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Edith's Story: The True Story of a Young Girl's Courage and Survival During World War II

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In 1940, while the Germans occupied Holland, fourteen-year-old Edith van Hessen was filling her diary with the intimate, carefree details of a typical teenager's life — thoughts about boys, school, her family, her friends, her future. By 1942, as Edith was contemplating her first kiss, the Germans had begun to escalate their war against the Jews. Soon this bright, fun-lovi In 1940, while the Germans occupied Holland, fourteen-year-old Edith van Hessen was filling her diary with the intimate, carefree details of a typical teenager's life — thoughts about boys, school, her family, her friends, her future. By 1942, as Edith was contemplating her first kiss, the Germans had begun to escalate their war against the Jews. Soon this bright, fun-loving girl was grappling with one of the most unfathomable events in human history. Edith's family — assimilated Dutch Jews — were caught in the cross fire of the Holocaust, and Edith began a bitter struggle to survive. In this extraordinary work, Edith Velmans weaves together revealing entries from her diaries with reminiscences and letters smuggled between family members during the occupation. Edith's Story stands as a profoundly important addition to the literature of the Holocaust, documenting one girl's grief, loss, courage, and ultimate triumph over devastating tyranny and despair. For as Edith is hidden in plain sight by a Christian family, we witness how a young woman must deny, bargain with, and finally face the horrors of war — and how, confronting evil as a child, Edith survives to become an extraordinary woman.


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In 1940, while the Germans occupied Holland, fourteen-year-old Edith van Hessen was filling her diary with the intimate, carefree details of a typical teenager's life — thoughts about boys, school, her family, her friends, her future. By 1942, as Edith was contemplating her first kiss, the Germans had begun to escalate their war against the Jews. Soon this bright, fun-lovi In 1940, while the Germans occupied Holland, fourteen-year-old Edith van Hessen was filling her diary with the intimate, carefree details of a typical teenager's life — thoughts about boys, school, her family, her friends, her future. By 1942, as Edith was contemplating her first kiss, the Germans had begun to escalate their war against the Jews. Soon this bright, fun-loving girl was grappling with one of the most unfathomable events in human history. Edith's family — assimilated Dutch Jews — were caught in the cross fire of the Holocaust, and Edith began a bitter struggle to survive. In this extraordinary work, Edith Velmans weaves together revealing entries from her diaries with reminiscences and letters smuggled between family members during the occupation. Edith's Story stands as a profoundly important addition to the literature of the Holocaust, documenting one girl's grief, loss, courage, and ultimate triumph over devastating tyranny and despair. For as Edith is hidden in plain sight by a Christian family, we witness how a young woman must deny, bargain with, and finally face the horrors of war — and how, confronting evil as a child, Edith survives to become an extraordinary woman.

30 review for Edith's Story: The True Story of a Young Girl's Courage and Survival During World War II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Numerous times while reading this book, tears welled in my eyes and I felt shaky. Edith Velmans' descriptions of her life in Nazi-occupied Holland resounded so closely to my mother's that I felt I was reading the diary of a family friend of hers, except for one thing: my mother and her family didn't change their names and "dive" in order to hide their Jewish identity... But that's a whole different story and book, a book I one day hope to write. Indeed, Edith was a teenager just a few years older Numerous times while reading this book, tears welled in my eyes and I felt shaky. Edith Velmans' descriptions of her life in Nazi-occupied Holland resounded so closely to my mother's that I felt I was reading the diary of a family friend of hers, except for one thing: my mother and her family didn't change their names and "dive" in order to hide their Jewish identity... But that's a whole different story and book, a book I one day hope to write. Indeed, Edith was a teenager just a few years older than my mother when the Germans invaded the Netherlands, and the occupation evolved from a political curiosity to a nuisance to something twisted and sinister that meant life and death to those of Jewish descent and those that tried to help them and resist. The author uses excerpts from her diaries, letters from relatives, and her later recollections to craft a narrative that really takes you into that period of Dutch history. It starts with her somewhat childish antics as a young teen just before the war, her fear and excitement with the invasion, the puzzlement and absurdity of labeling your clothes with the Jewish Star of David badge, and then the ultimate decision with her parents to send her and her brother into hiding. One aspect that hits home is how regular everything in daily life was, right up until it wasn't. Her family photos show birthday celebrations, school sporting events, fun times with high-school friends on the family sailboat, right up until the month she was taken in by a Christian family in another town as household help, and her brother went off to join the underground in the eastern part of the country. What happens next is on one hand heartbreaking, as family members and various friends and acquaintances typically disappear into the Nazi deportation machinery, and on the other hand a testament to optimism and human resilience, as she matures and waits out the war helping those around her as best she can. It is a very well written counterpoint. Thank goodness that the author kept so much of her own and her family members' writings! There is one note from her mother, given to her earlier in the occupation after Edith was the butt of a racist incident at school, and I think it sums up the mood of the book and the theme of this period in history quite well. Just as God created nature and the sun to shine over the world, so that everything may look radiant and joyful, do did He also invent rain, which depressing as it can be is nevertheless crucial to life, since it provides us with food and water. So it is in our own lives, darling. There are all sorts of disappointments we have to deal with, humiliations, sorrow, shame, grief, etc....But we also have our share of happiness, success, love, and lots more. Now in your case, you just had a terrible disappointment because of the gross insult you experienced. But you must also take into account who did this to you, and then my darling, perhaps you can tolerate it more easily...and think 'Someone like this can't insult me.' Your true friends remain your friends, and you have made plenty of those in your short life... A heavy burden has been imposed on us now, on you and on thousands of others, and we must try, whatever comes, to keep our heads high...That will depend on our will-power and self-confidence. Yes, if we didn't have those, life would not be worth living. I compare this time that we Jews are living through now, to a little child that is being bullied by a big boy who wants to grab him and wrestle him to the ground. Nothing lasts forever, my dear. As long as you know that I for one am with you, and together we will head forward, with open eyes and an open heart! God will protect us if we stay true to our course, keeping in mind our responsibilities and duties to ourselves and to our fellow man. Although it may seem trite, given what happened to so many of the Jewish people who had faith in their fellow man, the words resound with me. The sentiment and unfolding of historical events was so authentic to me, providing another level of understanding of what my family went through, even if a few mysteries remain for me yet to discover.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terri Lynn

    Yes, I have read yet another Holocaust story. This is non-fiction, the story of Edith Van Hessen who was a teenaged girl who was full of herself and seemed too stupid to understand what was going on around her. She just wanted to chase boys and have fun and offered no help to her mother, father and grandmother even as they suffered health problems and the Nazis began marching into her town of The Hague, Holland. Her father worked for an American firm and had gotten visas for all of them but only Yes, I have read yet another Holocaust story. This is non-fiction, the story of Edith Van Hessen who was a teenaged girl who was full of herself and seemed too stupid to understand what was going on around her. She just wanted to chase boys and have fun and offered no help to her mother, father and grandmother even as they suffered health problems and the Nazis began marching into her town of The Hague, Holland. Her father worked for an American firm and had gotten visas for all of them but only one son Guus actually left since Grandma was born in Germany and had fled the Nazis and was a woman with no country after being stripped of her German citizenship for being a Jew. They had been advised to go on to the USA and then get a refugee visa for Grandma (there were plenty of people she could stay with until it came through) but no, the Edith's parents waited until it was too late. They also failed to tend to their health- I got sick of reading about Edith's mom's gall bladder attacks and her dad's abcessed teeth and how they didn't get them out. They had the money to afford it. Finally the mother had a fall and broke her hip and had to spend years in a hospital, the dad's absesses and the irritation led to cancer in his jaw and he wound up in a hospital for the rest of his life and Grandma landed in a nursing home. When they started taking young people away, her brother Jules found a family in another city to take her in with stolen identity papers as a friend to their daughter whose parents were hospitalized. Immediately Edith had to grow up and put away her selfishness. This is a powerful story and Edith shares every harrowing minute with us. Her story is not just a rehash of other stories. Read- and let your heart be both broken and warmed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen MacGregor

    This is another great book on the Jewish Holocaust. It's amazing the things these people went through- and to read about their personal thoughts and experiences and think, they're just like me! She was a teenage girl obsessed with boys- just like I was. Not that I was racist and thought she wasn't a "normal" human... it's just that Holocaust victims have been put sort of on a pedestal in my mind as great people in history. When in reality they really WERE just "normal" human beings trying to mak This is another great book on the Jewish Holocaust. It's amazing the things these people went through- and to read about their personal thoughts and experiences and think, they're just like me! She was a teenage girl obsessed with boys- just like I was. Not that I was racist and thought she wasn't a "normal" human... it's just that Holocaust victims have been put sort of on a pedestal in my mind as great people in history. When in reality they really WERE just "normal" human beings trying to make it through some terrible circumstances. But anyway, she shares her private story of wearing the Jewish star, going into hiding, and hearing about each of her family members deaths one by one. It's a sad and tragic tale, but a great one for those looking into the Holocaust in a more personal rather than historical way.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shubhada Kale

    Having read numerous accounts of Anne Frank, I was very optimistic about this book. All my speculations were proved right when I finished this book in a day. Absolutely mesmerizing and beautifully written. Must read for World War II literature readers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    A World War II book about the diary of a Jewish girl in hiding in Holland. Sound familiar? It is the diary of Edith who's story is quite a bit different from Anne Frank's. Edith's older brother gets to America before the Nazi's come. Her other brother is in the Resistance. Edith lives a relatively normal life until 1943 when she goes to live with a gentile family and has false papers that identify her as a Christian. In the meantime, her mother and father both become ill. Mom goes to the hospita A World War II book about the diary of a Jewish girl in hiding in Holland. Sound familiar? It is the diary of Edith who's story is quite a bit different from Anne Frank's. Edith's older brother gets to America before the Nazi's come. Her other brother is in the Resistance. Edith lives a relatively normal life until 1943 when she goes to live with a gentile family and has false papers that identify her as a Christian. In the meantime, her mother and father both become ill. Mom goes to the hospital and lasts a remarkably long time til she is taken to Westerbrock, a holding camp before being sent to Sobibar, a death camp. Her father dies in a nursing home. He's never sent away. Edith is able to visit him one time, but it really is risky for her to travel outside. She essentially becomes the housekeeper for the family with whom she is hiding. She survives the war and meets up with her oldest brother. The story is told both from her diary entries and her memories. A good edition to the canon of Holocaust literature

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    An interesting counterpart to The Diary of Anne Frank. I loved the depictions of day-to-day life during the war and occupation. Really fascinating (even when you know it's not going to end well for most of the people.....). An interesting counterpart to The Diary of Anne Frank. I loved the depictions of day-to-day life during the war and occupation. Really fascinating (even when you know it's not going to end well for most of the people.....).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Hullett

    A great story of a Dutch Jewish girl that was hidden during the war, the fate of her family and all of the evil that happened during the Nazi Occupation. My heart broke reading this truly moving story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donna Lewis

    This book was written by Edith Velmans, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. She lost most of her family, but hid as a Christian family for the last three years of WWII. She was 15 when she joined the family, staying until she was 18. A typical teenager, she also kept diaries. In July 1950, Edith was in the hospital giving birth to twins. The new mother across from her was Miep Gies, who told her that she helped hide a Jewish family during the war—the Otto Frank family, who were This book was written by Edith Velmans, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. She lost most of her family, but hid as a Christian family for the last three years of WWII. She was 15 when she joined the family, staying until she was 18. A typical teenager, she also kept diaries. In July 1950, Edith was in the hospital giving birth to twins. The new mother across from her was Miep Gies, who told her that she helped hide a Jewish family during the war—the Otto Frank family, who were betrayed, leading to the death of Anne Frank and her sister and mother in Auschwitz. Miep suggested that Edith should write a book based on her diaries, much like Otto Frank published Anne’s diary. Of the 140,000 Jews in Holland before the war broke out in 1940, fewer than 30,000 survived. Even more incredible, the number of hidden Jews in Holland is estimated to have been around 24,000. Of these, 8,000 were betrayed, and only 16,000 survived. Before he died, Edith’s father wrote to her the following words of encouragement, which helped her in her isolation: “It’s strange how much you can bear, if your doom is parceled out to you in small doses. It’s just like poison: if you start taking it very gradually, increasing the quantity drop by drop, then your body will eventually get used to it.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    chucklesthescot

    A great Holocaust memoir. Edith is a young Dutch Jew and we join her story as the Germans invade her country and start a campaign against her religion. Finally, after persecution and the grim life that follows, she is hidden with a family who risk their lives to keep her safe while her family become separated. It was interesting to get so much detail about the restrictions placed on daily Jewish life-the segregation,curfews,simple things like not being able to visit your friends houses as they w A great Holocaust memoir. Edith is a young Dutch Jew and we join her story as the Germans invade her country and start a campaign against her religion. Finally, after persecution and the grim life that follows, she is hidden with a family who risk their lives to keep her safe while her family become separated. It was interesting to get so much detail about the restrictions placed on daily Jewish life-the segregation,curfews,simple things like not being able to visit your friends houses as they were non Jews. It must have been difficult for children to understand why they can't ride a bike or swim in the river or have non Jewish friends. The book also describes how Edith lives with another family, aching for news of whether her family have evaded the death camps. A moving memoir, well written and it keeps you interested throughout. It also shows the bravery of those wonderful people who did whatever they could to save Jews by taking them into their home, knowing the penalty for doing so. Book Rating: 3.5/5

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    "I never realized that there could be such suffering in the world, and that anyone could live through it." - Excerpt from Edith's diary, July 1, 1945 This is the story of a carefree childhood interrupted by war. Edith grew up in Holland in a warm and loving family. She kept a diary during these years and the book alternates between diary entries, family letters and her own recollections as an adult. Having both her teenage perspective and her adult perspective gives us a truer picture of this time "I never realized that there could be such suffering in the world, and that anyone could live through it." - Excerpt from Edith's diary, July 1, 1945 This is the story of a carefree childhood interrupted by war. Edith grew up in Holland in a warm and loving family. She kept a diary during these years and the book alternates between diary entries, family letters and her own recollections as an adult. Having both her teenage perspective and her adult perspective gives us a truer picture of this time. She is 14 when the Germans invade Holland and we see the slow disintegration of her life. At 16, Edith leaves her family, changes her identity, and hides with a Christian family. This is a moving story. Like all Holocaust memoirs, it is a story of loss and death. It is also a story of courage and humanity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Buckby

    i've said this before and i always will after reading this kind of books, these are the ones that will stick with me for years to come. This story was completly different to the other three i had read as most eneded up the person being in a conceration camp. However this story showed the stregnth of a girl who went into hiding right under the nazi's noses. It truly showed what lengths some people went to hide and save jewish people from deportation to these horrible camps. This memoir was beauti i've said this before and i always will after reading this kind of books, these are the ones that will stick with me for years to come. This story was completly different to the other three i had read as most eneded up the person being in a conceration camp. However this story showed the stregnth of a girl who went into hiding right under the nazi's noses. It truly showed what lengths some people went to hide and save jewish people from deportation to these horrible camps. This memoir was beautifully written and a memorizing storie of a young girl who had to live in constant fear of being found out.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    An interesting memoir of a young girl who survived the Holocaust through the bravery and assistance of righteous gentiles. Using diaries she kept before she went into hiding, letters sent to her during her period of portraying a gentile by family members under the guise of being friends which she kept tho' told not to,a diary kept after liberation and memories Velmans wrote her story later in life. In it she describes her self-doubts, fears and concerns during a horrific period of her life. An interesting memoir of a young girl who survived the Holocaust through the bravery and assistance of righteous gentiles. Using diaries she kept before she went into hiding, letters sent to her during her period of portraying a gentile by family members under the guise of being friends which she kept tho' told not to,a diary kept after liberation and memories Velmans wrote her story later in life. In it she describes her self-doubts, fears and concerns during a horrific period of her life.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Clarice

    This book is really exciting because it's like a different and new perspective in the time era the Anne Frank's diary was written. Edith was about 15 when the war started and Anne was about 11 so you get more opinions from Edith. I really enjoyed this book because it gives a lot of information about Edith's time in the Netherlands. This book is really exciting because it's like a different and new perspective in the time era the Anne Frank's diary was written. Edith was about 15 when the war started and Anne was about 11 so you get more opinions from Edith. I really enjoyed this book because it gives a lot of information about Edith's time in the Netherlands.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hanneke Vlak

    Great book. This reminded me of the stories my parents told us about wartime Holland. My grandmother hid a Jewish family, the de Groots, they lost their son in one of the camps. They survived but my parents never heard from again. Terrible time in Europe. Very readable, i will keep it, it's nearly like a family memoir. Great book. This reminded me of the stories my parents told us about wartime Holland. My grandmother hid a Jewish family, the de Groots, they lost their son in one of the camps. They survived but my parents never heard from again. Terrible time in Europe. Very readable, i will keep it, it's nearly like a family memoir.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    This is the story of a young girl living in The Netherlands during WWII and how the war affected her and her family. I realized I did not know much about the war affected The Netherlands. Educational, enlightening and sometimes just hard to read. This is her life.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Holly Varner

    This is an amazing story! The family's journey through WWII and the losses they suffered at the German's hands is well written here. The ravages to the Jews is eloquently explained in these pages - truly devastating. This is a tear jerker! This is an amazing story! The family's journey through WWII and the losses they suffered at the German's hands is well written here. The ravages to the Jews is eloquently explained in these pages - truly devastating. This is a tear jerker!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    Amazing story, well told. I mean I don't even know what to say. Maybe because she didn't go through such horrific experiences as others, though she certainly didn't have it easy, I could relate to it in a different way. Amazing story, well told. I mean I don't even know what to say. Maybe because she didn't go through such horrific experiences as others, though she certainly didn't have it easy, I could relate to it in a different way.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dena

    This was an amazing story of a woman hidden in plain sight by a Dutch family during WWII. It was tragic of course but the excerpts of the diary and the commentary she provides are just beyond insightful. Highly recommend this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Excellent non-fiction about a young Jewish Dutch girl living in the Netherlands during WWII. Her family hides her in plain view with a gentile family in another city. A different take on the Holocaust - this story isn't about concentration camps, but about hiding and the goodness of others. Excellent non-fiction about a young Jewish Dutch girl living in the Netherlands during WWII. Her family hides her in plain view with a gentile family in another city. A different take on the Holocaust - this story isn't about concentration camps, but about hiding and the goodness of others.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anya Cherneff

    Loved this book! Better than Anne Frank.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    A format much like Anne Frank (diary entries, letters) but a different tone and a much happier ending.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Others have said it better and more specific to details. It's a first person non-fiction which gives more than an adequate slice of her time and experiences. Others have said it better and more specific to details. It's a first person non-fiction which gives more than an adequate slice of her time and experiences.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Anne Frank's story is not the only diary-based record of the Nazi horror that should be read. What makes Edith Velmans' book special is that her story is based not only on her journals, but also on family letters, and on her own memories, interpretation and elucidation of the wartime era. You see, she survived the war. Raised in The Hague, she went "underground" for about three years from age 15-18 to avoid the fate that met so many, including her family. Coincidentally in 1950, in Amsterdam aft Anne Frank's story is not the only diary-based record of the Nazi horror that should be read. What makes Edith Velmans' book special is that her story is based not only on her journals, but also on family letters, and on her own memories, interpretation and elucidation of the wartime era. You see, she survived the war. Raised in The Hague, she went "underground" for about three years from age 15-18 to avoid the fate that met so many, including her family. Coincidentally in 1950, in Amsterdam after the war, she shared her maternity ward room with another new mother Miep Gies, who had rescued Anne Frank's diary and had helped the Frank family when they were in hiding. Velmans' writing sparkles with life. I had been reluctant to read yet another account of the Nazis, but from the moment I began reading, I was delighted to discover the history of a vibrant and loving secular Jewish family, impressed by the thoughts and actions of a self-aware, strong-hearted teenager, and intrigued to read a first-hand account of the slow process by which the Nazi poison seeped into the country of Holland. The connective tissue of the narrative provided by the adult Edith Van Hessen Velmans pulled everything together into a thoughtful story that stands alone as an important historical record of the years from the 1930's through to 1946.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    The true story of Edith Von Hessen, a Dutch Jew who was hidden in plain sight during the German occupation. She states at the beginning of the book that she never thought her story was important enough to tell because she survived and did not suffer the horrible trials that others suffered. Part of the story is told through the journals that she kept before she went into hiding and also through the letters from her family that she defiantly saved even though their existence could condemn her. I The true story of Edith Von Hessen, a Dutch Jew who was hidden in plain sight during the German occupation. She states at the beginning of the book that she never thought her story was important enough to tell because she survived and did not suffer the horrible trials that others suffered. Part of the story is told through the journals that she kept before she went into hiding and also through the letters from her family that she defiantly saved even though their existence could condemn her. I enjoyed reading about the war through her perspective and seeing how the people did not see the next thing coming. They always thought that the current limitation or restriction would be the last until they were being hunted down and taken to the concentration camps. T

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Yet another incredible book about the Holocaust. I have read a dozen or more and am so awed and humbled by what people have lived through. This book describes in great detail the rich love and family ties of a Jewish family in Amsterdam torn apart by the war and the invading Nazis. Edith is a Jew hidden in plain site and this book is her depiction of what transpired in the those years. One common thread these books have is that they humanize and personalize this tragedy and introduce readers to Yet another incredible book about the Holocaust. I have read a dozen or more and am so awed and humbled by what people have lived through. This book describes in great detail the rich love and family ties of a Jewish family in Amsterdam torn apart by the war and the invading Nazis. Edith is a Jew hidden in plain site and this book is her depiction of what transpired in the those years. One common thread these books have is that they humanize and personalize this tragedy and introduce readers to the horrors inflicted upon specific Jewish families. The book is rich and heartbreaking and well worth a read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    As the cover says, this is the story of an Anne Frank who lived, a girl hidden by her secular Jewish parents in Holland when the march of the Nazis comes ever closer. Would I have the courage that Edith's 'aunt and uncle' have when they choose to hide her – in plain sight? Would I have the courage to be Edith … or even more, to be Edith's parents who make the wrenching plan to trust their daughter to strangers? An engaging, quick read. Edith's pre-war diaries (and her very dangerous war-time dia As the cover says, this is the story of an Anne Frank who lived, a girl hidden by her secular Jewish parents in Holland when the march of the Nazis comes ever closer. Would I have the courage that Edith's 'aunt and uncle' have when they choose to hide her – in plain sight? Would I have the courage to be Edith … or even more, to be Edith's parents who make the wrenching plan to trust their daughter to strangers? An engaging, quick read. Edith's pre-war diaries (and her very dangerous war-time diaries) somewhat miraculously survived the war, which enabled her to write this story with the emotions she was experiencing as it all happened.

  27. 4 out of 5

    LaurenG

    This book gave you an insight on how life was like to be a Jew in World War 2. This book gives descriptive imagery on how she lived during these though times. A compliment I would give this author is how descriptive she is being and how well she describes the characters and the setting. A criticism I would give the author is that she jumped around on the dates in the book. The author will be talking about a topic and then the next page would be talking about something that happened two months la This book gave you an insight on how life was like to be a Jew in World War 2. This book gives descriptive imagery on how she lived during these though times. A compliment I would give this author is how descriptive she is being and how well she describes the characters and the setting. A criticism I would give the author is that she jumped around on the dates in the book. The author will be talking about a topic and then the next page would be talking about something that happened two months later. Overall I would recommend reading this book if you are interested in learning the history and tough times of World War 2.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    The evolution of the character, from her self absorbed, young, carefree self before the war, through the war torn days of the Netherlands is so very evident in the way she tells her tale. Pre-war she tells her tales through her journal entries. Once she goes in to hiding, the tale is told through the letters she exchanges with her mother and father. I wish she had shared a little more of her emotional state during the war/hiding years. Overall, a good read about this awful time period in history The evolution of the character, from her self absorbed, young, carefree self before the war, through the war torn days of the Netherlands is so very evident in the way she tells her tale. Pre-war she tells her tales through her journal entries. Once she goes in to hiding, the tale is told through the letters she exchanges with her mother and father. I wish she had shared a little more of her emotional state during the war/hiding years. Overall, a good read about this awful time period in history for the young adult reader.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kadie Bennion

    I liked that this was a little different view of WWII than the normal concentration camp stories. Overall a good read, it is kind of a story about the girls' parents as much as the girl herself, and they were interesting to read about. In one part of the book, the mother breaks her hip, and I was kind of surprised by how long she was in the hospital. I think it ended up being close to a year. Things have sure changed a lot that way! I liked that this was a little different view of WWII than the normal concentration camp stories. Overall a good read, it is kind of a story about the girls' parents as much as the girl herself, and they were interesting to read about. In one part of the book, the mother breaks her hip, and I was kind of surprised by how long she was in the hospital. I think it ended up being close to a year. Things have sure changed a lot that way!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I first read this book several years ago,a and was enthralled to read ths Holocaust story from this perspective of a Dutch Jewish girl, "hidden in plain sight". This book has travelled with me for many moves, a real keeper and one that is good for a re-read. I first read this book several years ago,a and was enthralled to read ths Holocaust story from this perspective of a Dutch Jewish girl, "hidden in plain sight". This book has travelled with me for many moves, a real keeper and one that is good for a re-read.

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