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Children's Fiction Holocaust

The Secret of Gabi's Dresser

by (author) Kathy Kacer

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Apr 1999
Holocaust, Prejudice & Racism
Recommended Age
9 to 13
Recommended Grade
4 to 8
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1999
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 1999
    List Price

Classroom Resources

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Gabi is a young Jewish girl living in Czechoslovakia during the time of the Holocaust. Gradually life is getting harder and harder. Jews are bullied at school, they can’t visit each other at a certain time, they have to walk everywhere, they are not allowed to go to non-Jewish stores, and finally Gabi’s best friend deserts her because she is Jewish. One day, the Nazis start visiting all the houses looking for Jewish children. In a tremendous act of courage, Gabi's mother protects Gabi from the soldiers by hiding her in their dining-room dresser. This is the story of author Kathy Kacer's own mother, who was the real-life Gabi. The only thing retrieved from their family's home after the war was the dresser that saved Gabi’s life. It now sits in author Kathy Kacer’s home in Toronto.

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


  • Short-listed, British Columbia Library Association – Red Cedar Award (Fiction)
  • Winner, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award
  • Winner, Canadian Jewish Book Award (Young Adult Fiction)
  • Winner, Ontario Library Association – Silver Birch Award (Fiction)
  • Commended, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

"An insightful, educational and deeply moving work of historical fiction guaranteed to impact readers of all ages."

Canadian Jewish News

"There have been many books published in the last decade on this subject, the inhumane treatment of Jews during the Second World War, but readers, don't dismiss this title. 3 out of 4 stars."

CM Magazine

"In The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, parents and educators will find an indisposable resource for the challenging task of teaching kids about the Holocaust... The Secret of Gabi's Dresser will have readers young and old alike turning the pages eagerly, unable to put down this gripping story until its completion."

The Canadian Jewish News

"Gabi's story is a simple, brave affirmation of what courage, ingenuity and luck can accomplish under the worst conditions, situations we hope and pray will not repeat themselves in our children's lifetimes."

The Telegram

"Kathy Kacer is a fabulous writer who paints a picture in your mind. Through her writing she expresses so much depth and passion that you feel that you are watching things being acted out. The Secret of Gabi's Dresser rightfully earns five stars!"

Darcy, Age 12

"Kacer creates feelings of terror and tension as she deftly crafts her realistic story. Highly recommended."


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