City of Spies is reminiscent of old-time comics, all the way to the “real spy gadgets” offered in the back of the book. The book is set in 1942 New York and is fashioned as if it was written in that era. Heroes are not given the outlandish superpowers of a modern character. The story centers on Scooter, aka Evelyn Spiegelman. She has been sent to Manhattan to live with her single beatnik Aunt Lia while her father gets remarried again. Evelyn has created an imaginary world in her own comic series in which her father is the super hero and Scooter, her father’s nickname for her, is the trusted side kick. However, Evelyn runs into her own adventures and meets a sidekick of her own, the superintendent’s son, Tony. Together they uncover a Nazi spy ring, help Aunt Lia face personal challenges, and even allow Evelyn a glimpse into her Jewish heritage about which she is uneducated. The artwork is bright and inviting, echoing the appealing style of Herge’s Tintin series. Dizin has recreated a world of detailed comics and animated action that perfectly complement the written text. This comic book is also well suited to adults who wish to revisit their childhood comic book experiences. For ages 9 – 15.
Drora Arussy, Ed.D., is an educational consultant who specializes in integrating Jewish and secular studies, the arts into education, and creative teaching for excellence in Jewish education. She is the mother to four school-age children and has taught from pre-school through adult. Drora is an adjunct professor of Hebrew language at Drew University.