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Odette's Secretsby Maryann Macdonald
Synopses & Reviews
Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats. After Odettes father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return.
On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl—going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.
Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers—and written in moving free-verse poetry—this is a story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight.
"Odette's life in Paris is happy until Jewish shopkeepers' stores start being vandalized and rumors of war become fact. With her father in the army, Odette, her mother, and her beloved godmother are left to manage under the growing restrictions against Jews. Eventually, Odette is sent to the countryside — safer, but not devoid of anti-Semitism — where she spends the rest of the war as a hidden child. When the war ends, Odette, no longer sure how Jewish she feels, is reluctant to return to Paris, memorably described, like the rest of postwar France, as a 'gigantic Lost and Found' for Jews seeking missing family members. As Odette starts to understand the extent of the losses her community has suffered, she rediscovers her identity as a Jew. Macdonald used the real Odette's auto- biography as the basis for this book, and her free-verse narrative is charming and effective. Although Odette's age is never given, her youthful perspective and the overall nonspecificity about the war, make the book best suited to readers on the younger end of the target audience. Ages 10 — 14. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Inspired by a true story, this moving free verse novel chronicles the journey of a young Jewish girl living in Paris during World War II who must masquerade as a Christian in the French countryside to avoid deportation to the death camps.
For Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, every day brings new dangers. So when Odette's father is thrown into a work camp and the Nazis suspect her mother of helping the Resistance, Odette is sent to the French countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, Odette leads the life of a regular girl, going to school, doing chores, even attending Catholic masses with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets for the life she left behind, and the identity she must hide at all costs. Yet when the war ends, the cost of keeping secrets takes an unexpected toll: can Odette return to Paris as a Jew, or has she changed too much? Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyer, this moving free-verse novel is a story of triumph over adversity.
For Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, nowhere is safe. So when Odette Meyer's father is sent to a Nazi work camp, Odette's mother takes desperate measures to protect her, sending Odette deep into the French countryside. There, Odette pretends to be a peasant girl, even posing as a Christian-and attending Catholic masses-with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets, and when the war ends Odette must figure out whether she can resume life in Paris as a Jew, or if she's lost the connection to her former life forever. Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyer, this moving free-verse novel is a story of triumph over adversity.
About the Author
Maryann Macdonald has written more than twenty books, incuding The Costume Copycat (Dial) and The Little Piano Girl (Houghton Mifflin) www.maryannmacdonald.comDaniel Meyers is the son of Odette Meyers, whose life story informed the novel. He lives in Paris, France
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