The Prisoner and the Writer

The Prisoner and the Writer is a book by Heather Camlot and illustrated by Sophie Casson

Written by Heather Camlot and illustrated by Sophie Casson

The book cover shows an illustration from the POV of someone looking out of a jail cell window, their hands around the bars of the cell window, onto a beach with waves crashing.

When a Jewish army captain is falsely accused of treason and sent to prison, a writer uses his pen to fight for justice.

In 1895 a prisoner watches the ocean through the bars of his cell. Accused of betraying France, Captain Alfred Dreyfus is exiled to a prison on Devil's Island, far from his wife and children. It's a horrible fate — but what if he's innocent?

Seven thousand miles away, the famous writer Emile Zola wonders: Is Alfred a traitor to France? Or a victim of anti-Semitism? Convinced that Alfred is innocent, Emile knows that it is his DUTY to help. He pens the famous letter "J'Accuse …!", explaining that Alfred was blamed, charged, tried and convicted … only because he is Jewish.

This powerful middle-grade story written in verse with full-page illustrations is told from the perspectives of both Alfred Dreyfus and Emile Zola, two men whose courage changed the world. The true story, published in time for the 125th anniversary of "J'Accuse …!", acts as a reminder that a person committed to truth, justice and equality must stand up and speak out against prejudice for themselves — and for others. Includes an author's note and further historical context. (From Groundwood Books)

Heather Camlot is a journalist, writer and translator who grew up in Montreal and now lives in Toronto. She is also the author of the book, The Other Side, YA novel Clutch and the picture book What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows?

Sophie Casson has illustrated a number of children's books, including The Artist and Me, a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and Helen's Birds