Past and present are woven into this novel set in contemporary times and WWII Poland. Based on a real life story about friendship and endurance in the darkest situation. Ewa’s debut novel The Mystery of the Colour Thief was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Childrens Prize 2019 and longlisted for the Branford Boase Award.
Kat is a 12-year-old girl who loves working on her super-heroine comic, Girl 38 – the girl she longs to be like. But she’s not brave, or fearless. At school, Gem is no longer her ‘best friend’. And at home Kat is lonely while her parents are busy working long hours. She’s even a bit afraid of her elderly neighbour, Ania. But when Ania has an accident Kat surprises herself by rushing to the rescue – just like Girl 38. Their unlikely friendship blossoms, and with it Kat’s determination, as Ania reveals the haunting story behind the portrait of a girl she’s left unfinished.
Inspired by Ania – her daring leap to freedom and her search for her lost friend, Mila, who was taken away by soldiers to a ‘walled village’ at the outbreak of WWII – Kat unravels the mystery of the girl in the painting and finds a happy ending for Girl 38.