Genevieve's War
Genevieve's War

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Annotation: In August 1939, Genevieve makes the impulsive decision not to return to New York after a summer spent with her grandmother in a small village in Alsace, France. When the Nazis invade, Genevieve becomes involved in the French resistance.
Catalog Number: #171289
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 222 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8234-4178-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3173-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8234-4178-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3173-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016027038
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Thirteen-year-old Genevieve is staying with her stern grandmother, Mimi, in Alsace when France falls to the Nazis. Much of the interest here comes from the setting, an area where residents are a mix of people with German and French names and loyalties. Like Giff's Lily's Crossing, this story makes the human dynamics of World War II engaging and understandable to middle graders.
Kirkus Reviews
An American teenage girl gets to play a role in the Resistance movement after she impulsively stays in Alsace, France, just before World War II begins.After spending the summer on her grandmother's farm, 13-year-old white Genevieve can't bear to go back to New York so soon. Although she considers Mémé disagreeable, she finds French farm life invigorating and loves her new friends, Katrin and Rémy. But when Nazi soldiers reclaim Alsace and one of them insists on living in their very house, life becomes a test of endurance and wits. Genevieve eventually learns to appreciate Mémé, gets to hear stories of her own deceased father, and comes to understand the importance of the long-standing relationships that develop in small European towns. Genevieve transforms from scattered and impetuous "Flyaway Girl," as her aunt calls her, to confident, determined, and compassionate young woman. Related in the first person by Genevieve, this is a competent, endearing novel about the consequences of choices and how quickly and deeply ordinary life is upended by war. Further, Genevieve's frequent quandaries about trust and betrayal in a changing landscape are timeless in their relevance. An engrossing story that examines the nature of character and maturity while putting a young girl at the center of action and suspense. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
In this standalone companion to Giff-s Newbery Honor-winning Lily-s Crossing, Genevieve, a 13-year-old American, is spending the summer in Alsace with her aloof grandmother, Mémé, when the WWII German occupation begins. Unwilling to flee and leave Mémé behind, Gen stays in France, and their quiet farm life begins to change drastically: a Nazi soldier commandeers a room in Mémé-s home; food and animals are acquisitioned by the German army, leaving the French population to starve; books are burned; and French names are erased, replaced with German monikers. When Gen-s friend Remy is hurt while working for the underground resistance, she and her grandmother join the fight, hiding him in their attic and helping to plan safe passage out of Alsace. Giff ably illustrates the physical and mental effects of war, and the heroism found in unexpected places and people. The atmosphere of fear and mistrust is viscerally felt, but the resistance provides a sliver of hope amid the grim realities of war. Gen-s relationship with her grandmother, which deepens into mutual respect and understanding, is especially rich and engaging. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Giff explored WWII on the home front in Lily's Crossing (1997), Willow Run (2005), and Gingersnap (2014), and her latest places an American girl in the crucible of war-torn Europe. After spending the summer of 1939 in Alsace with Mémé, her stern grandmother, 13-year-old Genevieve intends to return to America before the Germans invade France. Instead, for reasons she doesn't entirely understand, she decides to stay and help Mémé on her farm. German soldiers occupy the area, deporting Jewish residents and housing an officer in Mémé's farmhouse. Genevieve and her grandmother hide their food, their family treasures, and, later, their friend Rémy, a boy from the village who is hunted by the Nazis. Resistance is not a new idea to the people of Alsace, and soon it becomes a way of life for Genevieve as well. Giff accomplishes a great deal in this engaging chapter book: the vivid picture of life in occupied Alsace, the convincing portrayal of a girl growing up quickly in difficult times, and the gradual replacement of Genevieve's antipathy for her grandmother with respect and love. 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.
Word Count: 35,648
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.0 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 189823 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q75164
Lexile: 550L

In this companion to the Newbery Honor-winning Lily's Crossing, thirteen-year-old Genevieve risks everything to defy the Nazis and join the French Resistance.

Winner of the Christopher Award!

It's not always thinking of being happy. Doing the right thing will make you happy.

Despite the farm-work and her irritable grandmother Memé, Genevieve thinks she may have found a new home in Alsace, France, where she spent the summer of 1939.  Without much to return to in New York, Gen is ready to see if this new life will make her happy.

But then World War II erupts. The Nazis conquer France. 

Now everyone in Alsace must speak German, act German, and think German--or else. Even worse, a cold Nazi officer has commandeered a room in Memé's farmhouse--and he can tell that Gen and her grandmother aren't loyal to the Reich.

But Gen won't be cowed. And when her friend Rémy commits an act of sabotage, she hides him in the last place the Germans will look--in the attic, right above the Nazi's head.

For more thrilling historical fiction, don't miss Island War, a survival story set in the remote Aleutian Islands, occupied by the Japanese during World War II, and A Slip of a Girl, a novel in verse about the Irish Land War of the late 19th century.

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