Blueberries for the Queen

Blueberries for the Queen Cover

Blueberries for the Queen

By Katherine Paterson; Susan Jeffers (Illustrator); John Paterson

HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780066239422, 32pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2004


In 1942 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, living in exile after the Nazi invasion of her country, spent the summer in Lee, Massachusetts, with her daughter and granddaughters. The following is based on a true story....

It’s summertime in New England during World War II, and a boy named William likes to imagine at bedtime that he is a brave knight fighting great battles to end the war. But in the morning he is always just William again, not big enough to contribute to the war effort like the rest of his family.

Then a real queen moves in just down the road: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. William’s parents explain that the queen has been forced out of her country because of the war. Now William has his chance to do something. It may not be “war work” -- it’s more like peace work -- but that makes all the difference.

Susan Jeffers’s dramatic illustrations portray the compelling contrast between William’simagination and the real events in the story, which are based on an actual incident in John Paterson’s childhood. Visually stunning, with an evocative, poignant telling, this is the picture-book art form at its finest.

Praise For Blueberries for the Queen

“Only the hardest-hearted will fail to be moved by this skillful presentation of a timeless theme.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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