Authors: Heather Munn and Lydia Munn
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Date: April 2011
Synopsis (from Kregel Pub.)
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.
As a home school mom, I found that using living history was one of the best methods of teaching the children history. Taking historical fiction that was well researched and based on those facts and presenting to a curious mind, made things stick. My children are now in college, but they still remember many historical facts based on things we have read when they were young.
"How Huge the Night" fits well in this category of living history. It is beautifully written and is filled with facts and events that come alive through the eyes of children. To hear how France was taken over by Germany from an adult's point of view is usually what one hears about, but the Munn's take it to another level by seeing it as the children did.
To say this book is amazing, is an understatement. It tore at my heart, and I found myself in tears more than once. From a parent's point of view, it broke my heart knowing that the children dealt with the horrors they did, but putting names and faces to those horrors makes this book unforgettable. This book is profound and should be in the hands of EVERY teen. This story brings to light not only the horrors of war, but the pain of being different and not accepted and how people can change things and make a difference.
I could continue on and on how fantastic this book is, but won't for fear of writing a spoiler or two. My advice? Quit reading this review and run to the bookstore and get a copy of this book! You won't be same after reading it.
Make sure to stop back tomorrow for an interview with Heather and Lydia Munn!!
A HUGE thank you to Kregel Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book. In return, they have asked me to post my honest opinion and thoughts about it.