Hedy’s Jour­ney: The True Sto­ry of a Hun­gar­i­an Girl Flee­ing the Holocaust

Michelle Bis­son; El pri­mo Ramón, illus.
  • Review
By – December 19, 2017

Hedy’s Jour­ney: The True Sto­ry of a Hun­gar­i­an Girl Flee­ing the Holo­caust by Michelle Bis­son; El pri­mo Ramon, illus. | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

An excel­lent intro­duc­tion to the Holo­caust for chil­dren ages 10 and up, this slen­der book com­bines sim­ple but expres­sive illus­tra­tions with an age-appro­pri­ate narrative.

Due to a miss­ing tick­et, six­teen-year-old Hedy has been sep­a­rat­ed from her fam­i­ly as they attempt to escape the Nazi infil­tra­tion into Hun­gary. Illus­tra­tions show­ing droop­ing pos­tures and anx­ious facial expres­sions depict the inse­cu­ri­ty of a young girl who knows her fam­i­ly must leave imme­di­ate­ly rather than wait for a full com­ple­ment of tick­ets; oth­er­wise it may be too late. Although Hedy tells her sto­ry in mat­ter-of-fact lan­guage, the illus­tra­tions con­vey her anx­i­ety and fear, show­ing a teenag­er trav­el­ing alone dur­ing a dan­ger­ous time. The inclu­sion of fam­i­ly pho­tographs and use of con­ver­sa­tion­al lan­guage com­mu­ni­cate to the read­er the ter­ror and fright of this young Jew­ish girl, doing her best to main­tain her com­po­sure and her judg­ment as she wends her way toward neu­tral Por­tu­gal. There, she final­ly meets her wor­ried fam­i­ly in time to board a boat to America.

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed, the book also includes a use­ful time­line of Hitler’s dev­as­tat­ing progress and maps.

Mar­cia W. Pos­ner, Ph.D., of the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau Coun­ty, is the library and pro­gram direc­tor. An author and play­wright her­self, she loves review­ing for JBW and read­ing all the oth­er reviews and arti­cles in this mar­velous periodical.

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