HEATHER AND LYDIA MUNN'S BOOK HOW HUGE THE NIGHT IS NOMINATED IN THE YOUNG ADULT CATEGORY
HOW HUGE THE NIGHT
By Heather Munn and Lydia Munn
Published by Kregel Publications
Back Cover: 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.
Review: Most of the books I’ve read about the Nazi’s were from an adult point of view. I enjoyed the review copy of this book which had the reader experience the war through the eyes of adolescents.
Not all parents were as helpful or took the time to explain life and events to their children like Julian Lozier’s parents did. He was fifteen-year-old and his parents wanted him to understand and process certain events so he could realize how it would impact their world.
Julian and his family fled to Southern France in hopes of avoiding Hitler’s threatening clutches. Julian is angry and confused by all the changes so were many of the other kids at school. Then there were children like Nina and Gustav’s whose world came to a complete halt when their father died and left them all alone and on the run for their lives! Who could they trust? Where would they hide so they didn’t get taken to a concentration camp?
The author notes filled in some blanks from real historical events for me. I found it interesting as they discussed so many choices people had during this time period. Heather and Lydia say, “Some got rich off the black market…Some used the Nazi’s for revenge, feeding them true and false information against their enemies. Some followed the law unquestionably; some just survived, and others were “wait-its,” who chose not to get involved. Some vowed to fight the Germans to the bitter end and started the resistance, which in the early days seemed completely doomed. And a few chose to focus on those in the deepest need and danger, and protect them from harm!”
It was fascinating and frightful to read about how all these choices played out. I hadn’t thought about all the choices people made then in this way before. It was interesting to read about them through youthful eyes, minds and hearts.
I highly recommend this moving story that touch my heart and gave me a peek at how scary this event was for the children and how they looked at their future. Some parts were horrifying and unbelievable what these young ones went through to survive on their own. I’m so glad the authors showed how some people went above and beyond – even to the point of putting themselves in danger to help young people and their families thrive!
The Book Club Network