About 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.
Link to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/How-Huge-Night-Heather-Munn/dp/082543310X/ref=sprightly-20
About the Munn’s:
Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.
Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.
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“Seldom have the horrors of war upon adolescents–or the heroism of which they are capable–been so clearly portrayed. I loved this coming-of-age story.” –Patricia Sprinkle, author of Hold Up the Sky.
“The book expertly weaves together the lives of its characters at a frightening moment in conflicted time. As we read of their moral dilemmas and of their choices, we too wonder, “Would I do as these in the story have done?” –Karen Mains, Director, Hungry Souls
Due to the threat of Hitler’s war, fifteen-year-old Julien Losier and his family moved from Paris to the small town of his father’s upbringing, Tanieux, France, but it is not to his liking. He’s treated like an outcast at school, but perseveres to make friends. The family opens their home to a Jewish boy, Benjamin Keller, who is also from Paris, but is immediately ostracized at school.
Nina Krenkel of Vienna follows her father’s death-bed command to take herself and her brother, Gustav, to Austria and to burn their papers–they were Jewish. Through deep trials, they arrive at Tanieux, France. Nina is sick and emaciated, lying on death’s door. Julien befriends them, and through the help of the pastor’s wife and his mother, they attempt to hide them from the town.
Although this book is mostly a confined read about the intensity of a small family and their interactions to hide Jewish children, it is definitely far from boring or mundane! It brings to light the extremes a family will go through to help the helpless in a time of war and extreme danger. The choice of Julien’s family to hide Jewish children is portrayed in such a warm, caring and loving way, though it was a dangerous proposition.
The whole story is believable as the circumstances and conversations unroll. The danger is palpable, the animosity true to life. Tension builds as France surrenders to Hitler. Though Tanieux is unoccupied, demands of the regime keep unfolding. It brings to light the horrors of WWII right into your living room. The war makes you question yourself, whether you would be willing to do the same amidst the animosity and the threats of death. Your faith is tested just as Julien’s family. What would your response be? What would God require of you?
This story is based on the true story of the town, Le Chambon, the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust.
This book was provided by Amy Lathrop, of Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.