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Genevieve's War
by Patricia Reilly Giff
Becca Stadlander, Illustrator

Trade Binding | 192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | US$ 16.95
ISBN: 9780823438006 | 03-31-2017

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: SIXTH | Age: 8 to 12

Themes: Historical Fiction, World War II, Making Choices, Courage & Honor
Recommendations: A*, C, H, K, PW

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About the Book

Set at the same time as Patricia Reilly Giff's Newbery Honor winning Lily's Crossing, Genevieve's War brings to life the shining moments of courage—and sheer terror—of wartime as a young girl attempts an act of heroism right under the Nazis' noses.

Thirteen-year-old American girl Genevieve has spent the summer of 1939 at her grandmother's farm in Alsace, France. Then she makes an impulsive choice: to stay in France. It proves to be a dangerous decision as World War II erupts. The Nazis conquer Alsace and deport the Jews and others. A frightening German officer commandeers a room in Meme's farmhouse. And when Gen's friend Remi commits an act of sabotage, Gen is forced to hide him in the attic—right above the Nazi officer's head.

This gripping middle-grade novel brings the war in occupied France vividly to life.

For an exclusive interview with Patricia Reilly Giff, click here.


★ "More accessible to middle-grade children than most novels set in Europe during the period, this novel is full of hardship, peril, and quiet heroism."—Booklist, starred review

"An engrossing story that examines the nature of character and maturity while putting a young girl at the center of action and suspense. . . . Genevieve's frequent quandries abut trust and betrayal in a changing landscape are timeless in their relevance."—Kirkus Reviews

"Rich and engaging."—Publishers Weekly

A Letter from Editor-in-Chief, Mary Cash~

Dear Reader,

Some years ago, when I first read the manuscript of Patricia Reilly Giff’s Lily’s Crossing, a novel set on the homefront during World War II, I was deeply moved by a story that told how even a war taking place far away could turn a child’s world upside down. I was awed by Giff’s ability to reveal the complicated emotions a girl in Queens, New York, experienced as she dealt with personal losses, gained a sense of how much others had suffered in this conflict, and found strength to face the future.

Editing that book gave me a new respect for the generation of young Americans who had been forced to put away so many childish notions and make real sacrifices. I was so pleased to see such a wonderful novel gain an ever—wider audience as it was published and then recognized with both a Newbery Honor and a Boston Globe —Horn Book Honor.

It is now my privilege to publish Genevieve’s War, a new historical novel by Patricia Reilly Giff that also follows an American girl growing up during World War II. But this time, the story is set in Europe, in the thick of the action. Thirteen-year-old Genevieve from Queens, New York, becomes trapped in Nazi-occupied France while visiting her Alsatian grandmother. The dangers are more imminent for Genevieve than they were for Lily. However, central to both stories is the fact that during war young people must, at crucial moments, stop being children and recognize the consequences of their actions. The kind of impulsive decisions that children make every day—to tell a small lie, such as the one Lily invents, or to reveal a secret to a friend, as Genevieve does to Katrin—can have potentially devastating fallout.

I hope readers savor this book. For me there were moments of nail-biting suspense, a few shockers, and a deliciously satisfying conclusion. There was also much to ponder about the wide-ranging effects of war, particularly for children; about what fear can do to people; and about the full implications of accepting personal responsibility.

With my best wishes,

Mary Cash

VP, Editor-in-Chief
Holiday House

Educators' Guide
An educator's guide featuring classroom activities and suggestions for further exploration.