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March 16, 2020

Children of the Stars by Mario Escobar ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"A woman like her, dead, murdered by this despicable Vichy regime, murdered by all those who have surrendered their souls and looked the other way.  The worst friend of the truth is silence.  The worst lie in the world id that ordinary people are powerless against tyranny." (p 67)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

February 2020; Thomas Nelson; 978-0785234791
audio, ebook, print (386 pages); historical fiction
I read a lot of WWII fiction and it is amazing how many different stories there are from that time period. This is a different look at the war in France seen by two young Jewish boys who are trying to get away from the people who want them dead while they try to find their parents.  There was a juxtaposition between good and evil/light and dark and the pervading question of which side was going to ultimately win.

Paris 1941.  The parents of 11-year-old Jacob and 8-year-old Moses have left Paris to try to find a safe place for the family leaving them in the care of an aunt.  The French gendarmes, under Nazi orders, arrest the boys and take them to the VĂ©lodrome d’Hiver—a massive, bleak structure in Paris where thousands of France’s Jews are being forcibly detained.  The boys know that they must escape if they have any hope of finding their parents but all they have is one letter with their parents' address to guide them.  Their journey out of France is fraught with danger and they are often close to being detained again.  Along their journey, they meet strangers and brave souls who put themselves at risk to protect them—some of whom are punished for trying to help them.

This well-written novel is about one of the darkest times in the history of the world.  What was amazing were all of the people who were willing to risk their lives to help these boys.  Even in the dark, there was light to guide their way. It's a story of family and love and a story of helping people who need help no matter how dangerous it is.   I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy WWII historical fiction to get a different view of the war through the eyes of children.

Buy Children of the Stars at Amazon

Additional History

  • 9,000 gendarmes and police broke into thousands of homes taking their occupants to various parts of the city and VĂ©lodrome d’Hiver
  • The director of the municipal police, M. Hennequin, gave the order that all the registered Jews should be arrested; with permission to use the violence and forcefulness that was necessary.
  • On July 16, 1942, 12,884 Jews were arrested
  • Only 811 people from this location returned to Paris after the war.

Image result for velodrome d'hiver memorial

Memorial statue dedicated in 1994 at the site of the Velodrome d"hiver is a reminder of the round-up of Jewish people in Paris in 1942.  I have visited this site and found it to be a very sad reminder of this time.

Purchase Links: Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson
Connect with Mario: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. great review. i don't read a lot of this type book any more, but i do think a feel good story would be a good thing right now
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. I love all of the history in this one and I'm always drawn to historical fiction with children. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours