The Underground Reporters

  • Pages:160
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Series: The Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers
  • Themes:Jewish children Holocaust, hidden Jewish children, surviving concentration camps, Holocaust true story
  • Available:10/15/2004
  • Age Groups:Nonfiction Ages 9-12

In Budejovice, a quiet village in Czechoslovakia, laws and rules were introduced to restrict the freedom of Jewish people during the dark days of World War II. A small shack became the community center - a place to escape from persecution and discrimination. It was here that some brave young people decided to create a newspaper, a magazine that would prove to themselves and their community that they were still creative, energetic, and adventurous. The magazine, Klepy (which means Gossip), was born on August 30, 1940, and over the following two years, twenty-two issues were created and circulated.

John Freund was one of the young "reporters" who contributed to the magazine. In April 1942, John and the other one thousand Jews of Budejovice were deported to the Terezin ghetto. Most of these deportees were immediately sent on to Auschwitz and to their deaths. John was among a handful of Budejovic Jews who survived the war. He currently lives in Toronto. Remarkably, copies of Klepy also survived. The Underground Reporters chronicles the lives of the young people who contributed to the newspaper.

"Historical settings are well researched and vivid…characters and plot are at the forefront."


"Kacer's taut recounting of the grim background story highlights the brave gallantry of the children."

– City Parent

"The book can also be an inspiration for children about how the human spirit can triumph over adversity."

– CM Magazine

"The simple yet poignant style holds your attention."

– Association of Jewish Libraries

"We need a book like this that reminds us there is always hope and the human spirit will always survive."

– Lethbridge Herald

"Copies of the original editions and black-and-white photos salvaged from the war add to this incredible piece of Holocaust history."

– Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will gain knowledge of the events that occurred during the beginning of World War II through the eyes of ordinary people."

– Resource Links

"The Underground Reporters is an amazing story about survival, rather than death."

– Jewish Independent Online

"Kacer makes these children come alive, leading her readers into the story as if it were a novel, while commemorating the lives of the kids."

– The Toronto Star

"The undying spirit of the Jewish people during those dreadful times is emphasized, and descriptions of life in the camps are excellent."


"This story is well-written and interesting, and meets the equity test."

– Voice (Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario)

"A rich assortment of photographs and maps helps young readers connect with the people and places described in the book."

– Professionally Speaking (Ontario College of Teachers)

"Interspersed with black-and-white photographs, stories and artwork from the newspapers is a riveting story of courage."

– Jewish Book World
Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award   | 2005  |  Commended
British Columbia Library Association – Red Cedar Award (Non-fiction)   | 2007  |  Short-listed
Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction   | 2005  |  Commended
Olive Branch Book Award (Non-Fiction)   | 2007  |  Winner
Rocky Mountain Book Award: Alberta Children’s Choice   | 2006  |  Short-listed