As much as I kind of enjoyed reading Dracula, it was ridiculously discouraging for me to spend a month on one book; it doesn’t happen super often. (Of course, I generally average shorter books than Dracula. And, to be fair, I’ve had several non-fiction books that have taken me months. I wasn’t reading them exclusively at the time, though.) Which is why, after I finished it, I grabbed the shortest library book I had, for the sheer pleasure of finishing something else in the same night. It was a beautiful thing! I love reading books, but–because of my out of control library habit–I also love finishing books and returning them to the library. And there really was a feeling of–I’m back! I can do this! I can finish books again!
Okay, yeah, I get that not everyone is going to share my enthusiasm. And that’s okay. Some people run marathons, which I cannot share any enthusiasm for. We all have our things.
Whether or not we’re into the same things, however, doesn’t change the fact that Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust is well worth your time. As mixed as my feelings may be about it, graphic novels are here to stay, and they can attract kids that other formats might not. Hidden is a graphic novel about a grandmother sharing her Holocaust experiences with her granddaughter; the details of the art aren’t my favorite thing about the book, but it’s a skillfully told story nonetheless. It walks the line between telling the truth and not overwhelming its young target audience rather well (and that’s not a line that’s easy to find). I tend to avoid Holocaust fiction–there are too many good memoirs out there, waiting to be read–but I made an exception for this one.
I’m glad I did.