Cover image for Seeking refuge : a graphic novel / Irene N. Watts ; illustrations by Kathryn E. Shoemaker.
Seeking refuge : a graphic novel / Irene N. Watts ; illustrations by Kathryn E. Shoemaker.
Publication Information:
Vancouver : Tradewind Books, 2016.

Physical Description:
134 pages : chiefly illustrations, 26 cm
General Note:
"Based on Remember Me a novel by Irene N. Watts, published by Tundra Books 2000"--Copyright page.
Explores what it is like for a young refugee girl who has to flee Nazi Germany alone.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
WAT Graphic Novel Junior Graphic Novels
WAT Graphic Novel Junior Graphic Novels

On Order



In this follow-up to their successful graphic novel, Goodbye Marianne, award-winning author, Irene Watts, and celebrated illustrator, Kathryn Shoemaker, explore the reality of a young refugee girl who flees Nazi Germany on a kindertransporte, taking Jewish children to safety in Britain, never to see her family again. Though lucky to be alive, Marianne is terribly lonely in her new home. She has to learn to speak English and she longs for her real family. This story will resonate with young people aware of the dire situation of refugees migrating through Europe today.

Author Notes

Irene Watts
was born in Berlin and moved to Vancouver many years ago. She is the author of numerous books and plays for children and young people, among them Goodbye Marianne and No Pets Allowed published by Tradewind.

Kathryn Shoemaker
is the illustrator of many books for children, among them A Telling Time, My Animal Friends and Floyd the Flamingo and his Flock of Friends for Tradewind Books. She teaches children's illustration at Langara College.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Shoemaker's quiet, silvery-penciled panels soften this Holocaust narrative, a companion to Good-bye Marianne (2008). Eleven-year-old Marianne Kohn arrives in Great Britain with the Kindertransport, a rescue that shipped Jewish children out of Germany before the outbreak of WWII. Memories and nightmares of escalating hate under the Third Reich persist as she makes her way in a country that isn't entirely happy to have her. Her first foster mother, counting on free domestic help, cares only for appearances: "You have shamed me in front of everyone," she tells Marianne after the girl buys a pair of used shoes. Evacuated to rural Wales after the war begins (Shoemaker's maps help readers track the shifting locales), Marianne encounters outright bigotry ("Christ killer!" "Dirty spy!"), then stays with a couple whose own daughter has died, and who attempt, creepily, to remake Marianne into her image. Yet throughout, Marianne finds allies who guard, help, and advocate for her, and she is herself resourceful and brave. Miraculously, Marianne and her mother are reunited in the end. Though Holocaust stories are by definition horrifying, this one offers some hope. Ages 8-11. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

The Kindertransport was a rescue operation that evacuated children from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to the UK in the years just prior to World War II. While Marianne is fortunate to be one of the first couple of hundred children to arrive in London, she doesnt feel lucky. She is taken in by a wealthy woman who uses her as a maid. Then, too, she misses her mother terribly, and hopes they will be reunited at any moment. When war breaks out, Marianne is evacuated to Wales, where she lives with a grieving, overbearing family seeking only to replace their deceased daughter. There is a ray of hope at the end of the book; what might be viewed as a tidy conclusion to the narrative is a welcome relief in the Holocaust genre. Based on the authors novel Remember Me, this graphic novel captures the melancholy nature of the story--the isolation from, and longing for, the familiar comforts of home and family--through Shoemakers limited-palette, charcoal-hued illustrations. This sense is further underscored by the tight layout of the panels, divided neatly into various combinations of squares and rectangles, and by the angle of the proverbial camera lens, which seems to either offer a more panoramic wide-angle view or a slightly claustrophobic one hovering above the characters. jonathan hunt (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.