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How Huge the Night [Kindle Edition]

Heather Munn , Lydia Munn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a stunning piece of writing, a real page-turner. Not only does it present the grim realities of hunger, racism, and war, it also shows young people grappling with a world not of their own making and triumphing in the face of overwhelming adversity. The book should be on the must-read list for anyone interested in life's big questions, sensitively and compellingly addressed." (Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner, Professor of English, Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies Wheaton College 2011-05-02)

About the Author

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 505 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 082543310X
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 9, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XM64S8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,688 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Book! June 18, 2011
By Molly
Format:Paperback
Holy moly, this was a FANTASTIC book! It's a light read by any means. With a subject line of Nazi's and WWII, it is FAR from light. In fact, it has more of a slower, dark feel to it. But, with that said, Heather and Lydia Munn have put their talented authoring skills together and created one captivating, emotional read!!!

This book was written in a way that EVERYONE, young readers and old, can fully grasp the knowledge of the happenings during WWII. It truly amazes me that that time in history was as bad as it was. When I read a book like this, I can completely engross myself so that I feel the actual turmoil of each and every character. They become real to me.

Julien and Nina's characters were both so compelling. I loved how their stories unfolded in an incredibly deep way. I watched both of these young people grow to understand the deeper meaning of kindness and acceptance. I watched how they learned right from wrong, how they help onto the faith and over came the many horrific obstacles of unkind intentions from those around them, in a time when the world was so filled with hatred and cruelty. It was truly amazing.

I recommend this based on true events book with the highest 5 star praise. I warn you, though. This book is not a LIGHT read. It is a wonderful novel if you are looking for that historical book filled with wonderful characters and deep meaning. It is a book that will be with me for a long, long time to come, and one that I will pass along to my friends and family. These talented ladies have taken a horrific piece of history and turned it into a meaningful, emotional, and fully gripping novel. Well done, ladies!

*This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review*
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Huge the Nazi Night July 25, 2011
Format:Paperback
A powerful young adult novel, How Huge the Night, the book weaves together the story of Julien, a fourteen-year-old boy who has recently moved from Paris to his father's home town, and the story of Nina, a sixteen-year-old Jewish girl who is fleeing Austria with her younger brother. Set at the beginning of World War II in Tanieux, Julien lives in a fictional town in southern France based on an actual village that saved over 3000 Jews.

The two stories create a powerful balance. In Julien's story the war is at a distance and, at first Julien is more concerned with fitting in at his new school (he has just moved to the village from Paris)than with the war. Nina's story begins when her dying father makes her promise to flee Austria. He knows that his two children will be in danger if they stay in Austria.

Julien's family has taken in Benjamin, a Jewish teenager from Paris. The drama in Juilen's story comes from the conflicts at school as he tries to both befriend Benjamin and distance himself from him at school because Benjamin is a hindrance to Julien's fitting in at school.

Most World War II novels set in France focus on the fighting or the French resistance. Though it is fiction, How Huge the Night is thoroughly researched. Tanieux, like the actual village it is based on, is located in the unoccupied zone, a portion of France where the Nazis did not station troops. The French, the book notes, were officially banned from calling the unoccupied zone the free zone.

At the beginning of the book the tension in Julien's story focuses on his struggle to fit in with his peers at school but as the book progresses the tension escalates as Julien and the rest of the school tries to figure out how to respond to the Nazis reshaping of France.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How good the book! July 17, 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is on my list of top young adult book of all time, near the top if you limit it to modern works. (Most of my favorites in this genre are classics.) If you teach adolescents or teens - or if you, like me, are an adult who likes to read their books - do yourself a favor and get How Huge the Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn. I think words like well-written and encouraging and inspiring and thought-provoking are thrown around too often in book reviews, but this one truly is all of those things.

(Heads up, though, that this is overtly Christian, so it would be a no go for my public school teacher friends. Sorry! I still think you should read it, though.)

I love YA fiction, but I'll be the first to acknowledge that much of it is trash (Twilight, anyone?) and that the bar drops significantly lower when you add "Christian" before YA. Another strike against my expectations for this book was the time period; I've read plenty of mediocre fiction about WWII and the Holocaust. But, because the blurb seems compelling enough and because I was itching for a little escape fiction, I agreed to review it.

And my expectations? They were all so far off-base that I can't even see them from here.

At one point, I expected to gripe a little in this review about the authors' two-dimensional depictions of all the good guys as great and bad guys as terrible...and then they twisted the story in such a way that no only turned that concept of its head but also convicted me of arrogance and self-righteousness at the same time as the main character was convicted of the same.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
i truly enjoyed. Very well written
Published 1 month ago by Pauline Fried
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to remember how life and the world have changed
Enjoyable read. Good to remember how life and the world have changed.
Published 1 month ago by Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful book
This is a riveting tale based on historical facts and is wonderfully told. Heart wrenching and heart warming..Not one to be missed. Loved it!
Published 2 months ago by D. Cressy
3.0 out of 5 stars A great story that I just didn't like
I finished reading this book several days ago and have wrestled with myself since then to decide whether or not I liked it. I've finally settled at 3 stars and here's why... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sierra K. Sorrell
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It ended rather abruptly.
Published 2 months ago by Cheryl D. Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
Even though though this book is for young people, it is full of actual historical events and genuine life changing responses to those events. Compelling and well written.
Published 4 months ago by Tenney Singer
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting
This book was pleasantly exciting, it was interesting to follow Gods hand working in this town, I didn't realize until the end of the book that it was based on a true story, that... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good story
The writer does a wonderful job describing the lives of the people preparing for the worst of war and trying to do what God would have them do for their neighbor...
Published 4 months ago by Shelia Garrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one!!
I absolutely loved this book!! It is well written and I couldn't put it down. The authors have done a fabulous job of incorporating historical facts and strong faith. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Patricia Lincoln
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and revealing
The Munns have really captured the characters of the principal players brilliantly. We feel Nina's agony and despair as one promise of help after another falls through and her... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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