Review Detail

Kids Fiction 406
WWII Survival Tale
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Catherine is living at the Sèvres Children's Home since both of her parents were taken. It has a progessive school, and children are given some freedom in what the want to study. Catherine loves photography, and thanks to an instructor, Penguin, has a good camera and knows how to develop pictures in the darkroom. The staff is vigilant about protecting the Jewish students from the Nazis even having them change their names to be on the safe side, but eventually it is necessary for them to leave. Catherine has another student, Alice, under her care, and the two go to a covent school, where Catherine takes first communion. She also meets a young photographer, Étienne, in the village, and is quite fond of him. Soon, though she and Alice end up in the country at a modest farm. Their teacher is rather snotty about the lack of education in the family, but the girls thrive, enjoying the security, good food, and gentle care they get. Since Catherine is older than many of the students, she starts to teach some of them. This is helpful when she and Alice must move again, this time to an orphanage. Catherine continues to take photographs of the people she encounters. When the orphanage is evacuated, Alice chooses to stay with a younger boy to help him out, and Catherine ends up with a young wife of a soldier. Eventually, the war ends and Catherine returns to Paris, only to find out that her parents have not returned and their apartment has been trashed. She find the photographer, Étienne, and is about to contact Alice as well.
Good Points
While there are lots of books about people in concentration camps, there are fewer about people hiding from the Nazis and even fewer about children hiding in plain sight, under assumed identities. This graphic novel is based on the experiences of the author's mother, and seeing the number of people who were willing to help children is a testament to the good of humanity!

Catherine's interest in photography helps to give more dimension to her character; it's hard for my students to grasp that the vast majority of the people displaced by the Holocaust came from comfortable, middle class backgrounds similar to their own. The drawings depict many of the photographs taken, some replicas of actual photographs taken by the author's mother.

The drawings are very lovely, and the brown and gray color palette, with touches of green and pink, seem very appropriate to the time period. Historical graphic novels are helpful because they show so many details about life at the time-- clothing, buildings, cars, etc.

I would have liked to have seen Catherine's life before the Sèvres Children's Home, but this is a nice overview of what happened to the character during the majority of the war, as well as what happened afterwards.

This is a somewhat longer graphic novel than books like Holm's Sunny Side Up, and the print is somewhat smaller, but this makes it a great selection for readers who want more details about this historical period and who have enjoyed Jablonski's Resistance or Robbins' Lily Renée, Escape Artist.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Grandpa's Stories
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
One young girl reflects on a year with her beloved...
The Nest That Wren Built
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
So, you want to know about Jack Wilson? Here’s some...
Elysium Girls
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From a lush, dazzlingly original new voice in young adult...
The Lost Legends
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
A plague. A prophecy. A centuries-long curse. All her...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this...
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Make me a girl with a razor heart… It’s...
Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward...
When Wishes Bleed
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. The upheaval in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ali McMillian almost drowned. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill accident either;...
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling...
Moonscript
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes...
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl...
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They have a love-hate relationship with summer. ...
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save...

Latest Member Reviews

Guys Read: Terrifying Tales
 
5.0
"There is something so wonderfully satisfying about a good scary book in October. Halloween is just around the corner, creepy..."
The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
 
5.0
"Since I heard about this book ages ago, I have been SO excited for The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy...."
The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
 
4.0
"The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is a super cute, fun take on Hansel and Gretel. First of all,..."
The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
 
4.5
"When Lorelei and her brother first see the playground for Splendid Academy they are immediately drawn to the school. Luck..."
The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
 
5.0
"Middle grade fiction is my new favorite thing. I still haven't read that much, but I have yet to be..."