The Children’s Book Review | June 4, 2019
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
Written by John Hendrix
Age Range: 10-14
Publisher: Abrams Books (2018)
What to Expect: Military History, Civil Rights Activism, Women’s Rights.
It can be very easy to see the world in black and white: right and wrong, good and evil, success or failure. This is especially the case when it comes to war and conflict, when it can seem as if the whole world is divided into “us” and “them”. Of course, the real world is not like that – history teaches us that no matter how clear cut a situation may seem in the moment, the truth is in reality complex, complicated, murky, and nuanced. The Faithful Spy narrates one just such moment in the history of World War II. Telling the story of the German Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this graphic non-fiction narrative explores the struggle to reconcile ideologies and ethics in a way that is sure to resonate with young readers today.
Graphic novels have seen a rise in both popularity and quality in recent years, and The Faithful Spy makes good use of this popular format to offer a multifaceted and complex narrative. Hendrix signature style uses a paired down color palette and a range of different page layouts, from that of the traditional novel to classic comic-book framing. This blending of text-based and visually-presented narrative makes it easy for readers to absorb a vast amount of information in a short space of time, all whilst in the grips of a thrilling narrative of daring, intrigue, and fast-paced action. The language throughout is sharp and concise, compellingly introducing readers to a man who was as complicated and as challenged as they themselves might be. Hendrix pays full due to the intelligence of his audience, trusting them with the skill to interpret three-dimensional issues, and the result is a presentation of history that is vivid and engaging. A must for any history lover!
About the Author-Illustrator
John Hendrix is the illustrator of Nurse, Soldier, Spy and author/illustrator of Shootingat theStars, among others. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler, by John Hendrix, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Books With Activism, Civil Rights, Graphic Novel, History, Military Stories, Non-Fiction, and World War 2.