'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Review: Peter in Peril: Courage and Hope in World War Two

This is a real life story told in easy-to-understand narrative supported by graphic illustrations. 

It is introduced with a detailed map of Budapest marking all the specific areas and places that the narrator, Peter, mentions in his story. 

This is a book executed and delivered with thought and simplicity to its target audience.

During World War 2, things became difficult for the Jews of Budapest.  They were forced to sew big yellow stars on their clothes and were banned from travelling on public transport, without being given a reason why. 

Forcibly moved to an area for Jews alone, one bag each was all they were allowed to take with them.

Eva is sent from the country to live with Peter’s family. The story reveals how and why the two children escape the gas chambers on a night when lorries cart the other children away never to be heard of again. It acknowledges the compassion shown by a soldier, and uncovers the secret role undertaken by Peter’s father during these dark years and its life-saving outcomes.

This is a personal narrative created especially for children through vivid pictures and a simple text. It helps build the scenes in a non-confronting way and presents them so that the important issues are easily grasped by younger readers. Helen Bate applies a comic-style layout which is ideal for younger readers.
At the end of the narrative, Peter shares photographs of himself and Eva in 1939 and of himself and his parents in 1941. It also shows Peter with his family at the time of the book’s publication.

The significance of historical biographies created especially for children cannot be understated. They are an ideal visual and textual teaching tool for classrooms and libraries, always welcomed and embraced by individuals determined to keep the memory of those times alive in their minds and hearts.

Title: Peter in Peril: Courage and Hope in World War Two
Author/Illustrator: Helen Bate
Publisher: Walker Books, $18.99
Publication Date: March 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781910959039
For ages: 8+
Type: Non Fiction Graphic Novel