We love young adult literature in this house. The boys love it as they are either already in that age group or quickly approaching it. And, I love it as they tend to be quick and entertaining reads. While fantasy tends to take first billing for the boys, historical fiction comes in close behind.
How Huge the Night is a young adult novel that can definitely be considered historical fiction. The story chronicles the life of a teenaged boy in France who’s path intersects with a young Jewish girl with the cloud of war hanging over both of them.
As we just studied World War II in history this spring, it was perfect timing for my teenager to read another ‘take’ on that time period with a different view of the challenges in Europe.
From the publisher:
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.
About the authors:
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.
My Thoughts ~ This was a great read for me and was enjoyed by P. (He did admit to speed reading through some of the first chapters with Nina as protagonist. His admission led to a long discussion about how persecution of the Jews and other groups was a huge component to the war.) R has not begun to read it yet, but it will be put into his reading pile for the future.
I loved how the authors incorporated elements of each character’s faith without having it overpower the larger storyline. The need to accept rather than ostracize people who are different than us is one thread I saw woven throughout the story.
This is definitely a title I’ll save for the younger boys to read when they are entering the teen years. Not only does it stand as a good historical fiction selection for WWII, it is also a good coming of age story that all ages can enjoy.
How Huge the Night retails for $14.99 and can be found at major retailers, including Amazon.
Disclaimer ~ I received a copy of How Huge the Night as part of the LitFuse blog tour. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed here are our own. You can read what other reviewers have to say about this title by visiting the blog tour page.