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Odette's Secrets

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,658 ratings  ·  263 reviews
For Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, nowhere is safe. So when Odette Meyer’s father is sent to a Nazi work camp, Odette’s mother takes desperate measures to protect her, sending Odette deep into the French countryside. There, Odette pretends to be a peasant girl, even posing as a Christian–and attending Catholic masses–with other children. But inside, she is burning with secre ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Maryann Macdonald It's historical fiction, Arpit. Based closely on a true story, but told in the first person for readers 10-14. Having said that, many adults have told…moreIt's historical fiction, Arpit. Based closely on a true story, but told in the first person for readers 10-14. Having said that, many adults have told me they loved reading Odette's story. (less)

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 ·  1,658 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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Alex  Baugh
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
"My name is Odette.
I live in Paris."

Odette Meyers lives with her parents in an apartment building in Paris and spends a lots of time with her godmother, Madame Marie, who is also the building's caretaker. Odette is around 5 when the Second World War begins. Her father and uncle immediately enlist in the French army, but are soon captured and sent to a Nazi labor camp. Despite the war, life is OK until the Nazis march into Paris and changes drastically for everyone. And Odette quickly learns tha
Liza Nahas
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
As this was written in verse, my daughter & I read it out loud to each other. It put what it's like living through a war into a perspective to which my 9 year old could relate. There are a few photographs included that my daughter studied in great detail as well. I would certainly recommend this for any 4th, 5th, or 6th grader. ...more
Mary Bronson
This is a historical fiction story about a real woman named Odette. This book was written in free verse poetry which I thought was a great idea. The book was very hard to put down after I got started. This was a touching and heartbreaking story about when Odette was a little girl growing up Jewish during World War II and the horrors she faced. I now want to read her memoir that this book was inspired from.
Margo Tanenbaum
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
World War II seems to supply authors, whether those for children or adults, with an inexhaustible supply of true stories for inspiration. Author Maryann Macdonald turns to historical fiction in her new novel, Odette's Secrets, about a young Jewish girl in Paris during the Nazi Occupation. Odette's story is told in spare free verse; we meet her Polish-Jewish parents who have immigrated to Paris with their only daughter Odette. Odette is beloved by her gentile godmother, the concierge at her build ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Odette’s Secrets begins “I live in Paris…but it is about the change…soldiers march, their legs and arms straight as sticks. A funny looking man with a mustache should a speech. His name is Hitler. What are these soldiers? Why do they move like machines?” For Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, nowhere is safe. So when Odette Meyer’s father, an enlisted soldier in the French Army, is sent to a Nazi work camp, Odette’s mother takes measures to protect her. With the help of her godmother, Madame Marie and ...more
Odette's Secrets sounded like it was right up my ally: novel in verse, WWII time period, little explored subject within its time frame. And I did enjoy it. Little Jewish Odette lives in Paris as WWII looms large, and Hitler begins his "cleansing" of Europe. Her father goes to fight for France, and he is soon captured and taken as a prisoner of war. As Paris heats up, her mother hatches a daring plan with other resistance fighters: to send their children to willing strangers in the countryside to ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Katelyn has been reading this book for a week, and she talks about it every night and asks so many questions, so I decided to read it. It's a quick one day read, and I couldn't put it down. It's based on a true story of a Jewish girl in Paris who had to leave with 3 other young girls and live with a family in the country to escape the Nazis. Odette is only 8 years old when she has to leave her mother, and I just kept thinking of Katelyn being the same age and I just can't imagine her going throu ...more
Told in verse, very accessible.

At first I didn't think this was going to cover any new ground, but I really liked how the very act of keeping a secret affected Odette. The people she trusted most in the world have told her to lie.

And then, the fact that she found the saints and medals and various Christian rituals very comforting, but knew that they irritated her mother (when she later joined her in the countryside) is an interesting dynamic. Also, feeling safer in the country and not wanting
Medeia Sharif
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Odette’s father is taken to a Nazi work camp, her mother does whatever she has to do so she and her daughter can survive. Living in German-occupied Paris is impossible when they are Jewish, so they move. Hiding in the countryside pretending to be Christian is not an easy thing. There are ignorant villagers, the truth ready to bubble over, and issues of money and necessities. This is such a powerful story. The loss of homes, livelihood, and loved ones is a horrible thing to experience. Being ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
2014-15 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee. Poignant, heart-breakingly beautiful, sensitive, and sometimes even funny. The poetry chapter is wonderful. I love Odette's self reflection on her confusion about religious beliefs. Favorite quote on page 24: "Not even Nazis can stop you from having a pet in your dreams." Very interesting back matter explains how the author found the inspiration to write the book. A great addition to Holocaust literature for children. ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse-novels
Another great story from a young person during the Holocaust. This one is without many of the atrocities--Odette is lucky enough to escape to the country and live in hiding as a Christian. This story is less about the war around her and more about Odette finding her identity. Written in verse and beautifully done.
Naiya K
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Odette's Secrets" is about a girl named Odette who lived through the Nazi invasion. Her mother went far and wide to protect her. I recommend this book to anyone who understands hard times VERY well and is interested in knowing about the Nazi invasion.

Overall, I rate this book 10/10 because I really felt something for the character.
Kellie Cruz
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great addition to the 2014-15 Bluebonnet list. It is a book which may not be read by students unless introduced by librarians and teachers. I love that about the Texas reading lists…exposure to a variety of books, genres and styles:-)
Emma Claire
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-reading
Odette and her mother are living during the war and have to act like Christians until the war is over. I liked because it was intense and all the hiding sounds painful. I would reccomend this to boys or girls who like tragic stories.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! I love Historical Fiction books . They are the best! Hope you really enjoy this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I do not usually read poetry style books but it really brought out the story. Written from the perspective of a very young Jewish girl during WWII - emotional and moving. Quick read.
Carol Baldwin
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am taking an online writing class, Plot and Structure with Bethany Nuckolls, an instructor in the Center for Writing Excellence. I am learning names for plot elements that I had barely considered--and some I didn't even know existed! As a student, I am encourage to find these elements in a book of my choice. In a mini-blog series about this class, I plan to share some of what I have learned by analyzing two novels.

Stasis: This is the character's original state.

For Odette's Secrets, it is life
Amy Villalobos
This is a good book because it contains mystery and says somethings that happened during that time period. I also like that the books is told in poems because it makes it more interesting.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
[Originally posted on the blog]

It's always interesting to dip into historical fiction, especially when it's written to cater to a younger audience. Odette's Secrets was a sweetly told fictional account of Odette Meyer's experience as a Jew in the time of World War II. What made it unique was the fact that it was written in verse, a type of writing that I haven't had that much experience with. Macdonald managed to write an account that was easy to relate to and informative, and I think a lot of r
Texas State Poder
Ok....I am sooooo sorry that I cannot get straight into this book. I mean yes I could just go "this story is about this girl..." but honestly I HAVE! to go deeper because this story is to good for a introduction like --->"My name is Odette and I live in a town ..." (supposed to be an arrow..just letting you know) So people be prepared to be so amazed !!!
Have you ever been so scared or so worried that where ever you go you go nervous and like someone where watching you ? ( I have... it wa
Melissa Byrd
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-bookshelf
With anti-semitism on the rise in Paris, Odette is no longer safe. Her father was away with the military but quickly sent to a work camp. Her mother and godmothers' fears encourage them to send Odette to the French countryside to live as a Catholic until the war is over. In the countryside, Odette assumes a new identity and abandons the yellow star she was once forced to wear. When Odette joins the Raffin family, she along with several other Jewish children in hiding, practice Catholic prayers a ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Maryann Macdonald’s Odette’s Secrets is a fictional retelling of a young Jewish girl’s life in hiding during the Nazi occupation of France. This middle-grade historical fiction novel brings little new to the genre of Holocaust fiction, but is a strong introduction to the topic in the same tradition as classics such as When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, or Number the Stars. Odette’s story opens as WWII is just beginning and persecution of Jews in France is escalating. After Paris falls to the Nazis, ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This true story of a young Jewish girl growing up in Nazi-occupied Paris is told in verse. Odette’s father is sent to a Nazi work camp and her mother works hard to protect Odette. As the Jews in Paris are steadily more badly treated, Odette has to wear a yellow star on her clothing and is unwelcome in many places in the city. Even at school, Odette is bullied for being Jewish. When their apartment is raided in the middle of the night, Odette and her mother hide in their landlady’s cupboard. Afte ...more
Daija Jefferson
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you love learning or reading about historic fiction this is the book for you.The genre of this book is historical fiction because it tells about how Jewish and french did not get along a long time ago but it is fiction because this didn't happen to this exact person but it happened before. I thought that this book was very good in interesting because its kinds about history and I love to learn about history and I also love learning about important stuff that happened in that time period.The s ...more
Pamela Bennett
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

From the first page, this dear little girl, Odette, draws you into her world. You sit beside her in the darkened cinema and see the flash of jack-booted Nazis flash across the screen. You feel the splinters of glass beneath your shoes, surveying the broken shop window with her and her mother. Through the use of free-verse poetry, Odette’s joys, and fears are vividly and perfectly expressed. It all feels so real. You fully comprehend why a child’s concern for the loss of her doll can be on a leve
Brandy Painter
Originally posted at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald is a historical fiction novel based on facts from the life of a real girl who fled Paris and lived as a hidden child during the Nazi occupation because she was Jewish.

Stories of the many Jewish children who hid within other families and pretended to be some one they aren't are fascinating to me. Odette's story is no different. The first person narration helps the reader really see through Odette's eyes and
Cindy Hudson
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Odette was four years old living in Paris with her mother and father at the outbreak of World War II. Right away her father volunteered for the army and went off to fight. As time went by things got more and more difficult for Jewish families in Paris, and Odette’s mother made plans for where they would go if they needed to escape the city.

Odette’s real life story has been brought to life in fiction for young readers in Odette’s Secrets by Maryann Macdonald. After reading Odette’s autobiography,
Dan Rogers
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a 5th grade teacher I'm always on the lookout for new, lesser known titles to introduce to my students. Recently a couple of colleagues attended a professional development seminar presented by a 5th grade teacher. This is one of the books which she mentioned she uses with her students. Initially I thought that I'd use this book as I assigned narrative poetry novels to my students to read. Upon further reflection I decided to make it a themed reading assignment instead. Since I was already fam ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Odette lives in Paris with her mother and father. They are non-practicing Jews and have a good life in Paris. Then the Nazis come into power and things begin to change. First her father joins the French Army and is taken prisoner by the Germans. Then the Nazis start rounding up the Jews of Paris. Odette's mother is prepared however and Odette gets sent to the Vendee countryside with several other little girls. They are going to hide in plain sight not as Jews but as Christian girls escaping the ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
When it comes to children’s books about WWII, everyone thinks of The Diary of Anne Frank. Though I certainly do not want to devalue her writing, I was happy to see a different perspective of equal quality. Maryann Macdonald gives her readers a story just as true – Odette was a real person and Macdonald researched her quite a bit – and personalized. In it Odette presents her story through free verse, lending a simple beauty to the pages.
Odette, a young girl, considers herself French as she alway
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Teacher's Guides, anyone? 1 4 Aug 09, 2013 09:34AM  
Why free verse? 1 6 Aug 03, 2013 09:40AM  

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