Hidden Hope: How a Toy and a Hero Saved Lives During the Holocaust by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by Amy June Bates

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  Jacqueline Gauthier was a French teenager working with the Resistance during World War II.  She used a hollowed-out toy duck to smuggle papers to Jews who needed to change their identities to survive, eventually saving over 200 lives.  Jacqueline herself had changed her identity from Judith Geller to hide the fact that she was Jewish.  In addition to her work smuggling papers, she was hiding her parents and brother, having to find enough food to keep them all alive as she rode her bicycle for miles each day all over Paris.  Despite some close calls, Jacqueline/Judith survived to see the end of the war and the liberation of the people she had saved.  Includes two-page notes from both the author and illustrator with additional information about Judith and a list of additional resources.  48 pages; grades 3-6.

Pros:  This exciting story is told in spare, poetic text that conveys the danger Judith faced and the courage that kept her going for the long years of the war.  

Cons:  The only photo provided is from war-era identification papers.  I’m guessing there aren’t others available, but I would have loved to have seen more.

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