HarperAlley Catherine's War
HarperAlley Catherine's War

Catherine's War

By Julia Billet


Publication Date: January 21, 2020

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Ages 8+to 12, Grades 3 to 7


Based on a true survival story of World War II, Julia Billet’s middle grade graphic novel follows a Jewish girl’s gripping journey to the free zone of France. Forced to go into hiding and armed only with a camera, Catherine bears witness to the war, the resistance, and eventually the liberation.

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 Zusak’s The Book Thief, Anne Frank, or Helen Keller.

Will include a map, photographs of the real Catherine and her wartime experiences, as well as an interview with author Julia Billet.
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