Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier
Review by Lauren
copy for review; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: In this gentle, poetic young graphic novel, Dounia, a grandmother, tells
her granddaughter the story even her son has never heard: how, as a
young Jewish girl in Paris, she was hidden away from the Nazis by a
series of neighbors and friends who risked their lives to keep her alive
when her parents had been taken to concentration camps.
Review: I would definitely recommend this book to teachers that are trying to introduce what the Holocaust was to a young audience. This book takes place in the present time and looks back on WWII and the Holocaust. Now, Dounia has a granddaughter named Elsa who seems to be close in age to Dounia herself when she had to go into hiding. One night, Elsa comes into the living room and snuggles up with her grandmother, and they talk about nightmares. With this prompting, Dounia begins to tell Elsa how as a young Jewish girl in France, she had to be separated from her parents and go into hiding.
Obviously, as adults reading this and knowing a bit about the Holocaust, we know that her parents have been taken away to concentration camps. Young Dounia doesn’t understand this. She is desperate to be reunited with her parents. At the same time, she knows that her neighbors and other strangers are helping keep her safe and she does appreciate that.
I loved getting this perspective of the Holocaust and how it might have been for a young girl. Dounia is lucky that those around her are able to help and keep her safe. We wonder about her parents through the book and wish for their safe return, but at the same time, Dounia’s story is a unique point of view and one that I really appreciated. It was interesting to get into the head of a young girl who knows bad things are happening, yet does not fully understand what it all means. Through her you get a look at the people who fought back, the ones that helped hide innocent men and women.
Hidden is a lovely graphic novel. It focuses on an important subject in world history but it does so without being extreme and becoming inappropriate for children. Like I said above, this is a great book to introduce the topic of the Holocaust to a younger audience, but it’s also a nice book for history lovers or people who wish to get into graphic novels since it’s fairly short and easy to follow.