Hidden Like Anne Frank is a gripping, approachable read on the disturbing subject of European Jews who went into hiding to escape Nazi persecution. Unlike the famous story of the Dutch girl sequestered with her family and other Jews in a hidden annex in Amsterdam through most of World War II, this book tells of Jews who were hidden from the Nazis and their sympathizers and survived. The clear and evocative writing is memorable for its depictions of children and their rich, often complex lives before the war. Rita Degan describes her family this way: “Before the war, our family had been all kinds of things: vegetarians, followers of holistic healing, and atheists. Of course, we had traditions.” The individual chapters written in the first person explain their childhood understanding of what is happening to them, opening a window into Dutch culture. It is amazing and painful to read the evocative scenes of awkward reunions with parents and also descriptions of how those hidden in difficult situations moved on after the war to live their lives. The touching historical photos and documents in each chapter, together with the images of the hidden children today, create a personal narrative that informs the reader about the impact of war and discrimination on regular people. The book includes maps, bolded vocabulary throughout with footnoted definitions, and a glossary with age-appropriate, succinct explanations. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Dina Weinstein is a Richmond, Virginia-based writer.