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A Family Secret by Eric Heuvel
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A Family Secret

by Eric Heuvel

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“A Family Secret” is a wonderful book about secrets and turmoil that broke apart a family. Also at the end the reader realizes it’s also about a friendship that can stand the test of time and war. The author uses flashback to portray a part of a family’s history from a long time ago. Also the author did a great job at depicting the struggles that tore a family apart. This is seen through out the book where the narrator’s father is always fighting with the mother and children. Also the reader learns at the end of the book the narrator’s dad kept a secret from the entire family that led to the reuniting of two long lost friends that was a long time overdue. ( )
  brandib90 | Sep 17, 2013 |
Flashbacks are used to tell of a family living in Amsterdam during the Holocaust. The very serious subject matter is related through the family members; the father was a member of the Dutch Nazi Party, while the mother and son participated in the Dutch resistance. The graphic novel format reveals the family’s secrets up to the present day. The companion is The Search.
  KilmerMSLibrary | Apr 30, 2013 |
Amazing job of covering a huge, complicated and emotionally charged topic in a small space. The grandson of a Dutch survivor of WW II, talks with his grandmother and learns about her life and that of her Jewish friend Esther right before, during and just after the German occupation. ( )
  Eurekas | Feb 18, 2012 |
A Family Secret
By Eric Heuvel
Summary: While searching his grandmother’s attic for things to sell in a yard sale, Jeroen finds a scrapbook that his grandmother made during World War II. It brings back painful memories for her, she tells Jeroen for the first time about her experiences as a girl living in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands and about the loss of her Jewish best friend Esther. Jeroen’s grandmother wants to go to a Memorial Day service, but she has sprained her ankle and can not walk. Jeroen attends the service in her place and he makes a surprising discovery. His grandmother’s childhood friend Esther is still living!

Personal Reaction: I loved that this graphic novel was educational.

Classroom Extension Ideas: I thought that this graphic novel is a great way to keep children interested in a story of WWII. Teaches could also ask students to talk with their own grandparents and see what interesting stories they had to share.
  KaseyDawson | Nov 1, 2011 |
It is okay, but it is sad because the nazis blow up countries. ( )
  JRMS6 | Mar 17, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Published in conjunction with the Anne Frank House and the Resistance Museum of Friesland, this moving graphic novel translated from the Dutch tells of Holocaust perpetrators, rescuers, collaborators, and bystanders through the experience of one family under Nazi occupation in Amsterdam. It is in the tradition of Art Spiegelman’s classic Maus (1986), not only in format and the historical facts of the millions who perished, but also in the unsentimental truth of the complex humanity: victims are far from saints, survivors are haunted by guilt. The art is in ink and watercolor, with very clear, highly detailed panels, eight or nine per page. The gripping story begins with a contemporary young teen, Jeroen, whose grandmother, Helena, tells him for the first time about her teenage years in Holland. Many panels show a tiny profile of Gran now as she remembers the Nazi-Resistance conflict right in her family’s living room. Her policeman father went along with the Dutch Nazi Party to get a promotion, while her mother remained in furious opposition. One pro-Nazi brother can’t wait to join the army, and the other brother secretly participates in the Resistance. Helena’s friend Esther, a Jewish refugee from Germany, tells her about Krystallnacht and other atrocities. When the Dutch Nazis come for Esther’s family, Helena’s father refuses to rescue her friend. After the war, he is executed as a collaborator. But secrets are revealed right up to the present, and in all their complexity, they will stay with readers forever. With its companion, The Search (2009), this is a must for the Holocaust curriculum. Grades 7-12
added by allison_IYL | editBooklist, Hazel Rochman
 
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While searching his Dutch grandmother's attic for yard sale items, Jeroen finds a scrapbook which leads Gran to tell of her experiences as a girl living in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, when her father was a Nazi sympathizer and Esther, her Jewish best friend, disappeared.… (more)

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