Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust

Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier, Marc Lizano (Illustrations), Greg Salsedo (Ink), Alexis Siegel (Translator)

HiddenA young girl wakes in the night to find her grandmother crying. She wants to know why her grandma is sad and is told the story of her childhood. Grandma Dounia grew up in Paris and had a happy life with her mom and dad. Then the Germans conquered France and her life changed. She had to start wearing a sheriff’s badge, but soon learned it was not a good thing. She was singled out in school and bullied by her teacher and classmates. One night the police came to her house. Her parents hid young Dounia, but where taken away that night. A neighbor takes in the child and hides her in the country where she stays for the rest of the war. Her mother eventually returns, but her father never does.

This gentle graphic novel makes the story of the Holocaust accessible to younger readers. It doesn’t disguise or hide the atrocities of that time, but it allows young readers to learn about what happened to the Jews of Europe during WWII in a way that won’t frighten them too much. There are no talks of gas chambers or death camps, but the story of one young Jewish girl is clearly told. The fear is clear throughout the story as young Dounia comes to terms with what is happening in Paris and to her life in the country without her parents. It is a good introduction to the Holocaust for those readers who might not be quite ready for more detailed accounts.