The Good Son wins 1st Prize at the Prix Sorcières 2019, France’s most prestigious award for children’s books
A young WWI soldier's unauthorized visit home has dire consequences in a haunting story reimagined in miniature tableaux.
About one hundred years ago, the whole world went to war.
The war was supposed to last months. It lasted years.
It is Christmastime, 1914, and World War I rages. A young French soldier named Pierre had quietly left his regiment to visit his family for two days, and when he returned, he was imprisoned. Now he faces execution for desertion, and as he waits in isolation, he meditates on big questions: the nature of patriotism, the horrors of war, the joys of friendship, the love of family, and how even in times of danger, there is a whole world inside every one of us. And how sometimes that world is the only refuge. Its publication coinciding with the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this moving and sparely narrated story, based on true events, is reenacted in fascinating miniature scenes that convey the emotional complexity of the tale. Notes from the creators explore the innovative process and their personal connection to the story.
The Good Son is remarkable…narrative is haunting.
This book is a surprisingly moving masterpiece…Pierre-Jacques, his photographer wife Jules and designer Felicity Coonan have made, I think, something extremely special.
The West Australian
The book is remarkable too, for the way it has been produced…This superbly restrained approach to the telling of the story helps to keep our focus on the experiences of the characters, and invites us to imagine their lives as fully as we can…Highly recommended for children 8 to 14, and anyone interested in the real history of real war.
CBCA: Reading Time
Different, intriguing and utterly absorbing
The Bottom Shelf
A highly recommended but harrowing story that would make an excellent history teaching aid for upper primary or middle school students, younger students might need to read this with a grandparent or adult.