Natal­ie and the Nazi Sol­diers: The Sto­ry of a Hid­den Child in France Dur­ing the Holocaust 

  • Review
By – December 4, 2023

This real-life sto­ry of the author’s moth­er-in-law recounts the expe­ri­ences of a young Jew­ish girl who must hide deep in the French coun­try­side dur­ing World War II. Natal­ie stows her­self under the floor­boards of a barn and emerges when she thinks no Ger­mans are in the vicin­i­ty. She does encounter fear­some Nazi sol­diers on occa­sion, and she must rely on her quick think­ing and the kind­ness of oth­ers to con­ceal her true iden­ti­ty and avoid cap­ture. She risks tak­ing a wound­ed pig to the vet, inter­acts with a group of Amer­i­can sol­diers who give her choco­late, and has some fright­en­ing close calls. But she man­ages to hide until the end of the war.

An after­word teach­es read­ers more about the Holo­caust and explains that, although her moth­er did not sur­vive, Natal­ie was even­tu­al­ly reunit­ed with her father. Sim­ple line draw­ings and illus­tra­tions with soft col­or bring Natal­ie to life. A map helps clar­i­fy the set­ting of this well-told story.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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