Downloadable Literature Guides

You can purchase the literature guide PLUS 53-slide interactive Jeopardy-type game for Odette's Secrets for immediate download! Only $17.95!
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Odette's Secrets
by Maryann Macdonald

TLA Bluebonnet Nominee
2014 Kids Wings Award Book

Odette, a young Jewish girl living in Paris in 1940, tells the story of her life in a small apartment with her mother and father. She is cared for after school by her wise and kindly godmother Madame Marie. When the German Nazi troops invade her country, she is swept up into the horror of World War II. Her father enlists in the French army and is soon captured and sent to a French concentration camp. Her mother secretly joins the French Resistance but makes elaborate plans to send Odette to a countryside safehouse when the Nazis enter Paris.

Normal activities such as going to the park and school soon change for Odette as Jewish children are banned from parks, libraries, and other public places. Jewish citizens are required to wear yellow stars sewn onto their clothing to make them easily recognized. When the Nazis troops begin to sweep Paris, destroying Jewish businesses and taking Jewish families prisoner, the plans to hide Odette and hurry her to the countryside kick into gear. Her godmother quickly rips the yellow star from her clothes and helps her pack. Resistance fighters escort her to the railroad where she joins other Jewish children on their way to safety, but her safety depends upon her keeping secrets. "How many lies would you tell to stay alive?"

Arriving in a small French village, she joins a family group, learns Catholic prayers, and blends into her new life as a Christian. Will she be able to keep the secrets upon which her life depends? Will someone suspect that she is really is a Jewish child? Will she be turned over the Nazi soldiers and taken to a concentration camp? Will she ever see her father, mother, or Madame Marie again? Will Odette survive?

In Odette's Secrets, the reality of war focuses on the real life experiences and trials of this young, courageous Jewish girl. Told in free verse in the present tense, first person by Odette, readers will find themselves drawn into her struggles. It is but a small piece in an enormous puzzle, but many questions and research possibilities arise as readers follow in her footsteps. Odette's Secrets provides youngsters a taste of the fear and horrors experienced by a child during World War II. It bears witness to the results of mindless prejudice that transforms into the limitless power of hate. Odette's Secrets will remind readers that the Holocaust must never be repeated and never forgotten.


Research Links for
Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald
Odette's Secrets Book Trailer
Interview with Author Maryann Macdonald

Paris under Nazi Occupation
The Holocaust Museum for Students
Nazi Influence in World War II

The Third Reich in Pictures

Map of Nazi Conquests in World War II
Map of Europe in World War II

Interactive Map of Modern Europe
Modern Map of Europe
Eye Witness to History
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust: Quizzes
The United States and the Holocaust

The Path to Nazi Genocide--Video from the Holocaust Museum
Recommended for upper grades only.

Who were the Catholic Saints who Madame Marie sewed into Odette's blanket?
Saint Michael
Saint Christopher

Translate into Other Languages

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Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot
The Greatest Skating Race
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The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark
Passage to Freedom
The Butterfly (Thanks to Sandy Lewis for suggesting this picture book!)


You can purchase the literature guide PLUS 53-slide interactive Jeopardy-type game for Odette's Secrets for immediate download! Only $17.95!
Click Here to purchase and download now!

The Kids Wings literature guide PLUS interactive Jeopardy-type game, perfect for lesson plans, handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard for Odette's Secrets is now available!

This Kids Wings Activity Guide Contains:
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
Anticipation Guide
2-Page Readers Theater Script: Building Background on World War Ii
Map Skills: Where is France? Where is Europe in France
Map Skills: Europe Today
When Was This War: A Timeline and Math Activities
Background for World War II
2-Page Readers Theater Introduction for Odette's Secret
Vocabulary List and Activities
Making Connections: Pre & Post Reading Discussion Guide, Chapter Questions
Odette's Secrets: Taking Notes in a Table
Visualizing the Story: Pages 1-23
Big6 Research: Who Was Saint Christopher?
Crossword Puzzle: Escape from the Soldiers
Big6 Research: What Were the Holocaust? Third Reich?
Multiple Choice Comprehension: Pages 88-108
Visualizing Village Traditions: Pages 109-117
Multiple Choice Comprehension, Page 25
Writing Prompt: My Home
Writing Prompt: Remember Our Soldiers
Big6 Research: Who Was Joan of Arc?

Logic Puzzle: A Quote about the Holocaust
Discussion and Writing Prompts

Answer Pages
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game

Extend this story with the story of an American mime, Marcel Marceau


Odette's Secrets is included in the Kids Wings' Trials and Courage Collection of literature guides for award-winning novels and intermediate-level picture books all on one convenient CD. Included are 848 pages of activities in 22 titles PLUS 18 "Jeopardy-type" games! You can purchase a literature guide individually for around $17.95, but if you order Trials and Courage Collection, you can get 29 literature guides for only $25, or less than $1 each! This is probably the greatest bargain in the USA, as long as quantities last!


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A special thank you to the superbly talented Jalal Ali of Syria for allowing us to use his original composition posted on Laura's Midi Heaven, "Winter Song" as our background music.

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