Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop is from the MODG Second Grade Supplemental Reading List
This story, based on true accounts, tells of twenty students living at a Catholic school in France during World War II. They are cared for by Sr. Gabriel and are all about ten years old, except for one four-year-old boy who is the younger brother of one of the fifth graders. A young man comes to the school, located in the countryside, to ask if they would help care for ten Jewish refugees. He tells them that if they are caught hiding the Jewish children, they will all be in trouble, but the sister and children all generously agree to help them and hide them. While Sr. Gabriel is away for an afternoon, Nazi soldiers come to the school and ask the children to reveal where the Jewish refugees are. The students had seen the soldiers approaching and the Jewish children were quickly hidden in an underground cave. Led by Henry, the children decide simply not to answer any questions the Nazis ask. Despite a few harrowing moments, they are able to protect the refugees and stay safe themselves until Sr. Gabriel is brought back by a Nazi captain after spending the night in jail. The serious nature of the topic could prompt a discussion of the horrors of war that the people of France endured during Nazi occupation. However, since the author tells the tale through the eyes of one of the girls, mixing her thoughts with descriptions of the action, the story remains relatable. It will keep listeners and readers on the edge of their seats!
- Recommended by Sandra Sebastian
MODG Consultant and homeschooling mom for more than 20 years