Billet, Julia. Catherine’s War. Claire Fauvel, Illus. Graphic. Translated from the French by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Harper Alley, 01/2020. 154[+14]pp. $21.99. 989-0-06-291560-3, PB $12.99 978-0-06-2901557-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-9.
Originally published in France in 2017, this graphic novel is based on the true story of a Jewish girl who is hidden in various locations during WW II in France. The translation is seamless, and the story is compelling, describing Rachael/Catherine who lives at a school, then with nuns, then at an orphanage, and finally at a farm. Her hobby is photography which she continues even while in hiding, giving the narrative a positive, hopeful tone. The full-color cartoon artwork in panels is distinctive and conveys a lot of emotion. Most of the narrative is in dialogue balloons; there are no chapter breaks, which might have been helpful to younger readers. Back matter includes b&w photos of the actual people, more information on what occurred, and a map.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool