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The Light in Hidden Places

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4.56  ·  Rating details ·  3,308 ratings  ·  515 reviews
One knock at the door could be the death of them all…

It is 1943, and sixteen-year-old Stefania Podgórska has been working for the Diamant family in their grocery store in Przemsyl, Poland, for four years. She has even made a promise to one of their sons, Izio - an engagement they must keep secret since she is Catholic and the Diamants are Jewish.

But everything changes
...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Scholastic Press
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Popular Answered Questions
Evelyn Hi! I read this book when I was 11 or 12-ish.
However, it depends on the maturity of the reader. This book is a true story, so of course it can be sca…more
Hi! I read this book when I was 11 or 12-ish.
However, it depends on the maturity of the reader. This book is a true story, so of course it can be scary that these things actually happened, and horrifying to think about. I would say that it is great for teens, and tweens with a high maturity and understanding of this part of history.
Think of it this way. If you would feel comfortable -or whoever you are considering letting read it- watching a decently long documentary about WW2, then yes.
That is an important part of our history, but some kids may not be quite ready for it, so just judge on how you feel is appropriate with this given information.
I hope this helped. (less)

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Average rating 4.56  · 
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Katie B
This is one of the rare times I'm going to recommend a book even though I didn't particularly care for the writing. I've read many World War 2 historical fiction books, and for whatever reason I just found this to be an uneven reading experience. All of the other reviews I have read for this book so far have been positive so take my opinions with a grain of salt. It might just be this wasn't the book for me and that's okay. It happens from time to time.

This is a historical fiction book about Pol
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♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Jun 07, 2019 marked it as to-read
the problem with loving books is that, no matter how many I clear off my tbr, I always find at least twice as many to replace the ones I've cleared ...more
Leah (Jane Speare)
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy-hardcover
In the style of Ruta Septys, Cameron takes on a lesser known angle of history. Stefania Podgorska, a young Polish girl, risked every moment of her daily life to keep alive thirteen Jews during the Nazi occupation. Through Stefi’s eyes we are given hope in hopeless situations, a difficult thing to accomplish in a novel of WWII. Stefi wasn’t fearless, but she used her fear to drive herself and help others, and through those actions, her fear manifested as courage. With concise and affecting writin ...more
m a r y l i z
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm speechless.

Despite the fact that the writing style was less than incredible, the story grabbed me by the throat and never let go. So, so heartbreaking to know this was based on a true story. And yet, that's why I'm sitting here speechless even now.

Because the bravery of these men and women in the face of such horror . . . that is something that will stick with me for a long time.

Please, let's never forget Stefania's story.

(Full review to come, perhaps.)

3.5 stars
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Maggie Moritz
I cannot describe the emotions I had while reading this book. The bravery, strength, and sacrifice that stefania had is unlike anything I have ever read before. I've read many accounts from the perspective of Jewish people during WWII but never of a person that took it upon themselves to hide them. I have forever been touched by her story. I am so grateful that Sharon Cameron did so much work to gather all the information and put it in this book. It was utterly beautiful. ...more
Anna
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is classified as a young adult novel and the writing is definitely geared towards that age group. That said, this was a story of an amazing girl, Stefania Podgorska, who managed to successfully hide thirteen Jewish people in Przemysl, Poland during the Holocaust. She must have truly had a guardian angel watching over her with all the close encounters she experienced without getting caught. She not only managed feeding and caring for her hidden Jews, but was also responsible for caring for h ...more
Pam  Page
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is truly a remarkable story about Stefania Podgorska, a 16 year old Polish Catholic girl, set during the Holocaust in Poland. Stefania uses her wit, bravery, and love to hide thirteen Jews in her attic. The story will be one you cannot forget and I am still amazed at Stefania's ability to survive against so many odds. ...more
Stina
DEATH PENALTY FOR ALL WHO GIVE AID TO A JEW.
DEATH TO ALL WHO HARBOUR A JEW.
DEATH TO ALL WHO FEED A JEW.
DEATH TO ALL WHO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO A JEW.

I have read a number of historical fiction books surrounding the Holocaust in various settings - Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, Corfu, Italy - and all are of a similar vein. And yet they are each different.

Incorporating true life with fictional, THE LIGHT IN HIDDEN PLACES is the true story of Stefania Podgorska who successfull
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Lindsey Gandhi
Wow, just wow!! What an amazing story of a hero! There is no greater word to describe Stefania other than hero. Her story is one that needed to be told. Thank you Sharon Cameron for writing this. I hope schools everywhere will make this part of their curriculum. It's a part of history we should never forget. Please read this book. It's incredibly humbling to read how brave Stefania was in the face of pure evil. ...more
Renee
A wonderful read based on a true story of an amazing real-life heroine! I may have to buy a copy of this for my classroom! YA at it’s finest!
Mandy
To be honest, before I won this in a Yallfest giveaway, I didn't know anything about it. It was a book that never hit my radar, and it was a book that my eyes immediately glazed over. But this is definitely a light in the hidden TBR pile for me, because it was so good.

This story incorporates true life with the fictional. Our heroine, Stefania Podgorska, is a real person that did a lot of the things in this story. We follow Stefania's story from the very first beginnings of WWII to the very end
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Panda Incognito
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Panda by: Deb
I am a very self-controlled person, and I pride myself on being able to put a book down and go to bed. However, I stayed up until 4 AM to finish this one night, because it was so suspenseful that there was never a good stopping place. I kept going, desperate to know what happened next, and I can't even remember the last time that I have found a book to be so deeply engaging.

This WWII novel is based on a true story, and the author actually used less creative license than I had assumed, explaining
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Lindsey (Bring My Books)
Before I get started with this review (which was gifted to me from the author), I've got to tell you two things:⁣

1) I have adored EVERYTHING that Sharon Cameron has ever written, and I adore her as a person even more so.⁣
⁣2) I have read a LOT of WWII Historical Fiction, and a LOT of WWII memoirs from Holocaust survivors. Like, a lot of them.⁣

Okay, with that out of the way, I need you to know that this book is incredible. Based on the real life heroics of Stefania Podgorska, a Polish Catholic g
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C.P. Cabaniss
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I know what fear feels like. Now I know what it looks like."


4.5 stars.

I had never heard of Stefania or her sister Helena before I was preparing for Yallfest in 2019 and looking at the giveways listed. Historical fiction, particularly set during World War II, is a favorite genre and when I saw there was a giveaway for this novel I was sure to be at the front of the line. Later, I was able to meet the author and have my book signed, at which time I asked about her research and the kinds of th
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Reagan
Holy. Frickin. Cow.

I don’t know what to say about this book that hasn’t already been said, but this is one of the most remarkable things I have read in a while. It has been so long since a book has gripped me body and soul and refused to let go. Every page I had to remind myself that this is a true story, that this act of heroism was committed by a girl not much older than myself. Stefania Podogórska is nothing short of a hero, and I guarantee you that her story is one of the most awe-inspiring
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Lilli Leight
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
First book of 2021 had me feeling all the feelings!

The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron is one crazy story based on true events.

This historical fiction novel is about teenage Stefania Podgorska and her six-year-old sister Helena who manage to hide 13 Jews during WWII, successfully saving them from the Holocaust.

While this is a fictional novel given that it’s not a memoir and takes place from Stefanie’s point of view, it does a great job of depicting the stress and trauma those during the
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Brad Sells
Heartbreaking but completely and utterly necessary.

I will be shoving The Light in Hidden Places to as many people as I can. This is absolutely devastating that these monstrosity events actually occurred, but I cannot thank Sharon Cameron for shining a light on this real life heroine. Stefania “Fusia” Podgorska was a brave, selfless, and incredible woman who risked her entire life to ensure that other people were able to keep theirs, and I am so thankful that I was able to learn about her story.
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Cassi
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of historical fiction, particularly those set during World War II, I would definitely recommend The Light in Hidden Places. Based on a true story of a brave woman who hid thirteen Jews in her attic during Nazi occupied Poland during World War II, it is a book is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.

It is easy to root for Stefania. She is putting herself at risk to help those who otherwise have no one else. I like how she even when she thinks things have gone horribly wrong,
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sahar
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
if anyone wants to volunteer to be the max to my stefania, please let me know. i'm considering all offers. ...more
Beth McCraw
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness. 2021 is starting out amazing! This book was fantastic!
Ellie J.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5/5 stars
Recommended for people who like:
history, WWII, survival stories, historical fiction, based-on-true-stories, Between Shades of Grey, Poland, Hidden in Silence

I’ve known about the movie Hidden in Silence for years; it’s one of my favorite WWII films. So, when I was in the bookstore the other day and saw a title mentioning “hidden” and “true heroism during World War II,” familiarity prickled. And, of course, the very first line of the synopsis gave away that yes, this is in fact a book ba
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Kathy Riggs
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keeps you on edge from start to finish. True heroism- the constant fear of not knowing when or if your life would be over and the incredible sacrifices made for people she loved and those she didn’t even know!
Energy
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway from I Read YA and started it as soon as I could as this is my favorite time period in Historical Fiction.

In Poland during the second world war, Stefania, called Fusia, takes a job with a family to get away from home. The family is Jewish, which means little to her as she's Catholic and safe, but she bonds with the mother, who she calls her babcia, her grandmother, and her sons, mainly Izio and Max. As Hitler starts to deport Jews, the boys must go into hiding
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Simone
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A well written, engaging book with interesting characters. Also, a good example a smart female protagonist being shown, instead of flat out telling us she's smart. And it has the bonus of being a true story. Overall, a very good read for anyone looking for an intense, fast-paced, high-stakes book.

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Aislinn Kelly
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed The Light in Hidden Places, which is the true life story of two Polish sisters who hid thirteen jews during the war. It highlights the courage and resilience of ordinary people during this horrific time. I would definitely recommend this book to historical literature fans.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC
Alex Black
I think ten years ago, I would have really loved this book. It's exactly the kind of thing I would have devoured and adored when I was in the 12-15 age range, which I think is what this book is geared toward. I went in expecting a little older YA since the main character is 17, but that was my mistake and not an issue with the book at all. It was just a little young for my tastes which did impact my overall enjoyment. If you regularly read the younger YA range, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this. ...more
JoLee
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing

The Light in Hidden Places is based on the life of Stefania Podgorska. She was a teenager taking care of her six-year-old sister, Helena, and living in Przemsyl, Poland during World War II, and she hid thirteen Jews from the Nazis in her attic.

This story is a nail biter. There are so many close calls. At first there is a lot of sneaking in and out of the ghetto. Fusia, as Stefania was known, was very close to her employers, the Diamant family, and, when they were forced into the ghetto, she br
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Mindi
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At first I had a little bit of trouble getting into it, but then I couldn't put it down. I think sometimes WWII novels are a bit light on the context, whereas this one really delved into the experiences that these characters had (not surprising, given the wealth of information in the author's notes!).

I also really loved Stefania. More often than not, I think we're beaten over the head with the fact that our main character is sassy and bold, and yet she maybe just snaps off a couple of belligere
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Megan
This is without a doubt the best historical fiction book I have ever read. And it certain is one of the best books I have ever read.

When I closed the book, I was shaking and my heart was pounding in my chest. My jaw ached because I had been clenching my teeth. This book absolutely captured me and I waited in terror as I flipped from one page to the next. I have never been so sucked into the story or been more afraid about what was going to happen next. Because these people were real. These were
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Jen
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, library
This was a wonderful book based on a the true story of Stefania Podgorska, her sister, Helena, and the 13 Jews they hid in their home during WWII. I'm so happy I picked it back up again after all this virus stuff got me into a reading slump. I had not heard of the Podgorska sisters before and I enjoyed reading about them and their extraordinary acts of heroism and sacrifices. I felt like Ms. Cameron poured her heart and soul into researching and then sharing their story. She has a way of writing ...more
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Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. ...more

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161 likes · 41 comments
“It had taught me that people like to divvy up one another with names. Jew. Catholic. German. Pole. But these were the wrong names. They were the wrong dividing lines. Kindness. Cruelty. Love and hate. These were the borders that mattered.” 6 likes
“We're always living days we can never get back. So we make new ones. That's all.” 4 likes
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