The Secret of Gabi's Dresser

  • Pages:128
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Series: The Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers
  • Themes:Jewish children Holocaust, hidden Jewish children, Holocaust true story
  • Available:04/13/1999
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Lexile:800L
Gabi is a young Jewish girl living in Czechoslovakia during the time of the Holocaust. Gradually life is getting harder and harder. Jews are bullied at school, they can’t visit each other at a certain time, they have to walk everywhere, they are not allowed to go to non-Jewish stores, and finally Gabi’s best friend deserts her because she is Jewish. One day, the Nazis start visiting all the houses looking for Jewish children. In a tremendous act of courage, Gabi's mother protects Gabi from the soldiers by hiding her in their dining-room dresser. This is the story of author Kathy Kacer's own mother, who was the real-life Gabi. The only thing retrieved from their family's home after the war was the dresser that saved Gabi’s life. It now sits in author Kathy Kacer’s home in Toronto.

"There have been many books published in the last decade on this subject, the inhumane treatment of Jews during the Second World War, but readers, don't dismiss this title. 3 out of 4 stars."

– CM Magazine

"An insightful, educational and deeply moving work of historical fiction guaranteed to impact readers of all ages."

– Canadian Jewish News

"Kathy Kacer is a fabulous writer who paints a picture in your mind. Through her writing she expresses so much depth and passion that you feel that you are watching things being acted out. The Secret of Gabi's Dresser rightfully earns five stars!"

– Darcy, Age 12

"Gabi's story is a simple, brave affirmation of what courage, ingenuity and luck can accomplish under the worst conditions, situations we hope and pray will not repeat themselves in our children's lifetimes."

– The Telegram

"Kacer creates feelings of terror and tension as she deftly crafts her realistic story. Highly recommended."


"In The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, parents and educators will find an indisposable resource for the challenging task of teaching kids about the Holocaust... The Secret of Gabi's Dresser will have readers young and old alike turning the pages eagerly, unable to put down this gripping story until its completion."

– The Canadian Jewish News
British Columbia Library Association – Red Cedar Award (Fiction)   | 2002  |  Short-listed
Canadian Jewish Book Award (Young Adult Fiction)   | 2000  |  Winner
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, Canadian Children's Book Centre   | 1999  |  Commended
Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award   | 2001  |  Winner
Ontario Library Association – Silver Birch Award (Fiction)   | 2000  |  Winner