Catherine’s War by Julia Billet
Illustrator: Claire Fauvel
Translator: Ivanka Hahnenberger
This middle grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
A magnificent narrative inspired by a true survival story that asks universal questions about a young girl’s coming of age story, her identity, her passions, and her first loves.
At the Sèvres Children’s Home outside Paris, Rachel Cohen has discovered her passion—photography. Although she hasn’t heard from her parents in months, she loves the people at her school, adores capturing what she sees in pictures, and tries not to worry too much about Hitler’s war. But as France buckles under the Nazi regime, danger closes in, and Rachel must change her name and go into hiding.
As Catherine Colin, Rachel Cohen is faced with leaving the Sèvres Home—and the friends she made there—behind. But with her beautiful camera, Catherine possesses an object with the power to remember. For the rest of the war, Catherine bears witness to her own journey, and to the countless heroes whose courage and generosity saved the lives of many, including her own.
Based on the author’s mother’s own experiences as a hidden child in France during World War II, Catherine’s War is one of the most accessible historical graphic novels featuring a powerful girl since Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi—perfect for fans of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Anne Frank, or Helen Keller.
Includes a map and photographs of the real Catherine and her wartime experiences, as well as an interview with author Julia Billet.
Year first published: 2020