Sarah's Stars

Eva Wiseman. No One Must Know
Tundra  $12.99  ISBN 0-88776-680-3  193 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

"'If you won't let her go, you must explain why,' Dad said. Mom gave a shuddering sigh. There was an almost palpable cloud of unhappiness surrounding her. 'You may tell your friend, Alexandra,' she finally said in a melancholy voice, 'that you can have dinner with his family.' I bit my lip to keep my tears from falling. 'What's going on, Mom? I've never seen you act like this. You're scaring me!' 'Agi, can't you see that it's time for Alexandra to be told the truth?' Dad asked. 'Mom, please tell me what's wrong!' I sounded desperate even to my own ears. She squared her shoulders. 'I can't my darling. Not yet. Give me time.' She got up from the sofa and hobbled over to my chair to kiss me on the forehead. 'Be patient with your old mother,' she said. 'I have a lot of thinking to do."

Alex is a regular grade nine girl. She's a Girl Guide, attends church, and is well liked among her friends. She has a loving father, who is an excellent doctor, and a caring mother, who is always rather nervous. But when Alex starts going out with a Jewish boy in her class, her mother becomes hysterical, forbidding Alex to see Jacob. Alex knows something is up, and that it has to do with her family's past. However, she knows very little about her family history. Her mother and father immigrated to Canada from Hungary before she was born, her Grandmother's name was Alexandra, and she is named after her. Except for these few facts, her history and that of her family is an unknown. But Alex is determined to find out, and when she does, it will change her entire life.

Eva Wiseman's novel is an excellent piece of writing. It clearly depicts the life of a family living in post-holocaust Canada and the hardship and racism that the immigrating Jews had to endure there. I thoroughly enjoyed reading No One Must Know for it gives such a different account of the Holocaust. It tells not how it affected those who had to endure and fight to live through it, but of how it affected those in a generation born after it had occurred. I would recommend No One Must Know for teens and children ages 12 and up.

I'd give No One Must Know five out of five stars.


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