Cover image for Masters of silence
Title:
Masters of silence
Series Number:
2.
Summary:
"Masters of silence brings to light the little-known story of Marcel Marceau's heroic work for the French Resistance during WWII. Desperate to save her children from the Nazis, Henry and Helen's mother takes them to France to hide them in a convent disguised as orphans. During their stay at the convent, they experience visits from a local mime as the children's one source of joy, especially for Henry, whose traumatic experience has left him a selective mute. When an informer gives them up, the children are forced to flee yet again and the mime--a not yet famous Marcel Marceau--risks everything to save them."-- Provided by publisher.
Physical Description:
267 pages ; 21 cm.
Publisher:
Annick Press,
Publication Date:
2019
ISBN:
9781773212623

9781773212616
Publication Information:
Toronto : Annick Press, [2019].
Call Number:
J KACER
Holds:
Copies:

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Call Number
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33607003404160 New Juvenile Fiction KACER
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Summary

Summary

Kathy Kacer's second book in her middle grade series about heroic rescues during WWII tells the tale of siblings Helen and Henry, and history's most famous mime. Desperate to save them from the Nazis, Henry and Helen's mother makes the harrowing decision to take her children from their home in 1940s Germany and leave them in the care of strangers in France. The brother and sister must hide their Jewish identity to pass for orphans being fostered at a convent in the foreign land. Visits from a local mime become the children's one source of joy, especially for Henry, whose traumatic experience has left him a selective mute. When an informer gives them up, the children are forced to flee yet again from the Nazis, but this time the local mime--a not yet famous Marcel Marceau--risks everything to try to save the children.

Masters of Silence shows award-winning author Kathy Kacer at the top of her craft, bringing to light the little-known story of Marceau's heroic work for the French Resistance. Marceau would go on to save hundreds of children from Nazi concentration camps and death during WWII. In characteristic Kacer style, Masters of Silence is dramatic and engaging, and highlights the courage of both those rescuing and the rescued themselves. Wenting Li's chapter heading illustrations and evocative covers provide the perfect visuals for the series.


Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-When Helen and Henry's mother leaves them at a convent in Nazi-occupied France, they have no idea what to expect, or if they will ever see their parents again. The nuns at the convent expect them to learn Catholic rituals and prayers and assume new, non-Jewish names in order to pretend that they are Catholic orphans. Fourteen-year-old Helen works hard to stay out of trouble, but her younger brother Henry struggles to fit in, refusing to talk to anyone, even his older sister. Their life in the convent is largely filled with hard work and fear about the future until a remarkable silent "clown" named Marcel Marceau arrives to entertain them. Henry is especially captivated by the man's magical routines, staying behind after each performance to learn some of his miming techniques. These techniques become the key to Helen and Henry's survival when Marcel Marceau leads them on a grueling, harrowing journey to cross the border to safety in Switzerland. This gripping series title captures the uncertainty and tragedy of life for Jewish families and their allies during the Nazi occupation of France. The alternating perspectives throughout the book allow readers to understand both Henry's silence and Helen's frustration, even when the characters don't understand each other. The novel is interwoven with the remarkable true story of Marcel Marceau, who helped save the lives of hundreds of children before becoming a world-famous mime. The story ends with the characters' successful escape across the border but leaves readers to wonder about the fate of Henry and Helen's parents. VERDICT This well-crafted novel with its compelling, sympathetic characters is an excellent addition to most school and public library historical fiction collections.-Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.