Ober, Jules Ober
1 Oct. 2021
An only child, Jacqueline always dreamt of having a sister. Amid the turmoil of a world at war when the adults have seemingly gone mad, she embarks on a perilous journey and ultimately finds a sister in a most unexpected way.
A new book by creators of the CBCA shortlisted title The Good Son.
InformationBook Type: Junior High
Age Group: 10 years +
Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
Class Novel: Yes
Good Reads Rating: 5/5
Literary Rating: 5/5
This illustrated book, based on a memoir, uses miniatures and photography to bring an incredible true story to life.
Jacqueline was seven-years-old at the beginning of World War II, and at first she didn’t understand the danger they were in. But then Germany invaded France and her father enlisted to fight, and it suddenly became all too real.
Germans took over the town where she and her mother lived, and she lost her beloved pet dog. Then her mother got news that her father had been imprisoned, and they hatched a desperate plot to get him out before he was sent to a concentration camp.
After his successful escape, the reunited family moved to Algiers where Jacqueline’s father enlisted again. But they weren’t together for long, as he joined the American military and went back to Europe.
Jacqueline’s classmates had no idea what she had been through, but she made friends with a boy called Khalil who worked at a fruit stall outside her house. When the war ended, Jacqueline and her mother travelled to Germany to be reunited with her father again. They lived in a large house with another family. Jacqueline and their daughter Hildegard eventually became friends—a friendship that continues to this day, some 75 years later.
The use of miniatures paired with the recollections of a young girl reminds readers of the power and potency of the small things—from the quiet calm of a mother playing Chopin’s Lullaby to soothe her traumatised daughter’s night terrors, to the joy of a pet turtle who loves watermelons, to the mixed thankfulness and hatred felt when receiving kindness from an enemy.
A genuine and human recollection of history, this is a great read for everyone—and the minimal text makes it accessible for reluctant readers. This would also be an excellent reference for those interested in miniatures and photography.
World War II, memoir, change, travel, grief, pets, friendship, family, trauma
1. Soldiers with guns (p. 24-28, 49). Wounded soldiers (p. 29). Death of a dog (p. 30). Mention that a prisoner attempted to escape and was shot (p. 49). 2. Maman distracts the guards with beer (p. 51). Glasses of wine (p. 46, 57, 60). Cigarette (p. 57).
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