Peaks: This book provides another entry (on an admittedly already-crowded bookshelf) into an important historical event, and it does so with a particularly deft and gentle touch. The love between the family members and the kindness of their allies is clear, and provides a strong uplifting note throughout—instead of showing how the Holocaust brought out the worst and most desperate in people, it shows how people were brought closer together and showed heroism in small, individual ways.
|click to embiggen|
Valleys: Will kids say "oh, no, not another Holocaust story"? I'm not sure. As already mentioned, there are plenty of stories about this time in history, but on the other hand, there are as many individual stories of the Holocaust as there are individuals around to tell them. For readers who aren't quite ready for Maus by Art Spiegelman, Hidden takes a gentler approach that nevertheless conveys the hardships of the Nazi occupation on Paris's children.
Conclusion: With characters that are cute, funny, even unintimidating, the overall effect is perfect for a book for younger readers that deals with heavier historical themes. Moments of humor balance the seriousness, and in the end, the message is conveyed that storytelling itself can heal.
I received my copy of this book courtesy of the publisher. You can find HIDDEN by Loïc Dauvillier, Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo at an online e-tailer, or at a real life, independent bookstore near you!