The Prisoner and the Writer is a new middle grade graphic novel written by Heather Camlot and illustrated by Sophie Casson. It is a story of bias and prejudice within the French political history. The main character is a man (Captain Alfred Dreyfus) who is falsely accused to treason to his country and who is sent away for life even though all the evidence pointed to him being one-hundred percent innocent.
A French writer (Emile Zola) begins to take interest in this case. The more he looks into it, the more evidence he finds that the captain was convicted unfairly and most likely because he was Jewish. It takes him some time to determine if he should fight for his freedom or stay silent and protect his reputation. Ultimately, he chooses to follow his beliefs and fight for a fellow citizen who was wronged by their country.
I found this to be a very interesting story. It was not a topic that was one hundred percent familiar with. Yes, I knew that incidents like this has happened but, this is one of the first I had come across in the form of a middle grade story. I think the way author Heather Camlot writes is easily accessible to the reader. It is mostly in verse format and has an easy flow to it. The illustrations are wonderful and I loved how there was a breakdown of the historical implications of his event at the end of the story.
The advanced copy of The Prisoner and the Writer only contained a small bit of the story. Thankfully when I emailed the publisher (Groundwind Books), they kindly provided me with a more finalized copy. It was nice to be able to read the entire thing and feel like I had gotten the full story. I think that this story is a good example of the prejudices which individuals experienced in the past and honestly may still experience today. It will open the door to more lessons and conversations for young readers everywhere.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**