Graphic Novel Review: Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust

Graphic Novel Review: Hidden: A Child’s Story of the HolocaustHidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier
Published by Macmillan on April 1st 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 80
Buy on Amazon

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.

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20 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust

  1. Books like this one (especially in graphic novel form) are really important. They can help a younger audience to understand the problems and stories it’s hard to talk about.
    I will look at an illustrations style and may purchase a physical book, if I like it. Thank you for review!

  2. This seems like a very interesting book. I’m always fascinated with stories about the Holocaust, for the same reason that death is fascinated with humans in Zusak’s The Book Thief… because somehow despite all the horrible things, we carry on with our lives. So much strength!

  3. This is a book I don’t think I’ve ever come across. Very interesting and seems powerful. I’ve read a few stories about the Holocaust, but never a graphic novel especially a children’s one. I think I will find this book for my siblings so they can learn about it.

  4. WWII fiction is my favourite and its one of my favourite parts of history to study so I’ll definitely be picking this up soon!

  5. Knowing the horrors (not all of them) that these people went through I would probably bawl my eyes out… The cover is so nice!

  6. I’ve just started reading graphic novels and definitely want to add this one to my list — I’m planning to read Maus over the weekend for Bout of Books, but I like the idea of trying a Holocaust graphic novel aimed at younger readers. It’s such an important topic and interesting to see how it is handled for all different ages of readers.

  7. I adore graphic novels. I recently got into reading them 2 years ago but I’ve never seen this one. It sounds fun! Thanks for the review. 😉

    – Beckie

  8. Ali

    This seems like a really good book to read. To be able to read it from a child’s point of view will seem sweet and scary.

  9. Wow, I have to read this. WWII interests me so much, all the stories that can be told from it. I must get this graphic novel now, thanks for the review 🙂

  10. Rikki S

    I have been wanting to read this book! Your review makes me want to read it even more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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