Hiding Little Nita is the true story of a young, deaf Jewish girl who was hidden during WWII in the Netherlands. The book highlights her resilience, life with her host family, friendship with a neighborhood girl, some dangerous encounters, and the emotional visit with her parents who were hidden by the author's parents in another region of the country. Nita, her parents, and her cousin were the only members of their extended family to survive the war. Videos and materials related to the Hiding Little Nita story and the book, Two Families in a Hiding Place, which describes the experiences of Nita's and the author's families during the war, are available for viewing at the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The royalties from Hiding Little Nita will be donated to the American Society for Deaf Children.
Whenever the author told stories about his parents hiding Jews during WWII, the part about Nita was often the most impactful. His brother-in-law, Lynn Elwell, encouraged him to write a children's book about Nita's story and developed the first version. Hiding Little Nita and Two Families in the Hiding Place highlight how love can overcome hate.
About the Author
Paul Paulus is a retired psychology professor and former Dean of the College of Science at University of Texas at Arlington. His research focus has been on environmental psychology and collaborative creativity, He has published several scholarly books, but this is his first children's book. He is also the author of "Two Families in a Hiding Place: Courage: Resilience and Love in WWII", the story of Nita's family's experiences in WW II. Both books are based on his parent's roles in hiding Jews in the Netherlands in World War II.
Paul Paulus is a retired psychology professor and former Dean of the College of Science at University of Texas at Arlington. His research focus has been on environmental psychology and collaborative creativity, He has published scholarly books on prison crowding, group dynamics, human relations, and creativity, but this is his first children's book. He is also the author of "Two Families in a Hiding Place: Courage: Resilience and Love in WWII", the story of Nita's family's experiences in WW II. Both books are based on his parent's roles in hiding Jews in the Netherlands in World War II. They were awarded the Righteous Among the Nations designation by Yad Vashem-The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel.
He was involved in research on prison crowding for 15 years. This research and related court testimony resulted in changes in prison conditions and new prison standards in the United States. For the past 30 years he has focused his research on collaborative creativity. Groups often underperform and make suboptimal decisions. The aim of his research was to discover ways to help groups and teams tap their creative potential and make good and hopefully wise decisions. The results of this research have been highlighted in scholarly papers and books.
The author and his wife live in Arlington, Texas, have two children and six grandchildren. He continues to be active in his academic career and loves spending time with family and golf. Lynn Elwell is a retired biochemist/geneticist who also did research at a pharmaceutical firm for more than twenty years. His primary research interest was the study of the molecular nature of resistance to the antibacterial agent trimethoprim among disease-producing strains of microbes, as well as the range and mechanisms of dissemination of these tiny circles of DNA.
Elwell was hooked on poetry after encountering the book, A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, in elementary school. A life-long and avid reader of poetry, he has published more than fifty original poems in a variety of literary and poetry journals. In 2020, he published a collection of his poetry in a book entitled, Family, Friends, and Other Oddities. Jessica Soliz is currently a printmaking major at the University of Texas at Arlington. She aims to make art that brings smiles to people's faces. Her work has been featured in Illustrations in Nature, a student-centered reptile illustration show. She has used her printmaking degree to produce hand-sewn mini books featuring her work, as well as collage prints hearkening to her time living in Japan with her husband. Her main body of work is commissioned character designs and concept art. She loves to make handmade products and collect sentimental objects to incorporate into her work.