The Butterfly is an emotional and revealing story of a young girl, Monique, in a French village during the time of World War II and the Holocaust. Monique thinks she sees a ghost in her room one night and comes to find out that the ghost is actually a Jewish girl named Severine, hiding with her parents in Monique’s basement to stay hidden from Nazi eyes. The story follows these characters as tragic events play out typical of the Nazi-era Europe. The title, The Butterfly, refers to a representation of an underlying theme of freedom, and the lack thereof, throughout the story. As is typical of Patricia Polacco’s work, The Butterfly approaches a difficult subject with an commitment to accuracy with an interplay of sensitivity, making it an ideal resource for young children to begin to learn about the horror and realities of the Holocaust era, and what it meant for those living through the time. Polacco’s artwork adds to the emotion and detail of the story.

Published 2000, Philomel Books