A Book Review by Rahel Varghese
I think most stories about the Nazis are very touching, like Anne Frank’s Journal, or the story of Corrie Ten Boom. The story Twenty and Ten, written by Claire Huchet Bishop is no different. It portrays the difficulties of children living at a time when the Nazis persecuted the Jews for their faith.
Let me take you back in time, to a noisy group of children playing make – believe in their schoolyard. These children are twenty in number, and as you can guess, they are the “twenty” part of the Twenty and Ten.
There is another group of Jewish children who have nowhere to hide from the cruel Nazis. They are the “ten” part of the Twenty and Ten.
The ten Jewish children are taken to the school with the twenty children to be hidden from the Nazis. The headmistress of the school, Sister Gabriel, is a kind woman, so she agrees to hide them, even at the cost of her own life.
The ten Jewish children and the twenty schoolchildren get along well together. The schoolchildren do everything they can to make the Jewish children feel at home. They even had to share the rations meant for only twenty children. So it is up to them to help their Jewish friends when two mean Nazi soldiers come searching for Jews one day, while sister Gabriel is away.
The best part about the story is how and where the children hide the Jews. Where they hide the Jewish children is the climax of the story, so I would only be spoiling it if I told you, but I can tell you how they hide them.
One day, when sister Gabriel wasn’t there, all the children were in the schoolyard, playing, when they saw two Nazi soldiers in the distance, riding towards them on bicycles. The children were brave, clever children, and they didn’t panic. Instead, the schoolchildren asked the Jewish children to hide in their secret hiding place while they found a way to keep the Nazis away from the Jewish children.
I love this story because it shows how much the little schoolchildren loved their friends and how they risked their own lives to save them.