I have translated some of my published and unpublished books into English. One of them was published by Bloomsbury USA as The Fighter. Click here, or on the sentence “An English version is available” whenever it appears underlined below, to reach a page where you can download PDF files of the books.
This is possible because these books are out of print and I own the copyright. When the sentence isn’t underlined, I have translated the book but it is still on sale and the publisher owns the rights. You should contact the publisher if you want to publish the book yourself.



Le paradis du miel (published by École des Loisirs in 1996).
The narrator of this wild tale has a knack for languages. He learns the language of chimpanzees and adopts two young apes, Big Sister and Little Brother.
He does speak with a heavy foreign accent, so the chimps just don't understand when he says: “Please tidy up your room…Stop throwing mashed potatoes at the ceiling…”
An English version is available (“Honey Paradise”).



Les larmes du samourai (The crying Samurai, École des Loisirs, 1997).
Yoshitsune is Japan’s favorite hero. He lived for real in the twelfth century, but he is better known as a character in books, theater plays and TV series, a kind of young superhero with magical powers who turns into a pathetic failure fleeing the wrath of his half-brother.
Since the Japanese know Lancelot and John of Arc, I think the French and American people should read about Yoshitsune.
This book has been translated into Greek.



Réveille-toi Ludwig (Wake up, Ludwig, École des Loisirs, 1997).
The life of Beethoven. He is filthy, uncouth and short-tempered. He admires Bonaparte, hates Napoleon. He insults his friends and patrons. He composes works of genius that nobody understands. He falls in love with the beautiful Vienna aristocrats he teaches piano to. Alas, beautiful aristocrats can’t love him. A princess can marry a filthy, uncouth and short-tempered man, but only if he is a prince. So Beethoven is very unhappy.



Moi, Marilyn (École des Loisirs, 1998).
So now I think I’m Marilyn Monroe. Or at least, I write her life in the first person. She was famous and unhappy, like Beethoven, but that’s about all they had in common.
This book has been translated into German and published by Bertelsmann
An English version is available (“I, Marilyn”).



Kama (École des Loisirs, 1998).
In 1939, when German bombs begin to fall on Warsaw, Kama is ten years old. She flees with her parents to Byelorussia, then Ukraine, Azerbaidjan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan. They settle eventually in a village in Uzbekistan, in Central Asia. She learns more than if she was going to school, and so do we.
This novel is based on the story of a friend of my parents. An English version is available (“Kama”).



Le ring de la mort (École des Loisirs, 1998).
Like Kama, Maurice grows up in Warsaw. He doesn’t know whether he is born in 1913 or 1915. What he knows is that his family is very poor. He emigrates to Paris, where he becomes a leather worker and an amateur boxer.
In 1941, the French police arrests him with many other Polish Jews. After spending some time in French camps, he is deported to Auschwitz. The SS discover than he can box. They want him to fight a dying man and kill him. Will Maurice accept to kill in order to save his own skin? Or will he refuse to become a murderer, even if it means being shot on the spot by the SS?
This book, based on a true story, received the main French awards for best Young Adults novel in 2000 (five awards altogether).
Bloomsbury USA published the English version (“The Fighter”) in the fall of 2006.



Tout est relatif, comme dit Einstein (Everything is relative, as Einstein says, École des Loisirs, 1999).
The life of Albert Einstein, with a complete explanation of the theory of relativity at no extra charge.
This book has been translated into German and published by Bertelsmann.
An English version is available.



Jeanne Darc (École des Loisirs, 1999).
The real life of Jeannette, whose name never was Jeanne d’Arc. With battles, a coronation and two strange saints. A story that doesn’t end well, but there’s nothing I can do about it.



Jeanne d’Arc et son temps (Joan of Arc and her times, Mango, 1999).
I like Jeannette so much that I also made this illustrated book with art director Michel Coudeyre.
You’ve certainly heard about Joan of Arc, but did you know she was condemned to death and burned for wearing pants?
This book is out of print. You can download the text in the French “eBooks” section of this site.



Une nouvelle vie, Malvina (A new life, Malvina, École des Loisirs, 2000).
The narrator of this book is my mother. She tells her life from her birth to the end of the war.
Twice, she thought she was beginning a new life: when she left Poland to live in Paris; when, after the uncertainties of the war, she moved into a nice apartment with Lonek and me. Is this possible? Can we live several lives?
An English version is available.



Lonek le hussard (Lonek the hussar, École des Loisirs, 2001).
The narrator is my father. He grew up in an inn where hussars belonging to the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire danced with mysterious ladies to the sound of beer-drinking musicians. He studied piano in Poland, then medicine in Paris. All the nurses fell in love with him when he played Chopin. He volunteered to fight in the French Army, then in the French Résistance. He met Malvina. One of his mistresses denounced him out of jealousy. He spent one year in Auschwitz. He says that on September 23, 1944, at 4 AM, he felt an unexplained pain in his belly. This is the exact time and date of my birth.
An English version is available.



Les souffrances du jeune Mozart (The suffering of young Mozart, École des Loisirs, 2001).
I wrote one half of this book. Who wrote the second half? Mozart himself! Having neither asked for his authorization nor shared my royalties with him, I quoted many letters he wrote his parents, his sister and his cousin. They reveal a strange character, obsessed by various body fluids and natural functions. A proud genius, in love with freedom, who chooses to be poor rather than obey a stupid prince. A tender lover, who put more love into music than anybody ever did.
This book has been translated into German and published by Bertelsmann.



Sans accent (No accent, École des Loisirs, 2002).
The narrator is the son of Lonek and Malvina. A clone of myself, in a way.
As soon as I can understand the words “bathroom” and “gas,” I learn that my father survived a camp where mothers and children were sent to gas chambers disguised as bathrooms. As a consequence, I become quite distrustful. I don’t tell my pals I am Jewish. Next time the nazis come, I’ll flee to America.
A peculiar feature of this story is that Lonek and Malvina, who were glorious heroes in their own books, become horrible tyrants in this one.



Mes enfants, c’est la guerre (École des Loisirs, 2002).
I based De trop longues vacances (see Biography) on what Madame Christiane told me about her war experiences in the Mimizan vacation camp during the war. After her death (in 1997, aged 91), I met her elder son and other wartime campers. They provided extra material, which I used to write this new improved story.
An English version is available.



Le roi de l’autostop (The king of hitchhikers, École des Loisirs, 2003).
In Sans accent, I study hard to enter one of the best French universities. In this book, I take well-deserved vacations. At 16, I discover the United States and fall in love with all the American girls I meet. I visit Italy, Greece and Israel. I fight bravely against the giant mosquitoes who lurk along the Tiber, I sleep in king Minos’s palace, I vaccinate hens in a kibbutz. In 1963, at 18, I hitchhike to India via Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. This book contains an exclusive portrait of Brigitte Bardot drawn for villagers in the Iranian desert.



Nine Eleven (École des Loisirs, 2003) .
This book follows several people on September 11, 2001: a group of senior students in Peter Stuyvesant high school, located a few blocks from the twin towers; some of their parents; kids and teachers in Independance School, a primary school in the same neighborhood; and also, people in the towers.
In a kind of parallel narrative, the book explains how the towers burned and collapsed.
This book has been translated into Spanish and published by Alianza Editorial (for adults).
An English version is available.



La cigale et la télé (The cicada and TV, École des Loisirs, 2004).
French schoolchildren learn “Les fables de La Fontaine,” a series of poems inspired by Aesopus’s fables. This book contains a selection of the poems by La Fontaine, each being followed by a parody or variation in classical verse. No English version will ever be available.



Einstein, l’homme qui chevauchait la lumière (Einstein, the man who rode light, Éditions de l’Archipel, 2005).
Considering I had already written a book about Einstein, a publisher commissioned this book from me to celebrate the centennial of Einstein’s “miracle year”: in 1905, he published four articles that changed the world, or at least the world of physics.
This book is less of a novel than the previous one, as Einstein does not speak in the first person. I worked hard at making the physics crystal clear, with lots of little pictures. I can’t guarantee that if you read my two Einstein books you’ll definitely understand the theory of relativity, but I can say that by writing them I certainly improved my knowledge of modern physics.



J’ai mal aux maths, mais je me soigne (La Martinière Jeunesse, 2006).
This book is based on the following idea: “Mathematics have been invented by fools like you and me, so any fool can understand them.” I drew the pictures myself, according to the idea that “Drawing has been invented by fools like you and me, so any fool can draw.”



Galilée et les poissons rouges (Galileo and the goldfish, Le Pommier, 2010).
He invented modern science. He also wrote the first book about modern science (which includes a wonderful demonstration with goldfish). All his troubles came from his book. He was a martyr of literature as well as of science. He was condemned for a sin he was guilty of, so the Church can’t rehabilitate him.




Albert & Marilyn (Le Pommier, 2011).
A French cousin of Marilyn Monroe’s half-sister brought me a notebook she had found in an old suitcase. She came to me because she liked the book I had written about Marilyn.
The notebook contained a series of conversations between Marilyn and Albert Einstein, which Marilyn herself had recorded and transcribed. I typed them and translated them into French. I added a few technical drawings, an afterword, etc.
I am quite sure that some American publisher will publish the original text eventually. Until one of them does, you can download it right here:
Albert & Marilyn
(This is the English version: the & sign stands for “and”, not “et” as above.)


Le fil à recoudre les âmes (The Soul-mending Thread, École des Loisirs, 2012).
Why do people suddenly call Kenichiro “You Jap”? Why is he sent with his family to a camp in the middle of Arizona? Isn’t he an ordinary American boy? He is born in Los Angeles, he goes to school at Thomas Jefferson High. Things really get strange when the Government decides to consider him a Japanese prisoner of war.
Yuriko is really Japanese. She lives in Hiroshima.
This novel tells the unlikely meeting of Yuriko and Kenichiro in 1944, while their two countries are at war.
An English version is available.



Le retour de Christophe Colomb (Christopher Colombus returns, École des Loisirs, 2014).
The crews grumble. Where are the golden pagodas of Cipango? The journey has already lasted much longer than planned. Christopher Colombus himself is beginning to worry.
He gives in eventually: The sailors are right—we’re not getting anywhere. He decides to turn back. He settles near Cadiz as a carpenter.
Will he travel again?
An English version is available.