The Light in Hidden Places
The extraordinary story of Stefania Podgórska, a Polish teenager who chose bravery and humanity by hiding thirteen Jews in her attic during WWII, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sharon Cameron - now a Reese's Book Club YA Pick!
One knock at the door, and Stefania has a choice to make...
It is 1943, and for four years, sixteen-year-old Stefania has been working for the Diamant family in their grocery store in Przemysl, Poland, singing her way into their lives and hearts. She has even made a promise to one of their sons, Izio -- a betrothal they must keep secret since she is Catholic and the Diamants are Jewish.
But everything changes when the German army invades Przemysl. The Diamants are forced into the ghetto, and Stefania is alone in an occupied city, the only one left to care for Helena, her six-year-old sister. And then comes the knock at the door. Izio's brother Max has jumped from the train headed to a death camp. Stefania and Helena make the extraordinary decision to hide Max, and eventually twelve more Jews. Then they must wait, every day, for the next knock at the door, the one that will mean death. When the knock finally comes, it is two Nazi officers, requisitioning Stefania's house for the German army.
With two Nazis below, thirteen hidden Jews above, and a little sister by her side, Stefania has one more excruciating choice to make.
This remarkable tale of courage and humanity, based on a true story, is now a Reese's Book Club YA Pick!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Young adult author Sharon Cameron’s historical novel is the kind of book that’s so suspenseful, action-packed, and intensely emotional that it makes you lose track of time. Cameron draws on the awe-inspiring true story of Stefania Podgórska, a Catholic Polish teenager who hid a young Jewish man one night when he came to her door asking for help—and ended up sheltering a total of 13 people for two years during the Nazi occupation. Cameron did extensive research for this book, drawing from Podgórska’s unpublished memoir and traveling to Poland to interview her friends and family. She beautifully captures the young woman’s authentic, sassy voice. The Light in Hidden Places is a potent reminder that even during the darkest chapters of history, there are people willing to risk everything to put humanity first.
Cameron's saga of life in wartime Poland under German occupation stretches from 1936, when 11-year-old Fusia first falls in love with city life on a visit to Przemys l, through July 1944. Based on the experiences of then-teenager Stefania "Fusia" Podg rska, who, along with her younger sister Helena, was, in 1979, honored by the World Holocaust Remembrance Center for their heroism in saving Jews during the war, the book traces, in exhaustive detail, what that heroism looked like daily. Catholic Fusia doggedly persists in doing what she believes is right; when the Jewish family she has been living with and working for is sent to the Jewish ghetto, she sneaks food and supplies to them. Eventually she hides her friend, Max, and six (and later 13) other Jews in her and Helena's apartment. Living in fear and under constant suspicion, Fusia holds down a full-time factory job, fends off a Polish officer's advances, and undergoes several extremely close calls with the police, all while fiercely protecting Helena (an especially appealing character, sharp and savvy under her shy demeanor). This story of extraordinary survival is bolstered by an author's note, accompanied by photos, that relates the happy future that followed for Fusia, Helena, and Max. Ages 12 up.
Emotional and Moving
When I first started reading the book and immediately I could not put it down. It was one of the few books that moved me to tears and cry my heart out in the end. I highly recommend this book to anyone. I wish I could re-read the book again for the first time. Please read this book you won’t regret it.
This is such an amazing book I finished it in a weekend. It tells you the story of a women hiding Jews, the bravest thing that anyone could do in WW2. This is one of my favorites, this is a must read for everyone.
The Light in Hidden Places
It’s amazing, everything about WWIl for me a woman from Puerto Rico who loves to read. They are so real, scary but beautiful, to have so courage, only thinking what a human been should be. Thank you, for this opportunity. From the island of enchantment, excuse my writing, Spanish is my first language. Gracias