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April 11, 2012

Review: Hidden by Miriam Halahmy - Farah

Title: Hidden
Author: Miriam Halahmy
Publication date: 2011
Publisher: Meadowside Children's
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: A-Z Title, SARC
Source: Library
Format: Paperback
Pages: 253
Fourteen year old Alix lives at the bottom of Hayling Island near the beach. It is a quiet backwater, far removed from world events such as war, terror and refugees. Alix has never even given a thought to asylum seekers, she has enough problems of her own: Dad has a new life that doesn't include her, Grandpa is dead and Mum is helpless and needy. But when Alix sees the local gang shouting racist abuse at Samir, the foreign boy in her class, she finds herself sticks up for him and they become friends. Alix begins to learn about the life Samir has left behind in Iraq, which isn't all about suicide bombers but centred on playing football in the street with friends, going to school and helping his Mum with the shopping.

Then one day on the beach Alix and Samir pull a drowning man out of the incoming tide: Mohammed, an illegal immigrant and a student. Mohammed has been tortured by the militia in Iraq for helping the allied forces and has spent all his money to escape. Alone, helpless, and desperate not to be deported, Mohammed's destiny lies in Alix and Samir's hands. Samir knows that life as an immigrant can be cruel, but he begs Alix to help him hide Mohammed. As Alix weighs up her own commitments versus those of a helpless stranger; human rights issues versus the law; and finally what you can see versus what is hidden, the reader is taken on an extraordinarily gripping journey through a moral minefield of decisions to discover, with Alix, that knowing right from wrong isn't always easy.
I randomly picked "Hidden" from the library, and I'm just glad to say that it didn't disappoint. Hidden is a great "coming of age" novel, and definitely a novel that needs to be read by everyone. What I liked in this book is that it was different than others. I loved the message it conveyed to the readers. How all people should be treated equally, despite religion, or nationality. There are many racist people out there, and I'm glad to know that many people are against it. 
I liked the flow the story had. The characters were all very well described. Alix, the main protagonist, is really cool. She didn't judge Samir for who he was, or where he was from, unlike her other classmates. Samir, was very well described as well. He felt real. The bombings, and how his family suffered, and how it was very heart-breaking to leave your country, it was all very well illustrated. The story never got boring. It was all interesting, and just kept you turning from one page to the other. It was fun, interesting, and had a really good plot! Definitely a book you should pick up, if you like realistic fiction! 
4 musical notes!


  1. I think I'd really like this one. The subject matter really intrigues me. I'll have to see if my library has it! Thanks for the review, Farah :)

  2. Thank you for a lovely review Farah and very pleased you chose my book from all the books in the library. All the best to you!!

  3. I'm glad to hear this was pleasntly different to other stories. Great review, Farah! It's great that you enjoyed this so much. :)