A Rose Named Peace
Francis Meilland always wanted to grow his own roses, like his father and grandfathers before him. More than that, he wanted to create a brand-new rose, the most beautiful rose the world had ever seen. Year after year — through sudden frosts and insect infestations and failure after failure — Francis tried to craft a new hybrid. And then, just as he finally began to find success, World War II exploded across Europe.
When the German army stormed into France, Francis and his family had to sacrifice their rose beds for vegetable gardens. It seemed that Francis’s efforts to create a new rose would be lost forever.
But at war’s end, the story of the Peace Rose was just beginning.
Beautifully illustrated by celebrated illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline, this biography of the Peace Rose and its creator is an ode to living a dream from beginning to end, through sun and through storm.
Behind the Book
You Never Know Where a Story Will Come From
This is my husband holding our son (thirty years ago) standing in front of the Peace roses blooming in our yard in California. We had no idea what they were — other than beautiful. But our elderly neighbor and gardener-extraordinaire, Laura Hoffman, knew exactly what they were.
“These are Peace roses,” she told me, while also showing me — a novice gardener at the time — how to care for them. “They were flown out of France at the beginning of the World War II.”
Laura’s words — and the mystery they held — stayed with me. And all these years later, I discovered the rest of the story.
- 2022 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection