Hide and Seek is an utterly stunning, powerful historical adventure set in Nazi-Occupied France, a story of awe-inspiring courage, resilience and hope standing up to tyranny and the fear it engenders.
It’s 1942 and thirteen-year-old Amèlie is playing hide-and-seek with her mother and brother in their Paris apartment. She has contentedly escaped to the coolness of the wardrobe to escape the stifling summer heat, blissfully unaware that her life is about to change. Banging on the door and the sound of heavy footsteps is followed by a terrible silence as her Jewish family are taken by the Germans, leaving her alone, her life changed forever …
This incredible young girl makes a courageous choice. Despite knowing the risk she is taking if she is caught by the Nazis, she decides she will not hide in fear. She finds herself negotiating the streets of Occupied Paris, rejected by those concerned for their own safety by association with her, and fending for herself, until the day she is taken in by the Musee de l’Homme Resistance Group, and becomes their youngest member.
So begins an unforgettable, heartfelt story of survival, courage, defiance and strength as Amèlie fights back against the Nazi persecution, becoming a courier for the Musee Network. She is in constant danger as she delivers messages, and risks her life to help those who need to escape. Amèlie’s determination to fight, to resist and discover her family’s fate takes her away from Paris, across the sea and back to France again. She grows up in the landscape of war, fighting to protect others at terrible risk to herself, having to put her trust in others, but not knowing when she might be betrayed.
This is an emotive, action-packed and tense story with unexpected twists and the constant threat of danger and discovery, but is also one that shines a light on the courage, resilience and strength of those who are prepared to resist tyranny, to fight for others and to risk their lives. Whilst Amèlie may be a fictional character, her story, and reading the author’s note, as well as the inclusion of real people in the story, made me want to find out more about these young Resistance Fighters, people whose stories should never be forgotten.
An exceptional, sensitively told and touching wartime adventure which I would highly recommend to anyone studying World War II in Upper Key Stage 2 and for those of 9+ who enjoy historical fiction.
Thank you to the Publisher, Everything with Words and Fritha Lindqvist for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.