June 1964, Sara has never been out of the tiny town of Hope, Ontario, where she has been in an orphanage all her life.
After a fire destroys the Benevolent Home for Necessitous Girls, clues about her parentage—a medical certificate and a Star of David—lead her to Germany. Despite her fears—she doesn’t speak the language, she knows no one in Germany, and she’s never been on an airplane—Sara arrives in Germany determined to explore her newly discovered Jewish heritage and solve the mystery of her parentage. What she encounters is a country still dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust. With the help of a handsome, English-speaking German boy, she discovers the sad facts of her mother’s brief existence and faces the horrible truth about her father. Ultimately, the knowledge she gains opens up her world and leads her to a deeper understanding of herself.
Part of the Secrets Series—a series of seven linked novels that can be read in any order.
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.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"Secrets can hide painful truths, as a young woman learns in this novel...The story offers an unusual glimpse into a Germany just one generation past the Holocaust and only beginning to deal with its repercussions. Part of the interconnected Secrets series, the novel is a quick, easy read about a little-known period."
"A deeply moving story about the innate human longing to know where one comes from and about the power of love and forgiveness to overcome any darkness. The plot flows smoothly, and characters are well developed, given the brevity of the novel. This title would make a beneficial addition to a high school curriculum as a supplementary resource to teachings about World War II. Highly Recommended."
"Kacer’s comparison of healthy and unhealthy relationships may resonate with some readers, as will her themes of survival."
School Library Journal
"The time period covered is not often explored in young adult fiction with Germany as the setting, and characters who are from the generation directly following the Holocaust have their own stories to tell. A sweet, supporting cast bolsters Sara’s difficult journey in this novel that will tie into the stories of the six other older girls at the orphanage."
"A moving story with a likeable protagonist."
Jewish Book Council
"A compelling storyline."
VOYA, Teen Reviewer
"By introducing a protagonist with no perceived connection to Judaism, Kacer skillfully develops the reach and complexity of the Holocaust while offering the reader plausible situations which examine questions that are difficult to ask. Kacer’s innate sense of balance and goodness inform her story in a way that allows the reader enough room to either consider or reconsider attitudes and opinions, or perhaps discover a whole new dimension of experience."
"The depiction of Jewish life in Germany after World War II, an uncommon setting, makes this a worthwhile addition to collection serving teen readers...Kacer does a good job at showing the shame and embarrassment of some Germans, and she skillfully describes some of the more horrific aspects of the Holocaust in an age appropriate way. Sara is a likeable character and readers will be satisfied with her story."
Association of Jewish Libraries