BN.com Gift Guide

Odette's Secrets

( 7 )

Overview

Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats. After Odette’s father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return.

On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl—going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$13.49
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $8.26   
  • New (9) from $9.34   
  • Used (4) from $8.26   
Odette's Secrets

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 38%)$16.99 List Price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats. After Odette’s father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return.

On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl—going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers—and written in moving free-verse poetry—this is a story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Odette’s life in Paris is happy until Jewish shopkeepers’ stores start being vandalized and rumors of war become fact. With her father in the army, Odette, her mother, and her beloved godmother are left to manage under the growing restrictions against Jews. Eventually, Odette is sent to the countryside—safer, but not devoid of anti-Semitism—where she spends the rest of the war as a hidden child. When the war ends, Odette, no longer sure how Jewish she feels, is reluctant to return to Paris, memorably described, like the rest of postwar France, as a “gigantic Lost and Found” for Jews seeking missing family members. As Odette starts to understand the extent of the losses her community has suffered, she rediscovers her identity as a Jew. Macdonald used the real Odette’s auto- biography as the basis for this book, and her free-verse narrative is charming and effective. Although Odette’s age is never given, her youthful perspective and the overall nonspecificity about the war, make the book best suited to readers on the younger end of the target audience. Ages 10–14. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (Mar.)
VOYA - Sarah Cofer
Living in Paris with her Jewish parents, Odette’s remarkable survival of Nazi-occupied France comes to life through poetry. After her father joins the French Army in 1939, he is quickly taken prisoner by the German soldiers. Odette and her mother live in constant fear of being taken prisoners themselves. When Paris becomes too dangerous, Odette’s mother sends her to the country where she can hide in plain sight as a Christian child living in a Christian village with a Christian family. Eight year old Odette quickly adapts to this new way of life by learning to pray, learning the sign of the cross, and attending church. She begins to feel safe once again, but constantly worries that she will forget who she really is. Based on a true story, this powerful first-person narration is done completely in verse. Each poem offers snapshots of the events, relationships, struggles, and dreams that provide the foundation of Odette’s life. This is an engaging, well-written book providing a unique glimpse into history while exploring the difficulties Jewish children faced when being forced to abandon their religion and identity in order to assimilate into a Christian way of life. While the book spans five or six years, the fast pace makes it seem like a much shorter period of time. The timeline in the back of the book provides readers with exact dates of Odette’s life and how they coincided with the rise of Nazi Germany. Pictures of Odette and the author's note add rich layers to the story. This is an excellent choice for young readers looking for historical fiction, fiction in verse, Holocaust fiction, or an engaging story of survival and courage. Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This story opens as World War II is beginning and the persecution of Jews in France is escalating. After Paris falls to the Nazis, Odette is rushed to the countryside, where she hides in plain sight by living with a family and pretending to be Christian. There she struggles with her identity. The strength of the novel lies in MacDonald's meticulous research, which is explained in an author's note, of the real Odette Meyers, whose photos are included. The author weaves in facts about Odette's life and the events taking place at the time with imagined scenarios in which Odette may have found herself. However, the author's free-verse prose style makes readers acutely aware that an adult is trying to write from a child's perspective, and it sounds not so much poetic as fragmentary and unorganized. This book is a good introduction for children interested in how the war and the Holocaust affected the everyday lives of kids their age, but in a field with so many classics and reinterpretations of similar stories, such as Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Collins, 1971), Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (Houghton, 1989), Jennifer Roy's Yellow Star (Marshall Cavendish, 2006), and Sandi Toksvig's Hitler's Canary (Roaring Brook, 2007), it's an additional purchase.—Anne Barreca, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Introspective and accessible, this fictionalized history of a Jewish child surviving the Nazi occupation of France uses an elegant simplicity of language. Odette, quite young, lives comfortably in a Paris apartment "on a cobblestone square / with a splashing fountain." Watching a newsreel, she sees "soldiers march, / their legs and arms straight as sticks. / A funny-looking man with a mustache / shouts a speech." The next day, she sees a Jewish-owned store with smashed windows. Mama and Papa are secular, but "[w]e are Polish Jews because / Mama's and Papa's parents and grandparents / in faraway Poland / are all Jews." Papa joins the French army and is taken prisoner; yellow stars are assigned; Mama sends Odette out of Paris. For 2 1/2 years, Odette practices Catholicism in one village and then another, growing attached to religious ritual and the countryside. Macdonald's free verse uses unadorned images: A blanket from Odette's devoted (Christian) godmother; schoolchildren pounding out "La Marseillaise" on desks with their fists to drown out rowdy German soldiers; those same children rolling Odette in a thorn bush when they suspect her secret. Odette's first-person voice matures subtly as she grows in age and in comprehension of the war's horrors. Based on the real Odette Meyers (née Melspajz), this thoughtful, affecting piece makes an ideal Holocaust introduction for readers unready for death-camp scenes. (timeline, historical photographs, author's note) (Historical verse fiction. 9-15)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599907505
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 2/26/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 78,039
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

MARYANN MacDONALD has written more than twenty books, including The Costume Copycat and The Little Piano Girl. She lives in New York, New York.

www.maryannmacdonald.com

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2013

    I have always appreciated books about World War II. There are so

    I have always appreciated books about World War II. There are so many sides to the story, and each one is unique. I love the simple free verse writing in Odette's Secrets. It conveys her feelings and experiences with a distinct voice. It is a beautifully written story of a girl whose family all came back together even after the horrific trials of the war.

    Odette's experiences are written in a way that is accessible to children. They will be able to connect to her story and hopefully see it for what it is.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2013

    From the first page, this dear little girl, Odette, draws you i


    From the first page, this dear little girl, Odette, draws you into her world. You sit beside her in the darkened cinema and see the flash of jack-booted Nazis flash across the screen. You feel the splinters of glass beneath your shoes, surveying the broken shop window with her and her mother. Through the use of free-verse poetry, Odette’s joys, and fears are vividly and perfectly expressed. It all feels so real. You fully comprehend why a child’s concern for the loss of her doll can be on a level equal to her bewilderment of peoples’ hatred of Jews.

    Odette is aware she is a Jew. But her family is secular; in fact, “Mama and Papa don’t believe in religion”. Soon, though, the reality of her situation cannot be ignored. At 7 ½, she is made aware that she is no longer ‘really’ French—that is, not as she used to be. She is not allowed to play in the park, go to museums and cafes. With much trepidation, she wears a yellow star on her clothes, which invites abuse from other children, as well as from adults. Her life has been turned upside-down.

    Odette’s world is full of secrets—secrets that protect and allow her to survive. It seems a lot for a little girl to handle, but Maryann MacDonald’s wonderful and sensitive writing helps you understand Odette’s inner strengths, as well as from whom and where they were derived. Truly, this book is a page turner. You don’t want to put it down; you need to know—what will Odette’s fate be?

    Based on the true story of Odette Meyers, the author thoughtfully includes the tale of how she discovered and came to write Odette’s Secrets, and a timeline of events in Odette’s life. And scattered throughout—and perfectly placed—in the book are photos of the people who figure so greatly in the narrative. Although written primarily for pre and young teens, it will speak to adults on a very personal level; evoking their own childhood memories. I love this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Poignant and hopeful, Odette's Secrets is the story of a young J

    Poignant and hopeful, Odette's Secrets is the story of a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a tumultuous time. The Nazis have invaded the city and each day brings unexpected travails. Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers, Maryann MacDonald lovingly captures the heart and soul of a brave young girl as she is forced to flee Paris and create a new identity in the French countryside. A book that will surely stand the test of time, I couldn't put it down and missed hearing Odette's compelling voice when I finished it.   

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)