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Hidden Hope

How a Toy and a Hero Saved

Lives During the Holocaust



Abrams Books

(pub.3.14.2023) 48 pages

Ages 4-8

Author: Elisa Boxer

Illustrator: Amy June Bates

Character: Judith Geller (pseudonym Jacqueline Gauthier)


" During World War II, a social worker named Jacqueline bicycled through the streets of Paris, passing Nazi soldiers and carrying a toy duck to share with the children she visited. What the Nazis didn’t know, however, was that Jacqueline wasn’t a social worker at all, but a Jewish member of the French Resistance.

Families across Europe went into hiding as the Nazis rounded up anyone Jewish. The Star of David, a symbol of faith and pride, became a tool of hate when the Nazis forced people to wear the star on their clothing and carry papers identifying them as Jewish, so that it was clear who to arrest. But many brave souls dared to help them.

Jacqueline was one of them. She risked her life in secret workshops, where forgers created false identity papers. But how to get these life-saving papers to families in hiding? The toy duck held the answer."

Tantalizing taste:

"And then came the day

Allied soldiers streamed into the streets.

People were cheering and crying and running to the tanks

to hug the heroes who'd brought candy and gum and


Where there was hiding,

now there was hope.

People could once again live

and learn

and play

and pray

safe from capture."``

And something more: Elisa Boxer, in the Author's Note writes that "To me, the duck is a symbol of shining a light on the truth of the war. Surrounded by memories that the Nazis couldn't destroy, it's in a museum [Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel] that showcases the suffering and strength of the Jewish people who once lived. It's on display with artifacts ... that belonged to Jewish prisoners and others killed in concentration camps. From a war that sent so many in hiding, during a time of such utter darkness, these artifacts are now out in the open and online - for the world to see...

I held the memory of the victims close as I wrote this book. I hope this serves as a tribute to the lives that were lost and a reminder of the suffering as well as a celebration of the lives that were saved and a recognition of the heroism."


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