$15.95 Paperback with B&W photographs

168 Pages • 7.5" x 9"

Buy the eBook

Icon_kobo Icon_ibook

Ages: 9 to 13

Reading Levels

Grade: 6-up

Guided Reading Level: Z

In Budejovice, a quiet village in Czechoslovakia, laws and rules were introduced to restrict the freedom of Jewish people during the dark days of World War II. A small plot of land by the river was allocated to the village's Jewish youth. While almost all other areas of the village were off limits to the children, here they were able to meet and play.

A small shack on this land became the community center - a place to escape from persecution and discrimination. And it was here that some brave young people decided to create a newspaper, a magazine that would prove to themselves and their community that they were still creative, energetic, and adventurous. The magazine, Klepy (which means Gossip), was born on August 30, 1940, and over the following two years, twenty-two issues were created and circulated. The magazine included simple type-written stories, elaborate paintings, and editorials, all created in the midst of war.

John Freund was one of the young "reporters" who contributed to the magazine. In April 1942, John and the other one thousand Jews of Budejovice were deported to the ghetto, Terezin. Most of these deportees were immediately sent on to Auschwitz and to their deaths. John was among a handful of Budejovic Jews who survived the war. He currently lives in Toronto. Remarkably, copies of Klepy also survived.

The Underground Reporters chronicles the lives of the young people who contributed to the newspaper. The story is full of adventure, mystery and excitement. With drawings, poems, stories and jokes, The Underground Reporters looks at life with as much optimism as possible, providing hope for a peaceful world to come.

Own this book? Get the eBook with BitLit.


2005 Norma Fleck Award Nominee for Children's Non-Fiction

2006 Rocky Mountain Alberta Children's Choice Award Nominee

2007 B.C. Red Cedar Award Nominee

2007 Olive Branch Book Award (Non-Fiction) Winner

Part of the Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers


"Historical settings are well researched and vivid…characters and plot are at the forefront." -CCL, September 1, 2004

"Kacer's taut recounting of the grim background story highlights the brave gallantry of the children." -City Parent, June 1, 2005

"The book can also be an inspiration for children about how the human spirit can triumph over adversity." -CM Magazine, December 10, 2004

"The simple yet poignant style holds your attention." -Association of Jewish Libraries, February 1, 2005

"We need a book like this that reminds us there is always hope and the human spirit will always survive." -Lethbridge Herald, December 18, 2004

"Copies of the original editions and black-and-white photos salvaged from the war add to this incredible piece of Holocaust history." -Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2005

"Readers will gain knowledge of the events that occurred during the beginning of World War II through the eyes of ordinary people." -Resource Links, April 1, 2005

"The Underground Reporters is an amazing story about survival, rather than death." -Jewish Independent Online, November 1, 2006

"Kacer makes these children come alive, leading her readers into the story as if it were a novel, while commemorating the lives of the kids." -The Toronto Star, December 19, 2004

"The undying spirit of the Jewish people during those dreadful times is emphasized, and descriptions of life in the camps are excellent." -VOYA, April 1, 2005

"This story is well-written and interesting, and meets the equity test." -Voice (Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario), June 1, 2005

"Interspersed with black-and-white photographs, stories and artwork from the newspapers is a riveting story of courage. " -Jewish Book World, February 1, 2006


Reading Levels

Grade: 6-up

Guided Reading Level: Z

Find books by:


Search Books

by Author/Illustrator

by New Releases by Audience by Series by Genre by Special Interests by Curriculum Links by Academic Subject