Hidden Child

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Overview

A powerful story of survival, loss, and hope

Isaac was seven when the Germans invaded France and his life changed forever. First his father was taken away, and then, two years later, Isaac and his mother were arrested. Hoping to save Isaac’s life, his mother bribed a guard to take him to safety at a nearby hospital, where he and many other children pretended to be sick, with help from the doctors and nurses. But this proved a temporary haven. As Isaac was shuttled from city to ...

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Overview

A powerful story of survival, loss, and hope

Isaac was seven when the Germans invaded France and his life changed forever. First his father was taken away, and then, two years later, Isaac and his mother were arrested. Hoping to save Isaac’s life, his mother bribed a guard to take him to safety at a nearby hospital, where he and many other children pretended to be sick, with help from the doctors and nurses. But this proved a temporary haven. As Isaac was shuttled from city to countryside, experiencing the kindness of strangers, and sometimes their cruelty, he had to shed his Jewish identity to become Jean Devolder. But he never forgot who he really was, and he held on to the hope that after the war he would be reunited with his parents.

After more than fifty years of keeping his story to himself, Isaac Millman has broken his silence to tell it in spare prose, vivid composite paintings, and family photos that survived the war.

The author details his difficult experiences as a young Jewish child living in Nazi-occupied France during the 1940s.

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Editorial Reviews

Karen MacPherson
Millman's story is stirring, especially because he tells it through the eyes of his young self. Personalizing history this way helps ensure that young readers truly understand—and remember—the toll of the Holocaust, as well as those brave souls who fought against it.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Millman (the Moses series) here tells his own story: during the Nazi occupation of France, he was a hidden child. Millman is the surname of the American family that adopted the author/artist after the war; growing up in Paris, he was Isaac Sztrymfman, the only son of doting Polish Jewish immigrants. Playing pretend battleships with his best friend "was as close as war came to us then. It was a game." When Isaac was seven, Germany invaded France and Papa was arrested. Two years later, the boy and his mother were imprisoned after a thwarted escape attempt. But Mama succeeded in bribing a guard to save Isaac from deportation (she, along with Isaac's father, perished at Auschwitz), setting off a chain of events that led him to a remarkable protector named Hena. Millman's unadorned but carefully detailed writing is beautifully pitched for a middle school audience. The most heart-wrenching moments-a final glimpse of Papa waving through the barbed wire of the internment camp, Mama's tears on Isaac's cheeks as she hands him to the bribed guard, Hena's whispered confidence, "I'm a Jew, too," when she discovers an abandoned Isaac sobbing in front the building that was once his home-are bearable, but barely so. Millman intersperses the text with archival photographs and his own mural-like watercolor montages of the events, as if to demonstrate that history is made up of two currents-those things that can be documented, and those that become the underpinnings of memories, pain, longing and resilience. An extraordinary book and a moving tribute to those who vanished. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Millman briefly describes his life in prewar Paris, the Nazi invasion when he was seven, and his father's arrest. Two years later, he and his mother made a daring attempt to escape from the city, but were apprehended. After a desperate exchange of jewels and money, Isaac's mother arranged to have him removed from the deportation line and sent to a hospital. Later, he was brought back to Paris, where he was abandoned. Confused and scared, he was discovered by another Jew, who took him to gentile friends in the countryside, where he was hidden openly, living as a Christian with a new name. Millman tells his story in a straightforward, yet compelling voice, mindful of both the cruelty and kindness of the strangers he encountered. He never forgot his parents, yet was able to live as any child, making friends and attending school. Dense text pages-with occasional black-and-white photos-alternate with double-page montage paintings in which Millman presents images that emphasize his fears, emotions, and reactions to the events he describes. Muted colors work together with bolder tints to highlight the intensity of life. Bright blues depict the prewar vitality of Paris versus dark reds for the German deportation roundups. Despite the horror of losing most of his family, the author expresses his gratitude for his salvation and his eventual adoption by an American Jewish family at age 15. An inspiring and powerful view of this tragic period in human history.-Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Millman, who lived his first years as Isaac Sztrymfman in Paris, provides a crystal clear, heart-wrenching chronicle of his years in hiding during the Holocaust. Isaac is seven when the Nazis invade France. His father is deported and his mother tries to bring Isaac south to Vichy France. She's caught but bribes a guard to send Isaac alone to a hospital where Jewish children are secretly sheltered until homes are found. After placement in one abusive home, Isaac is brought to a kind widow for the duration. His parents (he learns after the war) perish at Auschwitz. Pages of text alternate with two types of illustration: painted double-page spreads in full color, showing many vignettes in concert; and small black-and-white photographs, including Isaac's family before the war and Isaac post-war. The photos are stark with clarity, their very survival a wonder. Millman's art is both delicate and harsh, with powerful use of color and composition. His writing is smooth and direct. A must. (afterword) (Nonfiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374330712
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/7/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 10 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 12.12 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Isaac Millman is the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed Moses Goes to a Concert and its sequels. He lives with his wife in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

From Hidden Child:

Approximately 1,200,000 Jewish children were deported and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators in the Holocaust of World War II. Most of those who survived did so by being sent into hiding. Some were hidden with other Jews. Some went to convents and monasteries; others were hidden on farms or taken in by non–Jewish families and individuals. My name is Isaac Sztrymfman, and I was a hidden child.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2007

    My Review

    This book was excellent. This is the only holocaust book that I have ever found that is actually told on the level of a child and it doesn't include all of the gore and things that would cause a child to lose sleep. I will definitely have this book in my future classroom and i think that children will be able to understand more by relating how they would feel to lose their own mom and dad and how it would feel to live with someone who is mean to you. I was very pleased with this book and I am so thankful that it is written the way that it is. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Hidden Child

    This was a heart wrenching true story. The author Isaac Millman lived through the Holocaust of World War II. When the story begins you see an innocent, carefree, jewish boy who has great parents and a comfortable life. After both his parents are taking from him during the war he must be cared for by strangers. You see the struggles this young child must endure as a ¿hidden child¿ during the Holocaust. This book is a biography and would be appropriate for readers 9 years and up. I felt such compassion for this little boy as I read the story I realize how blessed I have been in my life to have never experienced acts of hatred. Isaac Millman wrote this book after telling this story to a group of students. After the war he was adopted by an American family and became an American citizen. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Hidden Child

    Isaac Sytrymfman was a hidden child during the Holocaust of World War II. When he was a young boy living in France on ¿60, rue de la Fontaine au Roi¿ Germany invaded France. One morning Isaac woke up and his father was gone. Him and His mother ¿stopped going out side¿ until one morning ¿men were yelling outside.¿ After that, they went to hidden his Papa¿s workshop because the police didn¿t know about it. A while after they went into hiding, the police found and arrested them. On there way to a concentrated camp, Isaac¿s mama gave an officer some money and some jewelry so that he would take her son to a hospital where child would pretend to be sick and be safe. After he left the hospital, he was taken to a friend of his mothers. She wouldn¿t take him because she didn¿t feel he would be safe with her. He is left on the street until Hena found him. She then took him to Madame Devolder who took very good care of Isaac. Madame Devolder kept him as a hidden child until the war was over. After the war Isaac, along with other children, when to a place where parents went to find their children. Will Isaac¿s parents ever show up? Read this book to learn the great deal of trials that Isaac went through and whether or not his parents made it through the war. The author of this book is Isaac Millman. This is his biography about his experience as a hidden child during the Holocaust of World War II. He was born in France. His parents had moved to France from Poland. He didn¿t come to the United States until he was in his teens. Later, he became a U.S. citizen and served in the armed forces. He says, 'Real life is the best inspiration for my stories. I enjoy writing and drawing for children because I can really let my imagination go.' Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Hidden Child

    Isaac Millman has done a wonderful job of telling his story in this wonderful biography. This book moved me to tears. Mr. Millman tells his story from his prospective as a child. His attention to detail lets you experience everything that he went through. He grew up in France during the Second World War. He tells how his life was as a Jew under German enforced laws in France. His name was Isaac Sztrymfman before he became a hidden child. The book tells of how he came to be hidden and why. It tells of how he had to deal with being separated from his parents and had to change his name and always pretend to be something he was not. I think that all students should read this book. This is an excellent way to show students a piece of history as well as how to feel empathy. Because this book is written from a child¿s prospective it makes it easy to read. This should be a book that is used in the classroom. Every child needs to realize that these things can and have happened. I loved this book I would rate it a 15 out of 10. WONDERFUL Reading!!! Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005. Reading Level 5.2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006

    Hidden Child Review

    Biography: I did not like the book, Hidden Child. To me it was boring and did not keep my attention. I thought the illustrations did not go along with the story. They seemed like they were focused more towards very young children, as the text was more focused towards older children. However, I do think the book had a good meaning and information that children need to know more about. Isaac Millman was born in France. His parents had moved there from Poland. He came to the United States when he was in his teens. Later, he became a U.S. citizen and served in the armed forces. Isaac Millman says, 'Real life is the best inspiration for my stories. I enjoy writing and drawing for children because I can really let my imagination go.' He is also pleased when his books are able to capture the basic joys of childhood. Hidden Child, is about a young boy and his life during the time when Germans were prosecuting Jews. At first, his father is taken away, then more people he knew, until eventually he is seperated from his mother. No one really wants to take care of him because he is a Jew. He runs into a lady that is a Jew, that sends him to stay with an elderly couple. The couple is mean to him, so the woman comes back for him and takes him from the home. He goes and stays with another woman. She takes good care of him. After the war is over he learns that his parents did not make it. An American couple ends up adopting him. They really care for each other. ¿In 1940, the German army invaded France, and life under German occupation began¿. This is the part of the book where the prosecution begins and the little boy¿s life is about to change for ever. ¿Life with Madame Devolder soon settled into a daily work routine. Though calm and peaceful, it was still difficult¿. This is the part of the book where the young boy goes and lives with the new woman, that takes very good care of him. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005. Grade Level: 4th-6th

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Genre-Biography

    Hidden Child is the story of Issac Millman, a Jewish boy born in France in the 1930's. This is the story of how he survived Germany's invasion and destruction of the Jewish community. This book is a very touching account of what Issac and his family had to do to keep Issac safe, and it explains why the title is 'Hidden Child', a definite read. Millman later was adopted by an American couple when he was in his teens, became a U.S. citizen, and served in the military. I would reccoment this book for children in 4th grade and up. Millman, Issac. Hidden Child. New York: Frances foster Books, 2005.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    An amazing autobiography!

    The Holocaust of World War II affected everyone is some way, but especially the Jews. Isaac Sztrymfman lived safely in France with his parents from the time he was born all the way up until the German invasion of France in 1940. When Isaac was only eight years old, his father was ordered to report to the police station, and from there he was taken to an internment camp just because of the fact that he was Jewish. Life as a Jew was becoming more and more dangerous every day as the Nazis gained more power. Then one day in 1942, the Germans showed up where Isaac and his mother were staying, and after that Isaac and his mother went into hiding. They knew they could not stay where they were safely, so Isaac¿s mother planned an attempt to escape into the free French zone. However, things did not go as planned and they were arrested. In a last attempt to save her son, Isaacs mother gave up everything she owned to pay for someone to take her son into hiding in a hospital, ¿go with the nice man. And I don¿t want you to cry!¿ Isaac went as he was told, but he didn¿t know if he would ever see either of his parents again. He had no idea what was going to happen to him or his parents. Hidden Child is an amazing autobiography of a Jewish man, who when he was younger, survived the Holocaust by staying hidden. Through his own words, Isaac Millman describes the horrors he went through trying to stay alive during the Nazi occupation of France. I have always been interested in History, especially World War II and the Holocaust, and therefore, I really think this is a good was for children to learn about one of the most tragic events in history. It is also a good book about history for children because it has illustrations that go along with the text. Although the Holocaust was a very horrific event, it is something that people need to learn about, and this book is a great way for children to learn about it. Isaac Millman (born Isaac Sztrymfman) was born in France in the early 1930¿s. His parents had moved to France from Poland because Jews were not treated fairly there, and in France, life was better for the Jews. In 1940, Germany invaded France, and a year later his father was ordered to leave his family and to go to an internment camp. In 1942 Isaac and his mother went into hiding, and before long, Isaac became separated from his mother in an attempt to save Isaac¿s life. Isaac survived the war by staying hidden in different places, and when it was over he learned that both of his parents were killed in 1942 in Auschwitz. When he was in his teens, he came to the U.S. where he was adopted by an American family. Isaac went on to become a U.S. citizen and he served in the armed forces. He graduated from the Pratt Institute with a degree in fine arts and worked for many years as the senior art director at a large sales promotion agency. He went on to become an author (of the Moses books) and an illustrator (of the Howie Bowles books by Kate Banks) using real life as his inspiration for his stories. Isaac Millman lives with his wife Jeanine in New York City. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Frances Foster Books, 2005. RL: Ages 9-12, Grades 4-7

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    My Review

    Hidden Child is the true story of a little boy who had to hide to survive. Isaac Millman described his family¿s life before the war - ¿Mama and Papa and many of their friends had emigrated from Poland to France. Life was hard in Poland, especially for Jews.¿ His family moved to France and life was easier for them. They no longer had to hide the fact that they were Jewish or their political beliefs. Then, war led to circumstances that caused his parents to be imprisoned by Nazi soldiers. With his parents captured, he was tossed around from place to place. At times, life was very hard and often the only thing he had to live on was the dream of seeing his parents again. There were days when he would go hungry and nights he would be cold. There were some people in his life who loved him and others who only housed him for money. Hidden Child is a true, non-graphic, account of the life of a Jewish child during the Holocaust.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    hidden child

    Hidden Child is a biography written by a child that was Jewish and went through the Holocaust of World War II. Isaac lived with his mother and father in Paris. His father worked in the garment trade. After German invaded France the Jewish people feared for their lives. His father was taken to a German internment camp. ¿We only made the trip to Pithiviers that once because, soon after, family visits were no longer allowed.¿ Isaac and his mother were left by theirself. They hid in fear that they to would be taken. One morning there was a knock at the door and men where yelling open the door. But his mother didn¿t open it. They sat very quite until everything was still. Then they hid out in Papa shop until it was safe. Will Isaac and his mother be caught or will they escape? I didn¿t like this book that well. I feel that the pictures were a little confusing. If you read them then it told about the next page before you could get there. This is a biography. This tells about the little boy¿s life as a Jew during the Holocaust. The author Isaac Millman decided to write this book after telling him story to a group of students. After the War he was sent to live with an American family. He was drafted into the American Army and became an American citizen. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Biography Hidden Child

    This touching biography tells of young boy, Isaac, who was a hidden child. The author, Isaac Millman earned a degree in fine arts, and he worked for many years as senior art director at a large sales promotion agency. He is the author and illustrator of the Moses books and the illustrator of the Howie Bowles books. In this book he uses pages of illustrations to wrap up each section. This is a touching story, but I do not think I would recommend it for the classroom. Isaac is seven years old when the Nazis invade Germany. His father is taken away, and he and his mother are arrested. His mother bribes a guard at the prison to take Isaac. He is then put into a hospital where children pretend to be sick to keep safe. Shortly after that, he is passed from family to family. He meets a lady named Hena, and she quickly takes to Isaac and they form a excellent friendship. When the war is over, Isaac is adopted by Americans and learns that his parents have both died. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Frances Foster Books. Reading level: Ages 9-12

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2006

    Biography Review Hidden Child

    Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to have been a child during WW II? You will hear the autobiographical tale of Isaac Millman. The boy lived with his mother and father of whom he adored. One day though his father got called to the Police station. His father never returned home after that. He was sent to Pithiviers, a Nazi camp. One day Isaac and his mother got to go see his papa for a while but then had to leave. That was the last time he ever saw his father. Not too long after that the Nazis invaded again and were taking Jews. Isaac and his mother were able to hide and not be taken. They soon got a friend to help them escape but when the almost reached the free point they got caught. Isaacs mother gave everything she had to the guards so they would let Isaac go. They took him to a hospital where the kids acted sick so they would not be taken. When Isaac was released no one would take him in except on woman, who say him crying in the street. When she ask him where was his family he said, ¿I don¿t know!¿ She took him to one family who just wanted him for extra money. He was forced to live in horrible conditions. The woman who rescued him from the street had to rescue him once again and took him to another lady where he stayed till the war was over. He then goes on to realize he will never again see his parents and ends up coming to America. It is a really great book that I liked a lot. It is written for 9 to 12 year olds but I think anyone can really gain something from this book. The author, Isaac Millman was born in France. He says he writes books from his own life experiences. When he came to America he served in the Army, and is now a terrific writer. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Hidden Child

    This book chronicles the life of the author, who was a young child during the Holocaust. It begins by talking about the happy and normal life that the child had with his parents before France¿s invasion by Germany. Then slowly after the invasion, life became more and more restricted till finally his father was taken away to a concentration camp. Shortly after, the soldiers came after his mother and him, but they were able to hide from them. Their next move was to try to get to the free part of France, however, during their efforts they were captured and his mother and he were separated. The young boy was tossed from house to house, never knowing what had happened to his parents until he ended up with a woman named Hena who helped him out tremendously by hiding him with a family. The struggles of these people were great and many. Read this book to find out how this young boy fought hard through this persecution of the Jews. The author of this book who as I said was also the boy in the story was born in France. His parents had moved into France from Poland before his birth. After the war, as a teen he moved into the United States, becoming a U.S. citizen and later served in the armed forces. Millman says he draws his inspirations from real life and really enjoys writing children¿s books, because in them he can really let his imagination run free.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    College Review for Class

    What if you had been a child during WW II? In this autobiography book ¿Hidden Child¿ by Isaac Millman he gives and account of his live as a Jewish boy growing up France. He lived with his mother and father on the second floor of a six-story apartment building at 60, rue de la Fontaine au Roi, near La Place de la Republique. Many of their neighbors are Jewish immigrants. Many, like Papa, work in the garment trade. One day Isaac¿s father gets ordered to report to the police station. His father tells him, ¿Isaac, be a good boy, and help your mama!¿ In the morning, he was gone. His father writes to them and lets them know he is in a camp in a place called Pithiviers. Isaac and his mother got to go see his papa at the camp that was the last time he ever saw his father alive. Isaac and his mother are both captured, she give some items to a guard so they will take Isaac. He is taken to a hospital where the kids acted sick so they do not have to go into the work camps. When it is Isaac turn to leave the hospital and go to a friend of his mothers, ¿I can¿t take him,¿ whispered Mama¿s friend. So his guardian took him back to his home. The concierge at the apartments waited until his guardian was out of sight and chased him onto the street screaming, ¿I won¿t have a Jew in my house!¿ Sitting on the sidewalk crying, wondering where he could go and who would help him. A woman stopped and asks him where his mother and father were. She takes him in and them take him to some of her relatives who only want the money and is force to live in horrible conditions. The lady once again has to rescue Isaac (Who name is Jean now). This is a great book to understand better how child suffer during war time. So read some more of this wonderful book by Isaac Millman. Isaac Millman was born in France. He says he writes books from his own life experiences. When he came to America he served in the Army, and is now a terrific writer. Millman, Isaac. ¿Hidden Child¿. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. Grade Level:4th

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    An interesting biography for children

    We have all the seen the pictures of events that occured during WWII. Some of us have even read several different stories, such as Anne Frank. What types of books do children have that they can read and understand? Hidden Child by Isaac Millman, is a biography from a child's perspective, that allows children to learn about important events that happened during WWII. I enjoyed this book, especially the illustration. It is a child friendly book, that re-enforces important facts or events in the child's life through an illustrated time-line. While the story may be suitable for older children, the pictures will allow younger children to learn also about world history. Hidden Child, is based upon Isaac Millman's experiences during WWII. He and his family lived in an apartment in Paris. In Paris they didn't have to hid the fact that they were Jews. Then in 1940, Germany invaded France, and Isaac's life was completely turned upsided down. Restrictions againsts Jews grew to the point that not even children were allowed to play in the park. His family stayed together, until his Papa was summoned to the police station, where he was soon taken away to Pithiviere. Isaac and his mother were able to go visit him once, which was the last he saw his father. After that, things got tougher, and he and his mother tried to flee to the line of demarcation but were found and taken away. Sitting in a cell, Isaac didn't know what was going to happen next. The last memory of his mother was , 'I saw Mama take money and jewelry from her handbag and quickly hand them to one of our gaurds. Then she whispered the name and address of a friend in Paris to him.' While being lined up outside the jail, Isaac was taken away from his mother to a hospital. There he stayed until... The author, Isaac Millman, after his experience as a child, became a U.S. citizen ad joined the armed forces. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a degree in fine arts and worked for many years as senior art director at a large sales promotion agency. Hidden Child is a book worth reading, not only is it the authors story, but it is a part of our world history that should never be forgotten. Millman, Isaac. Hidden Child. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. Grade Level:4th

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2006

    Beautiful and devastating

    These are stories that must be read.

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