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by Patricia Polacco

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
430L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years



Since the Tall Boots—the Nazis—have marched into Monique's small French village, terrorizing it, nothing surprises her. Until the night Monique encounters "the little ghost" sitting at the end of her bed. When she turns out to be—not a ghost at all—but a young girl named Sevrine, who has been hiding from the Nazis in Monique's own basement, how could Monique not be surprised! Playing upstairs after dark, the two become friends until, in a terrifying moment, they are discovered, sending both of their families into a nighttime flight. In the tradition of Pink and Say, Patricia Polacco once again dips into her own family's history to reveal her Aunt Monique's true story of friendship from the French Resistance.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Drawing from the experience of family members, Polacco takes us back to a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. What young Monique first thinks is a ghost in her room turns out to be a young Jewish girl, Severine, being hidden with her parents in Monique's basement. The girls steal moments of pleasure together. But fear of discovery forces the family to move on. The butterfly becomes a symbol of freedom. Polacco's lengthy but very readable text brings alive the joy of the girls' time together and the terror of discovery by the Nazis. The village and some of its occupants are introduced in the several pages before the text begins, so that we already feel the anxiety produced by the Nazis as well as the humanity of Monique's mother. Character is created in the sequence of portraits as events evoke emotions of horror, sorrow, friendly pleasures and familial security. The scenes are detailed where important, but otherwise exploit the potentials of color to help tell the story most effectively. A note from the author fills in the historical background. 2000, Philomel Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, Ages 6 to 10, $16.99. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz—Children's Literature

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