Published by Macmillan on April 1st 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
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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.
Hidden ends on a tender note, with Dounia and her mother rediscovering each other as World War II ends . . . and a young girl in present-day France becoming closer to her grandmother, who can finally, after all those years, tell her story. With words by Loïc Dauvillier and art by Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo, this picture book-style comic for young readers is a touching read.
Dounia is a grandmother now and one night her granddaughter sees her up late looking at old photos, so she tells her the story of her youth growing up as a Jewish girl. This story broke my heart and will be a great story to really show a perspective into World War II and the Holocaust for younger children. Dounia is a French Jew and it tells the story of when she first got her star and what it meant all the way to the end of the war and looking for her family. She was one of the children hidden instead of taken to the camps, but the parts leading up to that really were heart breaking.
How quickly things seem to turn against the Jewish people, the teacher suddenly is meaner to her, her friends are not allowed near her and she is just a young girl. Then, she loses her parents and has to trust the couple that has taken her in and now she must pretend to be their daughter. Tragedy strikes even further when her false father is taken into custody and she flees to the countryside. The things that Dounia goes through are terrifying and is so well displayed in this graphic novel. The illustrations are darker and I love the style used for the characters, with the bigger heads and small bodies.
Beyond the way Hidden tells its story, there’s this wonderful message being shown through the telling of a grandmother to her granddaughter, that of taking advantage of the time one has with their family. Nothing lasts forever and family is one of those things that should be cherished. This is possibly one of my favorite graphic novels now and one I hope many readers will open and enjoy. I love that Hidden has a readability for younger readers, as it’s a story that must be told and understood no matter how much time passes since the horrible events of the Holocaust.