Originally published six months after Falangist dictator Francisco Franco’s death, at a time when discussion of the regime’s oppression was still discouraged, Paracuellos' short vignettes are drawn in a simple, yet still detailed, style almost reminiscent of comic strips. They show a life of uncertainty, deprivation, strict regimentation, and outright abuse at the hands of the home’s staff and even some of the fellow children. The Dickensian dimensions are tempered mercifully with small, fleeting moments of joy picked up through visits from family members, collaboration between the children on such things as puppet shows, and, of course, comics which were highly prized. It’s almost a childhood version of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, showing how the human spirit can manage to survive despite all attempts to beat it down. Excellent historical essays, including photographs by Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Kentucky Carmen Moreno-Nuño and Spanish comics historian Antonio Martin, provide additional context for the reader, and the brief foreword by Will Eisner is a glowing testimonial.