Old & New: Number the Stars and Hidden April 18, 2014Posted by ccbooks in Book Reviews.
For many readers my age, our first experience learning about the Holocaust was through Lois Lowry’s classic title Number the Stars. Set in wartime Denmark, the protagonist Annemarie experiences the deprivations of being in an occupied country and along with her family takes risks in order to protect her Jewish friend Ellen Rosen. She learns about courage, that being brave means doing what you have to, in spite of being afraid and that even ordinary people can take a stand for what is right. The strong friendship between Annemarie and Ellen, the descriptions of Annemarie’s family and daily life and the suspense of trying to help the Rosens escape to Sweden make this a great choice for elementary readers
Hidden is a new graphic novel translated from French and published by First Second. Like Number the Stars, it is the ultimately hopeful story of a fictional French girl who must hide from the Nazis after her parents are taken away. When soldiers come in the middle of the night, her parents hide her in the bottom of a wardrobe just before they are arrested. A neighbor finds her and with the help of Resistance workers, they elude the Nazi police to escape to the country. Powerful drawings evoke the struggle to continue a normal life, even while anxious about missing loved ones. Both Number the Stars and Hidden celebrate the courage of ordinary people during World War II and especially the resilience and bravery of children.