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Review: Hedy’s Journey by Michelle Bisson

Hedy's Journey by Michelle Bisson

Hedy’s Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the Holocaust
Michelle Bisson
Illustrated by El Primo Ramon
Capstone Press
Published August 1, 2017

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

It is 1941. Hedy and her family are Jewish, and the Nazi party is rising. Hedy’s family is no longer safe in their home in Hungary. They decide to flee to America, but because of their circumstances, sixteen-year-old Hedy must make her way through Europe alone. Will luck be with her? Will she be brave? Join Hedy on her journey-where she encounters good fortune and misfortune, a kind helper and cruel soldiers, a reunion and a tragedy-and discover how Hedy is both lucky and brave. Hedy’s Journey adds an important voice to the canon of Holocaust stories, and her courage will make a lasting impact on young readers.

My Review

Hedy’s Journey reads simply but powerfully, recounting the intense journey a young girl makes alone across Europe to escape her Nazi-controlled homeland. The illustrations are beautiful and emotive. I felt like I experienced the fear and anxiety along with Hedy and her family as they struggled to complete their journey toward freedom.

This is a bit heavier than the likes of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry in terms of its transparency about the real terror Hedy’s family and other refugees faced and what might happen to them, but the author still carefully limits details and information to keep it appropriate for younger readers.

Hedy’s Journey would make a great addition to a classroom unit on the Holocaust for grades four through six, or a home library. I definitely recommend it.

Content Notes for Hedy’s Journey

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Cultural Elements
Hedy and her family are Jewish Hungarians who emigrate to America.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content

Violent Content

Drug Content

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