Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Huge The Night

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.

Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.

Book Review
When I was little one of the books which I equally loved and haunted me was Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place.    Corrie's faith in the midst of such horrific circumstances challenged me.     I can remember lying in my bed wondering where we would hide people if something like that were to ever happen again.     I also remember praying I would have the faith I would need if I were to be the one hiding.

How Huge the Night is a story based on true events of a family who lived my imaginations.     Set in Tanieux, France, during World War II, it is about a family who takes in a young Jewish boy to protect him from being sent to a concentration camp.      

This is "on the edge of your seat" reading as France was in a precarious place during WWII.   Hitler had a particular hatred for France.    He made it so that there was no escape for the Jews.   The only way to protect yourself was to hide.      That meant to be in hiding or to try to hide a Jew was taking your life in your hands.  

While this book affected me, it hit my son in another way.    He identified with Julien the teenager.    Julien is only fifteen years old.   His life may be in danger from Hitler, but he doesn't want to leave his hometown.    However, the boys in his town aren't accepting of him.   They are bullying him in school.   They won't let him play soccer.   His family is starting to huddle around the radio at night because of news which is becoming more and more grim.    His life is spiraling out of control and he feels unable to do anything. 

How Huge The Night is an amazing book which is appropriate for any age reader.    I highly recommend you add it to your reading list.    If you are a homeschooler I especially recommend it to you for your World War II studies.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Heather Munn said...

Deanna, thanks so much for reviewing our book. I really enjoyed reading your review. I had those kinds of thoughts as a young child too, and now (as I'm writing the sequel) I'm coming back to some of them quite vividly.

It's so great to hear your son's point of view, too. I was so happy he identified with Julien. It's a challenge for us as grown-up women to write a teen boy who feels real, and whenever I hear that an actual boy thinks Julien does feel real, it makes me happy.