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Song Of A Blackbird, a Wartime YA Graphic Novel by Maria van Lieshout

Song of a Blackbird by Maria van Lieshout is an upcoming YA historical fiction graphic novel with two intertwined timelines.

Article Summary

  • Discover Maria van Lieshout's 'Song of a Blackbird', intertwining WWII and modern family drama.
  • Experience a graphic tale of Dutch resistance fighters pulling off a historic bank heist.
  • Join Annick's search through family history to save her grandmother with a WWII connection.
  • Entwined timelines highlight the power of art and brave acts of compassion.

Song of a Blackbird by Maria van Lieshout is an upcoming YA historical fiction graphic novel with two intertwined timelines: one a modern-day family drama, the other a courageous tale of art and resistance under Nazi occupation. Mark Siegel at First Second has bought world rights to Song of a Blackbird, excluding Dutch, in a preemptive purchase from Maria van Lieshout's agent Steven Malk, at Writers House. Tess Banta and Robyn Chapman will also edit the book, and publication is planned for January, 2025.

Song of a Blackbird, Maria van Lieshout'

"Fictionalized but based on true events, Song of a Blackbird has two intertwined timelines: one is a modern-day family drama, the other a thrilling tale of a WWII-era bank heist carried out by Dutch resistance fighters.In the present day, teenage Annick is desperate to find a bone marrow donor that could save the life of her grandmother, Johanna. She turns to her family history and discovers a photograph taken by Emma Bergsma. Decades earlier, Emma is a young art student about to be drawn into what will become the biggest bank heist in European history: swapping 50 Million Guilders' worth of forged bank notes for real ones―right under the noses of the Nazis! Emma's life―and the lives of thousands, including a young woman named Johanna―hangs in the balance. In this stranger-than-fiction graphic novel, Maria van Lieshout weaves a tale about family, courage, and the power of art. Deeply personal yet universal, Song of a Blackbird sheds light on an untold WWII story and sends a powerful message about compassion and resistance."

Maria van Lieshout is the author-illustrator of several picture books including Backseat A-B-See and Flight 1-2-3. She lives in San Francisco, California. First Second Books is a graphic novels publisher based in New York City, and an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, part of Holtzbrinck Publishers, distributed by Macmillan, with Editorial & Creative Director Mark Siegel and Editorial Director Calista Brill. Who is as brill as her surname sounds.


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from The Union Club on Greek Street, shops at Gosh, Piranha and FP. Father of two daughters. Political cartoonist.
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