Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Recommended Reading: The Underground Reporters by Kathy Kacer

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Recommended Reading: The Underground Reporters by Kathy Kacer

Second Story Press, 2004

In Budejovice, a quiet village in the Czech Republic, 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 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 next 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 concentration camp, 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.

Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her writing, including the Silver Birch, the Red Maple, the Hackmatack and the Jewish Book Award. In 1999 she wrote her first book in Second Story’s Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers, The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser. Since then she has penned four other books for the series, including The Underground Reporters, Clara’s War, and The Night Spies.

The rights to her books have been sold to many countries, including Germany, China, Italy, Thailand, England, Japan, and Slovenia. She has adapted The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser into a successful play.

A former psychologist who worked with troubled teens, Kathy now writes about the Holocaust for young readers and travels the country speaking about it. She also addresses adults about how to teach sensitive material to young children. Kathy lives in Toronto with her family. Visit Kathy’s website

From the catalogue. Visit the Second Story Press website to read more about The Underground Reporters.