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Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer
Born (1954-09-06) 6 September 1954 (age 69)
OccupationWriter and illustrator
GenreFiction and nonfiction children's books
SubjectThe Holocaust
Notable worksHiding Edith (2006)

Kathy Kacer (born 6 September 1954)[1] is a Canadian author of fiction and non-fiction for children about The Holocaust, and has written one adult fiction book (Restitution). She has won several awards and her books have been translated into a variety of languages (e.g. Die Kinder aus Theresienstadt (ISBN 9783473542536), German translation of Clara's War and ちいさな命がくれた勇気 (ISBN 9784072491072), Japanese translation of The Underground Reporters). As well as writing, she speaks to children about the Holocaust, and to educators about teaching sensitive issues to young children.[1][2]

Personal life

Both Kacer's Jewish parents, Gabriela (née Offenberg) and Arthur Kacer,[3] were Holocaust survivors,[4] her father having been in a concentration camp and her mother living in hiding. Kacer was born in Toronto, where she still lives, and is married to a lawyer, Ian Epstein. They have two children, Broadway talent Gabi Epstein and actor and singer Jake Epstein. Kacer has a master's degree in psychology and worked with troubled teenagers before becoming a full-time writer in 1998.

Awards and honours

  • 2008 National Jewish Book Award for The Diary of Laura's Twin[5]
  • 2009 The Louis L. Lockshin and Brenda Freedman Award, the Youth award of the Canadian Jewish Book Awards, for The Diary of Laura's Twin[6]
  • 2009 Yad Vashem Award for Children's Holocaust Literature for Hiding Edith
  • Finalist in the Norma Fleck Award in 2005 (The Underground Reporters), 2006 (Hiding Edith) and 2010 (Whispers from the Ghetto)[7]
  • And several provincial awards and shortlistings for other awards[8]


Children's fiction

Kacer's mother's experiences included hiding in a dresser, or cupboard[10]
A sequel to The Secret of Gabi's Dresser[10]
Based around true stories of the opera Brundibár produced in Theresienstadt[10]
A contemporary Jewish girl is "twinned" with a girl of the same age in the Warsaw Ghetto through her diary[10]
  • Margit (Our Canadian Girl series, Penguin Books Canada), pre-teen fiction[9]
The central character, Margit, has fled with her mother from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia to Canada[10]
  • Home Free
  • A Bit of Love and a Bit of Luck
  • Open Your Doors
  • A Friend in Need

Children's nonfiction

A group of Jewish children in hiding in Czechoslovakia created a local newspaper, Klepy[11]
The story of Edith Schwab and other Jewish children being hidden and protected in a French village
The story of the 1939 voyage of the MS St. Louis, when German Jewish refugees were turned away from Cuba, the US and Canada[12]
Collections of personal stories from the time of the Holocaust
  • We Are Their Voice: Young people respond to the Holocaust (2011, Second Story)[a]
  • Shanghai Escape (2014, Second Story)[a]
  • The Magician of Auschwitz (2014, Second Story)[a]

Adult fiction

  • Restitution: A family's fight for their heritage lost in the Holocaust (ISBN 978-1897187753)


  1. ^ a b c d Kacer identifies four books published through 2014 (tagged here) as "Young Adult Non-Fiction". Generally the list of publications she maintains as a member of CANSCAIP distinguishes Pre-Teen, Young Adult, and Adult; Fiction and Non-Fiction.[9]


  1. ^ a b "FAQ's". Kathy Kacer website. Kathy Kacer. Archived from the original on 10 December 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  2. ^ "About me". Kathy Kacer website. Kathy Kacer. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  3. ^ Kathy-Kacer [dead link]
  4. ^ "Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre : Library Item: Whispers from the camps [2089]".
  5. ^ "Past Winners". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  6. ^ "2009 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards". Koffler Centre of the Arts. 25 May 2009. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Previous Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction Winners and Finalists". The Canadian Children's Book Centre. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Awards". Kathy Kacer website. Kathy Kacer. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Kathy Kacer". Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers ( Retrieved 30 July 2015. With short autobiography.
  10. ^ a b c d e "My books". Kathy Kacer website. Kathy Kacer. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  11. ^ Berman, Kathryn. "The Underground Reporters: Featured Book". Yad Vashem: The International School for Holocaust Studies. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  12. ^ "To Hope and Back". Second Story Press. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
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Kathy Kacer
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