Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Holocaust

Hidden on the High Wire

by (author) Kathy Kacer

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Holocaust, Circus, Jewish
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Jan 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Irene grew up traveling around Germany with her family’s circus, surrounded by her loved ones and thrilling the crowds with her performance on the high wire...until one day, the audience boos. The Lorch family is Jewish, and the increasing power of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis has put them all in grave danger.

When the circus is forced to shut down and Irene’s father is taken away, Irene and her mother must go into hiding with another circus. Every day is a frightening new kind of balancing act, caught between the desire to perform and the need to hide—even in plain sight.

About the author


Kathy Kacer est une auteure primée qui a écrit de nombreux livres sur l'holocauste pour les jeunes lecteurs, dont The Magician of Auschwitz, L'histoire d'Edith, Le journal de Sara et Les espions de la nuit. Elle s'estime honorée de contribuer à faire connaître l'histoire familiale de Jenny Kay Dupuis. Kathy vit avec sa famille à Toronto.


Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her writing, including the American Jewish Library Association Award. In 1999, she wrote the first book in Second Story's Holocaust Remembrance Series, The Secret of Gabi's Dresser. Since then, she's penned four other books in the series. Kacer now writes about the Holocaust for young readers and travels the country speaking about it. Kacer lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family.

Kathy Kacer's profile page


  • Commended, The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens, Junior & Intermediate Fiction
  • Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award (MYRCA), the 2024 MYRCA Sundogs Award

Editorial Reviews

"Buzzing with tensions both pronounced and implied, this true tale highlights defiant circus settings and the leaders who worked to keep their spaces fair…Irene’s is a sobering story, and young readers will benefit from the truths that it reveals—including about the bravery that’s required to do what’s right. Hidden on the High Wire is a fast, conscientious Holocaust story."

Foreword Reviews

"The novel shines an interesting light on Jewish-owned circuses, Jewish circus performers, and their plight during the Second World War… An exciting true-life story."

Kirkus Reviews

"This book is an entertaining and educational story, engaging both in the historical storyline and the descriptions of the circus life. The reader can feel the tension, fear, and bravery involved both in walking on the high wire and living through the hate and threats of the Holocaust."

Merle Eisman Carrus

"A touching story that reminds readers even in war we can find compassion."

Calgary Herald

“Though touched by plenty of tragedy, this is a more uplifting Holocaust tale than most ... A timely reminder of the power of kindness and generosity during antagonistic times.”


Other titles by Kathy Kacer

Related lists