HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Hidden Child of the Holocaust: A True Story
Author: Stacy Cretzmeyer
Publisher: Scholastic, 1999
Language level: 2 (a French euphemistic phrase)
Reading level: Ages 10-15
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Cretzmeyer, Stacy. Hidden Child of the Holocaust: A True Story (published in 1999 by Oxford University Press Inc., 198 Madison Ave., New York City, NY 10016; republished in 2004 by Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012; adapted for children from Cretzmeyer’s Your Name is Renee: Ruth Kapp Hartz’s Story As a Hidden Child in Nazi-Occupied France). This is a true story. Ruth Kapp (now Ruth Kapp Hart) and her family escaped Nazi Germany and moved to France. But when the Nazis invaded Paris, they had to go into hiding in southern France controlled by the Vichy government. Then when the Nazis moved into southern France, she was hidden in a Catholic orphanage in the country. Since my wife Karen likes reading books about the Holocaust, we have several.
Some of them, even those written for young people, contain elements that are simply not suitable for children, while others are very beneficial and even inspiring. This is one of the latter. Other than a few references about drinking wine and instances where the interjection, “Mon Dieu” (which, according to my high school French teacher is what French people use when they want to say “my gosh” or “my golly” but which literally means “My God,” helping to explain why we prefer books for our boys that do not use words like “gosh” and “golly” whenever possible) is used, there is nothing objectionable. There is some mention of how the Kapps had to “lie” about their identity to the authorities, which might occasion some discussion about when it might be necessary to conceal truth under certain circumstances.