White Bird
In Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian's grandmother, Grandmère. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère's story as a young Jewish girl hidden away by a family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Her experience demonstrates the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives.

White Bird Details

TitleWhite Bird
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherKnopf Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Historical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, War, World War II

White Bird Review

  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    I got the arc of this at the ALA conference, and it was amazing! The story was so sad, but it was really really good. In fact, I was so desperate for it not to end that I read all the way into the authors note and the research, which was very interesting. I especially appreciated the tie in to today, which was very important and moving.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    This book expands upon Julian's story in Auggie & Me. It is a visually verbal history of Grandmere's history, of growing up during the holocaust & meeting Julian's namesake. Very touching & includes important historical insight. Additionally, there is an afterword, author's note, a note about the dedication, in-depth glossary with photos, a suggested reading list, list of organizations and resources, bibliography and image credits that will be a great and valuable resource for studen This book expands upon Julian's story in Auggie & Me. It is a visually verbal history of Grandmere's history, of growing up during the holocaust & meeting Julian's namesake. Very touching & includes important historical insight. Additionally, there is an afterword, author's note, a note about the dedication, in-depth glossary with photos, a suggested reading list, list of organizations and resources, bibliography and image credits that will be a great and valuable resource for students and other readers.
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    I loved White Bird. It will appeal to fans of Wonder who are willing to try something different. Certainly the kindness theme runs throughout coupled with the fact that it sometimes takes courage to be kind. I think a lot of kids will see themselves in the character of Sara. She is not a bully, but stands by while Julien is teased and tormented. Kids need to learn how to be an ally and how to advocate for others. The lesson is: don't wait for others to be kind, you should always be kind first! I I loved White Bird. It will appeal to fans of Wonder who are willing to try something different. Certainly the kindness theme runs throughout coupled with the fact that it sometimes takes courage to be kind. I think a lot of kids will see themselves in the character of Sara. She is not a bully, but stands by while Julien is teased and tormented. Kids need to learn how to be an ally and how to advocate for others. The lesson is: don't wait for others to be kind, you should always be kind first! It will pair well with Diary of a Young Girl, also available in graphic novel.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    R.J. Palacio is SUCH a rock star! Not only has she written a completely different style of book in this graphic novel, but she has also wrecked my emotions again! We received our ARC from a very dear friend who knew this book would quickly be in the hands of the kids in our middle/high school. My daughter, a fifth grader, devoured the book and couldn’t wait for me to read it because she was dying to talk to someone about the story. Congratulations, R.J. Palacio, for changing our level of empathy R.J. Palacio is SUCH a rock star! Not only has she written a completely different style of book in this graphic novel, but she has also wrecked my emotions again! We received our ARC from a very dear friend who knew this book would quickly be in the hands of the kids in our middle/high school. My daughter, a fifth grader, devoured the book and couldn’t wait for me to read it because she was dying to talk to someone about the story. Congratulations, R.J. Palacio, for changing our level of empathy and our lives forever once again! This story deserves to be read by ALL, young and old.
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  • Amber K.
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it... full review to come. I need time to process this story.
  • Sue Seligman
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent graphic novel by the author of Wonder, the ground breaking story of middle school challenges such as bullying, trying to fit in, peer pressure, etc. White Bird is the story of Julian’s French grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust. The novel opens as Julian, the boy who bullied the main character in Wonder, interviews his grandmother via Face Time, for a school project. We learn that Julian is attending a new school and has regrets about his previous behavior. His grandmother relu An excellent graphic novel by the author of Wonder, the ground breaking story of middle school challenges such as bullying, trying to fit in, peer pressure, etc. White Bird is the story of Julian’s French grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust. The novel opens as Julian, the boy who bullied the main character in Wonder, interviews his grandmother via Face Time, for a school project. We learn that Julian is attending a new school and has regrets about his previous behavior. His grandmother reluctantly agrees to tell him her life story, realizing that the younger generation needs to learn about history in order to make sure that they will not repeat the mistakes of the past. Julian and the readers will be touched and transfixed by Grandmere’s experiences, and ultimately changed by her revelations. This book is a good introduction to the Holocaust for middle school aged children. The graphic novel format is quite popular for today’s youngsters, and if utilized properly, may serve as a stepping stone to more challenging and traditional forms of reading. The author of the Wonder book series has the knack of knowing what her audience wants and needs in reading materials. She understands children and teens and her books reflect this compassion and insight. I highly recommend this book for tweens and their parents and teachers.
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  • Karly
    January 1, 1970
    I could not put this down. A fictional account of a young Jewish girl in hiding during WWII told as a graphic novel.
  • Kate Willis
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my word. I am not okay. I need this now. <3
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    A must-read, must-buy graphic novel from RJ Palacio. Grandmère shares her account as a young, Jewish girl who is hidden by a family during World War II in occupied France. Her experience and evolving friendship with Julian is revealed along with the unexpected lessons of being a bystander who doesn’t speak out when an injustice is witnessed.This story is powerful and connects to the current injustices happening now. You’ll want to preorder this book which comes out in October 2019.
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  • Katelyn
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book at Book Expo. I am not one who usually likes graphic novels, but the drawings are beautiful and add to the story. This is a “Wonder story”, but could be read as a stand-alone if you did not read Julian’s chapter. With how much sadness and hate is usually discussed in books about the Holocaust, this book gives hope and has lessons that will resonate with people today. Loved it!
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  • Raven Black
    January 1, 1970
    You can tell that this book was inspired by stories of the World War II and heavily influenced by Anne Frank. Great illustrations. Romantic in places though. But still realistic. A poetic, deep strong story. Mature theme but 10 to adult reader. Part of the Wonder and Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories stories, but also is a standalone story. Also included historical pieces while graphic novel itself fiction
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  • Dana Giusti
    January 1, 1970
    Devastating, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. An incredibly important read, now more than ever.
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    So good. So good. So good. I felt all the feels. Oof. Such good storytelling.
  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    I’m crying, this is graphic novel is so beautiful, the story is so raw and I can’t even.
  • Danae
    January 1, 1970
    Very moving. I quite enjoy stories like this. Everything flowed so smoothly and I found myself fighting tears from start to finish. Very well written, which is no surprise from R.J. Palacio.
  • Emilia
    January 1, 1970
    That...was amazing. I cried so much and the characters were really developed, so it made it that much more important when crazy things happened to them. I would recommend this book to everyone who needs to cry for an hour or two nonstop. This book helps raise awareness about the holocaust and what is happening to immigrants today. I really liked this book!
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  • idreamofallthebooks
    January 1, 1970
    I literally have no words to describe how wonderfully heartfelt and maddening this story was!For those who are fans of the Wonder franchise, many of you will recognise Julian as Auggie’s classroom bully. However, this story dives a little bit further into Julian’s life – especially the life of his grand-mère, Sara. It tells the story of Sara’s childhood and adolescence in France during the time of the German Occupation.My goodness. Many tears were shed as we were taken on a journey through the e I literally have no words to describe how wonderfully heartfelt and maddening this story was!For those who are fans of the Wonder franchise, many of you will recognise Julian as Auggie’s classroom bully. However, this story dives a little bit further into Julian’s life – especially the life of his grand-mère, Sara. It tells the story of Sara’s childhood and adolescence in France during the time of the German Occupation.My goodness. Many tears were shed as we were taken on a journey through the eyes of a child who witnessed the horrors of anti-Semitism and yet, also witnessed the unifying and inextinguishable hope of humanity.The kindness and resilience embedded with this story demonstrated the utmost strength every human is capable of. The underlying message of ‘passivism is poison’ was also prevalent, and I thought the connections to certain current political events to be incredibly powerful.This is a must read – and I will certainly be recommending this one to my students!Thank you @penguinbooksaus for gifting me a copy to review!P.S. This is my little PSA for this story – expect to cry!
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  • Teresa Bateman
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this newest book by R.J. Palacio (of "Wonder" fame.) In this graphic novel Julian calls his grandmother in France. He regrets his previous behavior, and has an assignment for school for which he needs his grandmother's help. Then we go back in time to follow's his grandmother's story as Jew in France during the Nazi take-over. She was one of the "hidden" whose life teetered on the trust she had in those who chose to risk their lives for hers. One of them is a classmate, with I received an ARC of this newest book by R.J. Palacio (of "Wonder" fame.) In this graphic novel Julian calls his grandmother in France. He regrets his previous behavior, and has an assignment for school for which he needs his grandmother's help. Then we go back in time to follow's his grandmother's story as Jew in France during the Nazi take-over. She was one of the "hidden" whose life teetered on the trust she had in those who chose to risk their lives for hers. One of them is a classmate, with polio. This is a tender, compelling story that provides personal insight into the horrors of the Holocaust, and the bravery of some during that difficult time. While the story is fiction, it is based on factual accounts of many. The author includes a glossary, bibliography, and additional information about the Holocaust. There is an underlying message here for Julian--that we are not always defined by our bad choices, but can be redeemed by good ones. Touching, thought-provoking, and a story of hope amidst despair, this is sure to win awards.
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  • Brian Hendricks
    January 1, 1970
    I liked Wonder and its message when I first read it to my fourth graders nearly six years ago. I liked the Wonder stories that provided a deeper understanding of Wonder’s characters and their motivations; the bully, Julian, in particular. I loved White Bird. It sits in an interesting space of Holocaust fiction based entirely on research, but managing to be honest and believable. The book also manages to be hopeful without dipping too far into sentimentalism and stark in its portrayal of violence I liked Wonder and its message when I first read it to my fourth graders nearly six years ago. I liked the Wonder stories that provided a deeper understanding of Wonder’s characters and their motivations; the bully, Julian, in particular. I loved White Bird. It sits in an interesting space of Holocaust fiction based entirely on research, but managing to be honest and believable. The book also manages to be hopeful without dipping too far into sentimentalism and stark in its portrayal of violence without sensationalizing. To find that it was drawn by Palacio herself (something I didn’t realize until I finished and looked back at the cover) felt revelatory. While reading, it is impossible for informed readers not to think of the current evils perpetrated at our border and the US detention of immigrant children, and Palacio, to her credit, does not hesitate to make the connection explicit by the end of the story.
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    You don't have to have read Auggie & Me (or even Wonder) to appreciate this story. As the synopsis says, it's set in World War II (with bookends in the present, as Grandmere tells Julian about her childhood in the 1940s). I have it marked on my blog as middlegrade and YA; children who have read Wonder will probably want to read this, too; I think it's age appropriate for them but be aware that people die in this.Also, unlike her other books, this is a graphic novel. That format works amazing You don't have to have read Auggie & Me (or even Wonder) to appreciate this story. As the synopsis says, it's set in World War II (with bookends in the present, as Grandmere tells Julian about her childhood in the 1940s). I have it marked on my blog as middlegrade and YA; children who have read Wonder will probably want to read this, too; I think it's age appropriate for them but be aware that people die in this.Also, unlike her other books, this is a graphic novel. That format works amazingly well with this story, and the drawings are beautiful. The story is as heartbreaking as you would expect a story about Jewish people in World War II to be. And yet, as in Wonder, there is a lot of kindness, too. It's a fantastic story and I hope we don't have to wait this long for another book from R.J. Palacio.Highly recommended.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel is told as an extension to the Julian chapters from Wonder. It is a visual retelling of Grandmere’s story of growing up in France during the Holocaust and being saved from the Nazi soldiers by Julian’s namesake. Important and wise words about acts of kindness, raising our collective voices, and doing what’s right in the many faces of injustice accompany this hauntingly beautiful story. Extensive back matter including an author’s note, a glossary, a suggested list of resources, This graphic novel is told as an extension to the Julian chapters from Wonder. It is a visual retelling of Grandmere’s story of growing up in France during the Holocaust and being saved from the Nazi soldiers by Julian’s namesake. Important and wise words about acts of kindness, raising our collective voices, and doing what’s right in the many faces of injustice accompany this hauntingly beautiful story. Extensive back matter including an author’s note, a glossary, a suggested list of resources, and much more. Highly recommend for grades 5 and up!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely, heart-wrenching story, which focuses on the experience of one Jewish girl during the Holocaust. Palacio broadens the narrative by drawing parallels to the modern experience, calling on her readers to learn from the horrors of the past. The story inspires us all to do better given another chance to stop fascist politicians from enacting similarly draconian policies which tear apart families and kill innocent people simply because of the color of their skin. Ends on a hopeful note.
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  • Janis
    January 1, 1970
    This heartbreaking, beautiful graphic novel by the author of Wonder is based on a character from that book (Julian’s grandmother), and tells the story of her friendship with a boy from her French village, and how he and his family hid her from Nazis. The artwork is superb and the story vital and moving. Historical notes and suggested reading are provided in the backmatter. I hope and expect this powerful, important novel will reach many readers. (Pub. Date 10/1/19)
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  • Kristina Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    After reading The Julian Chapter, I grew to appreciate his character as I learned the reasons behind his attitude and bullying. I adored the story of his grandmother due the Holocaust and was delighted to see more of her story. I somehow missed that this was a graphic novel before reading it, which I think only lends to the author's message and the accessibility for her target middle grade audience. The illustrations were gorgeous and served to help tell the story.
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  • Emily Myhren
    January 1, 1970
    I can almost guarantee this will make the best seller list based on Wonder's popularity and it should. This is a great tie in to wonder to show how history repeats itself. The ending with Julien shows he has grown from his experiences and will now stand up for those without a voice. Julien's story is so smart and important. Bullies can change.
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    “In these dark times, it’s those small acts of kindness that keep us alive, after all. They remind us of our humanity.”“The best friendships are the ones in which words are not needed.”“You might forget many things in your life, but you never forget kindness. Like love, it stays with you ... forever.”Review to follow
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  • Liz Garden
    January 1, 1970
    Love this new historical fiction graphic novel from RJ Palacio! An important read for everyone. If you read Wonder (has anyone not read Wonder?!) and Auggie and Me, this tells the backstory on Julian and his name. But more importantly, it tells a story of kindness and hunanity, one that we need to remember and continue to share with this generation of kids.
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  • Deanna Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel is very moving and it gave me so many emotions. Even though this is a fictional story about a young Jewish girl being protected and hidden by a classmate during WWII, the message is still very important and relevant: we must not repeat history. We must stand up for what is wrong and for those who are unable to. Anyone of any age can learn something after reading this!
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  • Allie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow!!! A continuation/expanded story of The Julian Chapter. The story was well written and I enjoyed this as a graphic novel. The images and topic are difficult though so would definitely be for late Elementary or Middle and higher. No spoiler here but...it is a timely book that everyone should read.
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic! I loved the graphic novel format for this very important book by an already beloved author! As she put it, it is important that #WeRemember about the holocaust so we can continue to stand up against injustices and help lift each other up in this oh so confusing and trying modern world of ours.
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