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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
How the World Was

How the World Was

A California Childhood

Emmanuel Guibert; Illustrated by Emmanuel Guibert; Translation by Kathryn M. Pulver

First Second


In 1994, French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert befriended an American veteran named Alan Cope and began creating his new friend's graphic biography. Alan's War was the surprising and moving result: the story of Cope's experiences as an American GI in France during World War II.

How the World Was is Emmanuel Guibert's moving return to documenting the life of his friend. Cope died several years ago, as Guibert was just beginning work on this book, but Guibert has kept working to commit his friend's story to paper. Cope grew up in California during the great depression, and this remarkable graphic novel details the little moments that make a young man's life...while capturing the scope of America during the great depression.

A lyrical, touching portrait, How the World Was is a gift for a dear friend in the last moments of his life... and also a meditation on the birth of modern America.

NPR Best Book of the Year

Praise for How the World Was

How the World Was is a companion graphic biography to Guibert's Alan's War.” —VOYA

“This is a magical and important work of art.” —Publisher's Weekly, starred review

“This epic graphic memoir spans oceans and generations, with a narrative as engrossing as the artistry that illustrates it.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review for Alan's War

“Guibert's fluid, simple but assured linework captures the personalities of Cope and his friends, elevating the material to a far more affecting level.” —Publisher's Weekly, starred review for Alan's War

Reviews from Goodreads

Emmanuel Guibert; Illustrated by Emmanuel Guibert; Translation by Kathryn M. Pulver

New York Times-Bestselling author Emmanuel Guibert has written a great many graphic novels for readers young and old, among them the Sardine in Outer Space series, The Professor's Daughter with Joann Sfar, the critically acclaimed WWII biography Alan's War, and the New York Times-bestselling The Photographer with Didier Lefevre. His most recent graphic novel is a prequel to Alan's War, How the World Was. Guibert lives in Paris with his wife and daughter.

image of Emmanuel Guiberto

Emmanuel Guibert

First Second

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