Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Tell no one who you are: The hidden childhood of Regine Miller

Tell no one who you are: The hidden childhood of Regine Miller

Walter Buchignani
Non Fiction
For ages 9 to 12
Tundra Books, 2008   ISBN: 0887768172

Regine Miller lives with her parents and her brother Leo in Brussels, Belgium. Though the war in Europe began in September, 1939, Regine does not really feel its effects until May 10th, 1940, when the Germans invade Belgium. The schools are closed that day, and a few days later Regine sees her first German soldiers. The Germans do not change everything at once, but over time, more and more laws are put in place that deprived the Jewish people in Belgium of their basic rights. Regine and Leo are told that they cannot go to school, and Regine’s father loses his job.

A time finally comes when the Germans start rounding up Jewish men and boys. In the summer of 1942 Regine’s brother Leon gets a letter demanding that he go to the train station. He is going to be sent to a labor camp. Soon after this terrible event, Regine’s father decides that he has to hide his remaining child from the Germans. Regine goes to live with a complete stranger, and she remains hidden in various homes from that time until the war ends.

This is the true story of a young girl who was hidden by Belgian families for almost three years. Most of the people who shelter Regine were indifferent to her, but one family cared for and loved her, even when they found out that she was a Jew. They risked everything to keep Regine safe.

This powerful story will give young readers a memorable picture of what it was like to be a young Jewish child in Europe during World War II. It also serves as a fitting tribute for the courage of the Belgian people, who hid 4,000 Jewish children during the war years.