Review: The Light in Hidden Places

The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron

Category: Young Adult
Reviewer: Stacy Mozer

In The Light in Hidden Places, sixteen-year-old Stefania has to decide whether to risk her life and the life of her six-year-old sister Helena to hide a group of Jewish people when the Germans invade her town. Based on a true story, Stefania, who had been living and working with a Jewish family before the war, knows that the way the Jews in her town are being treated is not right. So when the son of her former boss shows up broken at her door after jumping off a moving train, Stefania knows that she has to help any way she can. She never expected that would lead her and her sister to hide thirteen Jews during her town's occupation, but even when things are at their worst, she never regrets her choice.

The Light in Hidden Places is a story of heroism and hope when people and life is at its worst. It's about standing up for what you believe is right. I love how the author uses small moments to show the challenge these characters face and how amazing they truly were. It's also good to have Holocaust and WWII stories from the perspective of non-Jewish people who were willing to stand up.

This book should be a contender for the Sydney Taylor Book Award because it "is solidly rooted in authentic and accurate detail through scholarship and research by the author." It is written well for the young adult audience for which it is intended, and could even be read by a more mature middle grader. I would definitely say the book has literary merit. The author brings you into the world of the story and the head of the character in a way that you take on all of her fears and triumphs.

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Reviewer Stacy Mozer a veteran elementary school teacher, currently teaching advanced language arts to second - fifth graders. In addition to teaching, she is a middle grade author, a book blogger, a frequent Cybils Award committee member, and serves as Co-Regional Advisor for the New England Region of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.