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Catherine's War

by Julia Billet, Claire Fauvel

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848250,395 (4.02)2
As France buckles under the Nazi regime, budding photographer Rachel Cohen must change her name, go into hiding, and bear witness to the atrocities of World War II.
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» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This book is about a young girl named Catherine who is a young Jewish girl. This book takes place during WWII and shows the struggles a Jewish girl who has to go into hiding. Catherine finds love in taking photos and capturing special moments and moments of hardship such as the war. Even though Catherine is separated from her parents she keeps the faith and stays brave. This book is a great introduction for students about the Holocaust and WWII. It also teaches students to stay positive during hard times. This book is condensed into comics which is more captivating for readers. Great book that includes important events in history. ( )
  chloeherrera33 | May 1, 2021 |
Really well done but there’s a disconnect between their escape from Chateau du Page orphanage and suddenly they are with the resistance- I looked twice thinking pages were missing! ( )
  quirkylibrarian | Apr 25, 2021 |
The story documents Rachel's , a Jewish teenager, journey during World War II in France. Beginning at a school which was staffed by people who also happened to be part of the resistance, Jewish children were given new identities. When it became clear this wasn't protection enough, the students were split and hidden in other places in France. Catherine (Rachel) moves from place to place to try to stay safe, free, and alive. She continues to grow her talents as a photographer capturing her experience. She nurtures other children in each placement as well. There's a romance, her pursuit of art, and her determination to survive and thrive through difficulties. A quick read. ( )
  ewyatt | Jan 24, 2021 |
This graphic novel of historical nature will leave you desiring to know the more in-depth details of Rachel Cohen, (Catherine.) upon reading the afterward, I realize the graphic novel is actually based on a full novel of this historic account. Very well, my wish is granted!

Billet’s historical graphic novel portrays a Jewish girl forced to hide her identity during the Nazi occupation of France. When Rachel Cohen’s school outside Paris becomes unsafe, the aspiring photographer changes her name to Catherine Colin and forsakes any past of her Jewish identity. Before being whisked away by the French resistance, Catherine’s teacher asks her to take pictures of the war (“We’ll need these testimonies”).

Thus her journey begins, see map in book.
Catherine travels from a Catholic boarding school in Saint-Eustache to a peasant farm near Limoges and later to an orphanage in the Pyrenees. Though fear and trauma haunt the country, Catherine encounters the selflessness and sacrifice of strangers, becoming a selfless and generous young woman in the process. The sub sties is fun encountering a little of the romance effect.

Fauvel our illustrator incorporates earth-toned illustrations, features expressive faces alongside panels of photographs being developed, (yes developed, it’s the early 40’s no digital images). These prove moving as they become visible alongside other characters’ disappearances. While no scenes from the war are portrayed, violent episodes do occur. This work with historical fact makes Catherine’s journey feel real and sometimes a bit scary. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Nov 20, 2020 |
This book is perfect. It tells the story of a Jewish girl in France who had to move repeatedly to stay safe. It also tells the story of her growth as a photographer, a wonderful story of learning her art. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is well told. ( )
  JanesList | Jul 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Billet, Juliaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fauvel, Clairemain authorall editionsconfirmed

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To my mother and her life force, and also to Seagull and Penguin, without whome this Grande Histoire would have been even more horrible than it was. I would like to thank Marija Gaudry for allowing Catherine to fly to the United States and Jill Davis and Ivanka Hahnenberger for all the attention, rigor, and generosity they have brought to the translation. And thank you to Michel Schwab for his precious help. - J. B.
A big thank-you to Charlotte Moundlic for initiating this project, and to Julia Billet for her involvement and kindness. A special thanks to my muse, Christophe! - C. F.
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The Children's Home, Sevres, France, 1942
Noonday sun now. No point in trying.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the graphic novel adaptation of the novel La guerre de Catherine by the same author.
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As France buckles under the Nazi regime, budding photographer Rachel Cohen must change her name, go into hiding, and bear witness to the atrocities of World War II.

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