When We Were Shadows

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Praise & Recognition

"... a perfect choice for school libraries... When We Were Shadows will inform readers, young and old, on the journey of a young boy during the Holocaust, but ultimately it will inspire all to discover how the human spirit can triumph over evil. Highly recommended."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Most effectively, Wees conveys the gnawing fear that does not go away, as Walter questions, 'What was it about being Jewish that was so bad?'"

AJL Reviews

"Engaging and inspiring, When We Were Shadows speak to the dangers of oppression, prejudice and hate, but also to the indomitable human spirit and the will to survive."

Canadian Children's Booknews

"This is a moving and sensitive true story about the strength of the human spirit to survive."

Children's Books Heal

When We Were Shadows is a beautifully written book that tells an important story of survival through the eyes of a child from 1937 to 1945."

Edmonton Jewish News

OLA Forest of Reading Red Maple Award for Non Fiction 2019 - Short-listed

Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books of 2018 2018 - Commended

Walter and his family must stay one step ahead of the Nazis, hiding to save their lives.

Walter is a young child when his parents decide to leave their home in Germany and start a new life in the Netherlands. As Jews, they know they are not safe under the Nazi regime. Walter is at first too young to appreciate the danger that he is in, and everything seems like a great adventure. But as his family is forced to move again and again, from city to countryside to, eventually, a hidden village deep in the Dutch woods, Walter’s eyes are opened to the threat that surrounds them every day and to the network of people who are risking their lives to help them stay hidden. Based on a true story, the book shines a light on a little-known part of WWII history and the heroes of the Dutch resistance—particularly those involved in the hidden village—without whose protection, Walter, his family, and hundreds of others would not have survived.


Publication Date: April 3, 2018

Reading Age: 9 - 12

Reading Level: W

Genre: Children's Fiction, Middle Grade

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 176

ISBN: 978-1-77260-061-2

Janet Wees

About the Author

Janet Wees

Janet Wees has been writing since she was nine years old. A retired teacher, she spends her time writing children’s picture books, reading, walking, writing letters, cycling and traveling. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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