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Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust

Hidden: A Child's Story of the HolocaustHidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust
Written by: Loïc Dauvillier
Illustrated by: Marc Lizano
Translated by: Alexis Siegel
Publisher: First Second
Format: Hardcover, 7 x 9, 80 pages, Full Color, $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-59643-873-6

Review

I have never read a Holocaust story intended for children that I would recommend to very many early readers. Until now. Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust is truthful, direct, and poignant about the historical realities regarding what children of that time period literally and innocently had to face.

Set in France in 1942, Dounia's father tells her she must wear a new and special sheriff's star on her shirt from now on, and she is so very, very excited to go to school and share her newly anointed identity with her friends. But her friends have been told something different about Dounia's "sheriff's" star-bearing shirt.  

After Hitler concurred Paris in 1942 with both his armies and his philosophies the Jewish people were forced to wear the Star of David on their clothing for identification purposes. Not exactly a sheriff's star, as Dounia's parents had told her.

Gentle and approachable, this early reader comic is not only appropriate for young readers, but also imperative to developing their 21st century early reader critical thinking skills about the historical realities of the 20th century's most horrific hour.

Elements of Story

Plot: Set in France, Dounia's parents tell her she must wear a Sheriff’s special star on her shirt in 1942. Dounia and her readers, however, soon start to wonder whether or not this special star is indeed something special or something detrimental to Dounia’s well being.  

Characters: Grandma/Dounia, Elsa, Catherine, Isaac, Grandpa, teacher, police, Mr. and Mrs. Péricard, Mrs. Durand, Simone Pierret and/or Péricard, Germaine

Settings: 1942 France, Elsa's home, Germaine's farm, Elsa’s school, playground, Mrs. Péricard's apartment, hiding places, train, Rue De Vitrac

Themes: Faith, Spirituality, Holocaust, Family, Memories, Generational History and Relationships, Fact and Fiction, Image Interpretation

Recommended Common Core Standards for Young Adult Readers

Key Ideas and Details
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Lesson Plan:

Directions: Being able to sequence and analyze how and why individuals and events occur in this young reader graphic novel is key to comprehension of its historical realities.

For that reason, the following graphic organizer asks students to first identify the sequence of events in the story, and then next how they happen. Finally, readers are asked to offer their reader response interpretations about what happens and the sequence in which it all occurs.

Event 1

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 2

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 3

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 4

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 5

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 6

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 7

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event 8

What happens?

Reader Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2013); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (in press, 2014). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her two wiener dogs, Sam and Max.