The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco


The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco is a picture book based on a true story, a little girl named Sevrine is hiding with her family in the basement of a home in France during World War II. While in hiding, Sevrine sneaks upstairs to view the outdoors and pet the homeowners cat. One night, Sevrine is spotted by the homeowners’ daughter, Monique. Sevrine panics and runs away. Leaving Monique believing she saw a ghost. A few nights later Sevrine returns and is once again spotted by Monique. This time Monique lets Sevrine know that it is okay that she is there and would like her to stay. That night, Monique learns that Sevrine has been hiding in her basement for a long time as the Nazi’s are looking for her and her family since they are Jews.

Over the next few nights, the girls secretly meet one another and become friends. Until one night, when the girls secret friendship is found out. This causes Sevrine and her family to leave Monique’s home and find a new hiding place.



If you are looking to engage students within a unit, using two or three of the following resources would be extremely beneficial toward providing multiple perspectives of World War II:
  • The Butterfly
  • Dust of Eden 
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas


Reading, The Butterfly aloud to students to open up the unit and capture them into what a child experienced during the war in France. The Dust of Eden, could be assigned to read and complete Literature Circles of what happened during the war in America (and specifically in their own backyard). If age appropriate, sharing the movie or reading the book entitled, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas students will see a variety of views between the Nazi’s and the Jews during the war in Germany. Terror, displacement, and tragic consequences seen and experienced from those young and old to those innocent bystanders and in charge.

This book was read in part of my #BookaDay Summer Reading Challenge, you can learn more about this here. Please feel free to subscribe to my blog or follow me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time .....

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