Reading Club: Teenage Literature | Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin (authors), Giovanni Rigano (illustrator), Illegal - Εικόνα

In October, the SNFCC Teenagers’ Book Club welcomes the comic book artist and translator Thanasis Petrou as facilitator. Books of his include: Giannoulis Halepas. The Myth of Modern Greek Sculpture (on a script by Dimitris Vanellis, Patakis Publishers, 2019); Gra-Grou (on a script by Tassos Zafiriadis and Yannis Palavos, Ikaros Publishers); At the Battle of Marathon (Patakis Publishers, 2015).

The book we will be reading together this month is Illegal by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin (authors) and Giovanni Rigano (illustrator). 30 Book Club members, aged 12 to 16, take a cue from this topical graphic novel and engage in conversation, creating and discovering new worlds through the book's pages.

Don't worry if you haven't been able to read the entire book, or if you’ve missed our previous meeting. Each month, the Book Club facilitator, Thanasis Petrou, will be giving us a new cue, announcing the book that we will all be reading together over the weeks to follow. At the end of the month, the group of people who have read the book (or at least half of it) will be meeting to exchange thoughts, impressions, feelings and concerns, triggered by what we have just read, whether we liked it a lot or not so much.

The plot

Twelve-year-old Ebo and his brother Kwame live in an impoverished village of Ghana, Africa. Their dream is to migrate to Europe, in order to find their sister Sisi, who has been living in Italy for years.

They hope that they will be able to live a better life there.

But traveling to Europe is neither simple nor easy. They must first get to the city Agadez in Nigeria and then cross the Sahara Desert.

The two brothers work for months until they save up enough money to pay the traffickers and cross the inhospitable desert.

When they finally arrive on the dangerous streets of Tripoli, Libya, they go into hiding to avoid being arrested by the authorities because they don’t have travel documents. At the same time, they raise more money to secure a place on the boat that will take them across the Mediterranean Sea, to Italy, their longed-for destination.

The two protagonists, Ebo and Kwame, may be fictional heroes, but their story is one hundred percent true.

Each year, thousands of people pay enormous sums of money to traffickers and risk their lives to make the crossing from North Africa to Italy.

In 2015, more than one million migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to find themselves in Europe, many of them sadly dying over the course of this dangerous journey.

The authors:

Eoin Colfer hails from Ireland. He first developed an interest in writing at a very young age, enthralled by the stories about the Vikings. The author notes: “I will keep writing until people stop reading or I run out of ideas. Hopefully neither of these will happen anytime soon.”

British writer Andrew Donkin has sold more than eight million copies of children’s books, graphic novels and adult books.

Giovanni Rigano is an Italian comic book artist, and has co-operated with Eoin Colfer in the adaptation of five more of the latter's books into graphic novels.

A few words about the Book Club facilitator:

Thanasis Petrou was born in 1971 in Thessaloniki. He studied French Literature in Thessaloniki and Paris, and holds a postgraduate degree in Sociolinguistics. In 2002, he won the first prize in the comic book competition (“New Talents” category) organized by “9” magazine of Eleftherotypia newspaper in collaboration with the AKTO School of Art & Design. From 2002 to 2005, he studied on a scholarship at the Sketch, Comic Book & Cartoon department of AKTO. He has worked as a French teacher, a translator, an illustrator, a musician. From 2005 to 2011, he worked with "9" magazine of Eleftherotypia newspaper. Since 2012, he has been teaching at AKTO. From 2008 to 2022, 16 comic books of his have been published by various publishers, both on scripts of his own and on scripts by other authors (Dimitris Vanellis, Katerina Servi, Pavlos Methenitis, Tassos Zafiriadis, Yannis Palavos et al.). His latest book is: “1923: Hostile Homeland” (Ikaros Books, 2022).


Sunday 30/10


For children aged 12 to 16
Free admission with online pre-registration


Pre-registration starts on 03/10, at 12.00

To participate in the Reading Club, it is necessary for those who hold a position to have read the book of the month. (It is also useful to have it with them).

The book Illegal by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin (authors), Giovanni Rigano (illustrator) is available in Greek by Patakis Publishers.

As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the book for the Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.


See also

Saturday 29/10, 17:30

Reading Club: Children’s Book (ages 10–12) | Wonder