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Madeline Martin On The Unexpected Discovery That Made Her Change Course Midway Through Her Novel

Madeline Martin’s The Keeper of Hidden Books introduces readers to Zofia, a bright high school student in 1939 Warsaw who loves nothing more than discussing books with her best friend Janina. When the Nazis occupy Warsaw, the young women are horrified by the violence and devastation the Nazis enact on their city. When Nazi officials begin to ban and destroy books from the friends’ beloved library, Zofia and Janina devise a plan to thwart their actions. What begins as a secret book club to read books that Hitler has banned soon turns into a highly organized movement to preserve books that the Nazis have slated for destruction. As the war escalates, Janina, who is Jewish, finds the lives of her and her family at severe risk when they are displaced into the newly established ghetto. Facing unimaginable odds and surrounded by the horrors of war, Zofia must figure out how to save her best friend. Madeline Martin’s The Keeper of Hidden Books is a love letter to the power of books and the enduring ties of friendship. She spoke with us about her incredible research process and the discovery that made her change course halfway through the novel.