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Author: Billet, Julia
Based on a true survival story of WWII, this graphic novel follows a Jewish girl's gripping journey to the free zone of France, armed only with a camera.
Booklist (+) (11/15/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/15/2019 *Starred Review* Billet tells the story of Catherine Colin, born Rachel Cohen, and her experiences as a Jewish girl living in France during WWII in this graphic novel originally published in French and adapted from Billet's novel of the same name. Catherine’s story begins in a progressive school where she learns about and acquires a passion for photography. As the Germans gain a stronger hold on France, Catherine is forced to move throughout the country to evade capture, but she meets many supportive friends along the way. The lyrical translation reads like a memoir, and it is, in fact, based on Billet’s mother’s experience as one of the “hidden children” of WWII. Catherine is always looking for opportunities to photograph people, and illustrations of her photographs appear often throughout the book. In Fauvel's artwork, many of the settings are beautifully detailed, with a muted palette that helps evoke the bleak circumstances and landscape, and while the characters receive less definition, they're undeniably expressive. The ravages of WWII are not glossed over (readers learn of people who go missing, never to be heard from again, and see people with missing limbs, though not in particularly graphic detail), but Catherine’s ability to find beauty in the world regardless makes for a forward-looking read. An author's note sifts fact from fiction, and a few photos are reproduced in the back matter. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.