Buzzwordathon 2023: Review of ‘Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries’ by Laurel Holliday

March’s theme for Buzzwordathon is ‘secret’, meaning this specific word had to be somewhere in a book’s title. Because ‘secret’ was in the title of Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries, I chose this book for the third round of Buzzwordathon. Even though Laurel Holliday’s name is listed on the book’s cover, the book is a collection of diaries written by children who lived during the Holocaust/World War II. This collection provides diverse perspectives of that particular period in history. For example, in Moshe Flinker’s diary, he expresses guilt about living in safety while many Jewish people were experiencing turmoil. Meanwhile, Colin Perry treated his diary as a historical record, going into detail about everything happening around him. Along with each perspective, the way these diaries were written was also diverse. It emphasizes the point Laurel made in the book’s introduction; that there is more than one side to history.

A collection of twenty-three diaries is included in Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries. The children’s ages range from ten to eighteen years old, with the children residing in various locations in Europe. Because of the abundance of diaries and because most of the diaries focus on events happening in a child’s life, the reader doesn’t receive many opportunities to truly get to know a diary’s author. In the book’s introduction, Laurel says “most of the diaries are long enough to comprise full-length books”. But in some author’s cases, such as for Colin Perry, his diary was published into its own book, “available from the author in a self-published paperback edition”. This fact made me wonder why the book’s longer diaries were included in this particular collection?

Old-fashioned books image created by Macrovector at <a href=’’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. <a href=””>Background vector created by Macrovector –</a>. Image found at

Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries is a fine, interesting book that serves as a useful piece of literature when it comes to learning about World War II/the Holocaust. The collection of diverse perspectives and writing styles emphasizes how many points of view can shape history. However, this is not a book I plan on re-visiting in the future. That decision is partly due to the book’s heavier subject matter. I am glad I chose to read this book for March’s edition of Buzzwordathon. As I mentioned in this review, the children are from various locations in Europe. Some of these European countries are participating in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. As someone who will take part in the Eurovisionathon readathon, reading Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries was a good segue into that literary event, as Eurovision was created to restore peace in Europe after World War II.

Overall score: 3.6 out of 5 stars

Have fun during Buzzwordathon!

Sally Silverscreen

Disclaimer: Because this book revolves around children’s lives during the Holocaust/World War II, some readers may be sensitive to this book. Joan Wyndham’s diary brings up subjects like drugs and sex. Reader discretion is encouraged.

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