Behind the Bookcase: Miep Gies, Anne Frank and the Hiding Place. 2021 Oklahoma Book Award Finalist
A nonfiction picture book biography
A historically accurate but relatively gentle introduction to the Holocaust for elementary-age readers — Booklist
Miep Gies risked her life to keep a secret. Behind the bookcase in her office, stairs led to a hiding place where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. Once a refugee herself, Miep knew the power of kindness. Her selflessness, humanity, and bravery sheltered Anne for a time. Because of Miep, Anne Frank’s story lives on.
“This thoughtful new picture book recounts the main points of Anne Frank’s life in hiding: where she hid, with whom, who helped them, how they were caught, and the later discovery and publication of her diary. Lowell stays true to the historical tragedy but also allows sensitive readers some distance by telling the story largely through the point of view of Miep Gies―a German Dutch employee of Anne’s father, who helped hide the family―including several pages about Miep’s own childhood. The main text also takes a gentle and indirect, but still clear, approach to Anne’s death: ‘Of all the people in the hiding place, only Mr. Frank returned from the concentration camps.’ (For readers with questions, the author’s note at the end provides more detail.) Similarly, Toro’s soft, not-too-realistic illustrations focus on people and relationships, evoking emotions more than traumatic events. Even after the Franks are captured, illustrations of scattered possessions suggest rather than show violence. A historically accurate but relatively gentle introduction to the Holocaust for elementary-age readers.” ― Miriam Aronin, Booklist
Karben Publishing 2020, paperback