cover image The Light in Hidden Places

The Light in Hidden Places

Sharon Cameron. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-338-35593-2

Cameron’s saga of life in wartime Poland under German occupation stretches from 1936, when 11-year-old Fusia first falls in love with city life on a visit to Przemys´l, through July 1944. Based on the experiences of then-teenager Stefania “Fusia” Podgórska, who, along with her younger sister Helena, was, in 1979, honored by the World Holocaust Remembrance Center for their heroism in saving Jews during the war, the book traces, in exhaustive detail, what that heroism looked like daily. Catholic Fusia doggedly persists in doing what she believes is right; when the Jewish family she has been living with and working for is sent to the Jewish ghetto, she sneaks food and supplies to them. Eventually she hides her friend, Max, and six (and later 13) other Jews in her and Helena’s apartment. Living in fear and under constant suspicion, Fusia holds down a full-time factory job, fends off a Polish officer’s advances, and undergoes several extremely close calls with the police, all while fiercely protecting Helena (an especially appealing character, sharp and savvy under her shy demeanor). This story of extraordinary survival is bolstered by an author’s note, accompanied by photos, that relates the happy future that followed for Fusia, Helena, and Max. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.) [/em]