When I first heard about this book from Candlewick Press, I was intrigued. A story of World War I, written for a tween/teen audience, told through sparse text and photographs of miniatures depicting the scenes being described. What, I wondered, could that possibly look like?
The Good Son is remarkable. It's kind of a coffee table book format, but the narrative is haunting. A soldier recounts his experiences leading up to his imprisonment for going AWOL during Christmastime in 1914. He talks about the beauty of the countryside, his patriotism, and the harsh realities of battle where even when you've won, it is terrible. I can't even describe to you the power of these images--they tell far more than the few words on each page. I've read The Good Son twice now and each time it moved me. I think this would be an amazing book to share with young people, particularly as the story is based on actual events in a young man's life.
There is also fascinating back matter from Author Pierre-Jacques Ober on his connection to the story and the process of creating the miniatures and photographs. Below you'll find a couple of sample pages from the book as well as photographs of the work in progress. Enjoy!
THE GOOD SON. Text copyright © 2019 by Pierre-Jacques Ober. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Jules Ober and Felicity Coonan. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
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