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list price: $19.95
edition:Hardcover
published: Oct 2020
ISBN:9781771473231
publisher: Owlkids Books Inc.

Maurice and His Dictionary

A True Story

by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Enzo Lord Mariano

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historical, school & education, holocaust
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:Hardcover
published: Oct 2020
ISBN:9781771473231
publisher: Owlkids Books Inc.
Description

This is the story of one refugee family’s harrowing journey, based on author Cary Fagan’s own family history. The graphic novel follows a young Jewish boy, Maurice, and his family as they flee their home in Belgium during the Second World War. They travel by train to Paris, through Spain to Portugal, and finally across the ocean to Jamaica, where they settle in an internment camp.
All the while, Maurice is intent on continuing his education and growing up to be a lawyer. He overcomes obstacles to find a professor to study with, works toward a high school diploma while in the camp, and is ultimately accepted to university in Canada. His English dictionary becomes a beloved tool and beacon of hope through the danger and turmoil of the family’s migration.
Moments of lightness and humor balance the darkness in this powerful story of one refugee family’s courage and resilience, and of the dictionary that came to represent their freedom.

About the Authors
Cary Fagan is the author of Valentine’s Fall (finalist for the Toronto Book Award), The Mermaid of Paris, Felix Roth and other novels as well as many books for children. His short story collection My Life Among the Apes was longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize. His short stories have been included in Best Canadian Stories and other anthologies. His writing has received two Jewish Book Awards, a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, and many other awards and nominations. Cary Fagan lives in Toronto with his family.
Author profile page >

ENZO LORD MARIANO is an illustrator and musician living in Montreal, Quebec. He discovered the magic of illustration when he was a child, and was bitten by the music bug as a teenager. He doesn’t leave the house without a pencil in his pocket and a mandolin strapped to his back.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

CARY FAGAN is an award-winning author for children and adults. In 2014 Cary was awarded the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People for his body of work. Cary was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.
ENZO LORD MARIANO is an illustrator and musician living in Montreal, Quebec. He discovered the magic of illustration when he was a child, and was bitten by the music bug as a teenager. He doesn’t leave the house without a pencil in his pocket and a mandolin strapped to his back.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
8 to 12
Grade:
5 to 17
Awards
  • Commended, A Junior Library Guild Selection
Editorial Reviews

"A moving account in which a child’s thirst for knowledge is a source of hope against a dismal, war-torn backdrop... the book also maintains the humor and joy that come from a strong, caring support system."

— Foreword Reviews

"[The] narrative emphasizes hope amid ceaseless uncertainty, with small acts of kindness... Succinct and sincere; another ­accessible middle grade window into World War II."

— School Library Journal

"A little bit of luck, the kindness of strangers, and a teenage boy’s perseverance drive this elegant story set during the Holocaust... Maurice’s journey teaches readers to never give up."

— Kirkus Reviews

"Based on Fagan’s grandfather’s experiences, the anecdotal-feeling narration straightforwardly conveys the family’s fear, uncertainty, determination, and love."

— Publishers Weekly

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