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Walter, Buchignani
Montréal, Tundra Books, 1994. 200pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-88776286-7. Distributed by University of Toronto Press. CIP

Subject Headings:
Miller, Régine-Juvenile literature.
Belgium-History-German occupation, 1940-1945-Biography-Juvenile literature.
World War, 1939-1945-Personal narratives, Jewish--Juvenile literature.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up

Reviewed by Trina Preece

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November/December

Tell No One Who You Are is an extraordinary and moving book. It is the true story of Régine Miller, the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants, who was hidden for three years during the Nazi occupation of Belgium. Like thousands of other children, Régine lived in the homes of strangers, only some of whom knew that she was Jewish. She was forced to take on a new identity and live to out the war not knowing what was happening to her parents and older brother.

Journalist Walter Buchignani met Régine Miller, who now lives in Montréal, at the First International Gathering of Children Hidden During World War II. His book is based on interviews with her conducted over a two-year period. Buchignani tells the story in the third person, but very much from young Régine's point of view. The style is simple and powerful, recounting both the details of Regine's adjustments to each new set of hosts and the loneliness and bewilderment of being separated from her own family.

This is a story that will make readers want to know more, and the afterword, appendices and bibliography do an admirable job of providing a context for Régine's story. They include brief, informative sections on World War II, the treatment of Jews in Belgium, the Belgian Resistance, and the scheme to hide children from the Nazis. Most importantly, the afterword tells the story of Régine's life after the war and what she was able to learn about the fate of her family.

Highly recommended for any high school collection, this is a book to be read alongside Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl.

Trina Preece is a librarian in Scarborough, Ontario

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