novels or Katie Monnin, please go to this link: http://www.maupinhouse.com/monnin.php.