“An impressionistic memoir of a Polish Jewish girl’s survival hiding as a Gentile in Nazi-occupied Poland . . . truly moving and bravely rendered.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Alona Frankel was just two years old when Germany invaded Poland. After a Polish carpenter agreed to hide her parents but not her, Alona’s parents desperately handed her over to a greedy woman who agreed to hide her only as long as they continued to send money. Isolated from her parents and living among pigs, horses, mice, and lice, Alona taught herself to read and drew on scraps of paper. The woman would send these drawings to Alona’s parents as proof that Alona was still alive. In time, the money ran out and Alona was tossed into her parents’ hiding place, at this point barely recognizing them.
After Poland’s liberation, Alona’s mother was admitted to a terminal hospital and Alona handed over to a wealthy, arrogant family of Jewish survivors who eventually cast her off to an orphanage. Despite these daily horrors and dangers surrounding her, Alona’s imagination could not be restrained. Faithful to the perspective of the heroine herself, Frankel, now a world-renowned children’s author and illustrator, reveals a little girl full of life in a terrible, evil world.
“A wonderful contribution to the canon of Holocaust literature—the story of a hidden child that is told with indelible images and tender words.” —Thane Rosenbaum, author of How Sweet It Is!