Expected publication: August 1st 2017 by Capstone Press
Synopsis: It is 1941. Hedy and her family are Jewish, and the Nazi party is rising. Hedy’s family is no longer safe in their home in Hungary. They decide to flee to America, but because of their circumstances, sixteen-year-old Hedy must make her way through Europe alone. Will luck be with her? Will she be brave? Join Hedy on her journey-where she encounters good fortune and misfortune, a kind helper and cruel soldiers, a reunion and a tragedy-and discover how Hedy is both lucky and brave. Hedy’s Journey adds an important voice to the canon of Holocaust stories, and her courage will make a lasting impact on young readers
My Review: Hedy’s Journey by Michelle Bisson is another true story about the holocause. This story is about a Hungarian Jewish girl named Hedy and her family, who had to travel through Germany during the Holocaust to try and get to safety. They have visas to go to the United States, but they need to get to Portugal to take a ship there. There are many trials and tribulations in this journey. She takes a portion of the journey alone, as she is required to separate from her parents due to the availability of tickets. There is some mention of family members that were caught up by the Nazis, but that is not the focus of the story, that is to establish the reason they had to leave. Hedy was a brave young lady, who did what she needed to do to connect with her family and get them all to safety.
The author, Michelle Bisson, is Hedy’s daughter. She used stories and memories from her mother to tell this story. She expressed that she knew nothing about the holocaust until she was in grade six. She went home and asked her mother if it was true and that was when her mother told her, her story. There is an afterward to the story where there are many pictures of Hedy and her family. There is a timeline of WWII, along with information about the settling of Hedy’s family once they arrived in New York. I have read many books about the holocaust and I liked the fact that even though this story was about a Hungarian Jewish family, Michelle Bisson gave other information about those killed in this horrific event.
The book was well written in easy language for children to understand. The illustrations are drawings in very muted colours that show the emotions and the dangers very well. This is an excellent book to teach children about this time in history and should be in all public and school libraries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.