CYBILS JUNIOR HIGH NONFICTION: The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix


 Interweaving handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his fight against the oppression of the German people during World War II. Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who was shocked to watch the German church embrace Hitler's agenda of hatred. He spoke out against the Nazi party and led a breakaway church that rebelled against racist and nationalist beliefs of the Third Reich. Struggling with how his faith interacted with his ethics, Bonhoeffer eventually became convinced that Hitler and the Nazi Party needed to be stopped--and he was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to do so.


Wow! Hendrix has really out done himself with this book.  It's hard for me to describe it adequately.  I recommend that if you can you get your hands on it and read it for yourself.  This book which is not a true graphic novel, there is too much text, tells the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who became part of a plot to assassinate Hitler.  Not only is the story a compelling one, but the way Hendrix has chosen to tell it is phenomenal.  The combination of illustration and text is seamless and the powerful images, both literal and figurative, really hit home.  In addition to telling the story of Bonhoeffer and his entry in theology, the book gives a good background on the rise of Hitler, which helps the reader understand why Bonhoeffer and his colleagues were so willing to risk everything to stop him.  Part graphic novel, part biography, and part history, The Faithful Spy, tells a story that every reader who picks up this book can't help but be changed by. 


  1. As one of the other JH/SH nonfiction judges I have to admit that this book is one of my favorites. I thought I knew about Bonhoeffer but I really had no idea what he did until I read this book. I hope others agree in our group.

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