STARRED REVIEW
October 2018

The Faithful Spy

By Alex Berenson

Author-illustrator John Hendrix brings his considerable talents to this nonfiction graphic exploration of the German resistance during World War II and the fascinating story of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer, a double agent who played a role in the failed plot to kill Hitler, was hanged by the Nazis on April 9, 1945, just weeks before the end of the war.

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Author-illustrator John Hendrix brings his considerable talents to this nonfiction graphic exploration of the German resistance during World War II and the fascinating story of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer, a double agent who played a role in the failed plot to kill Hitler, was hanged by the Nazis on April 9, 1945, just weeks before the end of the war.

Through black-and-white hand-lettering along with teal, red and black illustrations, Hendrix provides historical context of the post-World War I factors that led to the Nazis’ assumption of power in 1933. Ample white space allows readers to move easily from frame to frame without being overwhelmed by colors. The intensity is already there, of course, in the story itself. In the back matter, Hendrix modestly disavows being a scholar, but The Faithful Spy provides just the right amount of historical information while simultaneously hooking readers on Bonhoeffer’s tragic journey. Direct quotations are flagged with an asterisk, allowing curious readers to trace sources in the notes.

The Faithful Spy is exactly the kind of accessible, innovative page turner sure to entice new readers to the graphic format and the burgeoning genre of middle grade nonfiction. Truly a tour de force.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Faithful Spy

The Faithful Spy

By Alex Berenson
Random House
ISBN 9780345478993

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