Children of the Stars
From international bestselling author Mario Escobar comes a story of escape, sacrifice, and hope amid the perils of the Second World War.
August 1942. Jacob and Moses Stein, two young Jewish brothers, are staying with their aunt in Paris amid the Nazi occupation. The boys’ parents, well-known German playwrights, have left the brothers in their aunt’s care until they can find safe harbor for their family. But before the Steins can reunite, a great and terrifying roundup occurs. The French gendarmes, under Nazi order, arrest the boys and take them to the Vélodrome d’Hiver—a massive, bleak structure in Paris where thousands of France’s Jews are being forcibly detained.
Jacob and Moses know they must flee in order to survive, but they only have a set of letters sent from the South of France to guide them to their parents. Danger lurks around every corner as the boys, with nothing but each other, trek across the occupied country. Along their remarkable journey, they meet strangers and brave souls who put themselves at risk to protect the children—some of whom pay the ultimate price for helping these young refugees of war.
This inspiring novel, now available for the first time in English, demonstrates the power of family and the endurance of the human spirit—even through the darkest moments of human history.
World War II historical fiction inspired by true eventsBook length: 94,000 wordsIncludes discussion questions for reading groups, a historical timeline, and notes from the author
“A poignant telling of the tragedies of war and the sacrificing kindness of others seen through the innocent eyes of children.” —J’nell Ciesielski, bestselling author of The Socialite and Beauty Among Ruins
Escobar highlights the tempestuous, uplifting story of two Jewish brothers who cross Nazi-occupied France in hope of reuniting with their parents in this excellent tale. In 1941, the Nazis control much of France. Brothers Jacob and Moses 12 and eight years old, respectively have been staying with their aunt Judith for the past year while their parents search for a safe place for them to move. Then the boys are picked up in a raid and taken to a velodrome that's been repurposed as a detention camp housing thousands of Jews. After a guard nearly beats Moses to death, the brothers decide they must escape. Thus begins Jacob and Moses's life on the run, first from the gendarme, then the hatred of neighbors and strangers in occupied France. While they face many dangers, they also encounter people who risk their lives to help the two boys reunite with their parents. Among the brutality and despair that follows in the wake of the Nazis' rampage through France, Escobar uncovers hope, heart, and faith in humanity.
From France and this book explains a lot of what my parents and family went through during the war and explains many things for me. Love this author and can’t wait to read book number 4
CIvil resistance may often be the only way to hold out against tyranny and oppression.
Every generation nurses the hope that the world will begin anew - Moses’ father, at the train station.
The author has written the most incredible story of survival during times when going with the flow would have been so much easier. It’s 1941 and young Jacob Stein and little brother Moses are left with a relative as the parents seek a way to escape war-torn Paris and hopefully the continent. Unexpectedly their world turns upside down, and the boys are left to survive on their own. What follows is the almost unbelievable story of perseverance against all odds.
I must admit, it was impossible to set this novel aside until I knew what the end result would be. Even though it is a fictional story, this testament to those who held out against tyranny and oppression is one not t0 be missed. Hope, courage and sacrifice were found in the least likely places and in the most unassuming people. It renewed my faith in mankind to read of such bold resistance to the evil around them.
This digital copy was received through NetGalley with no expectation of a positive review. However, it certainly made me consider my reaction, if tyranny was on my doorstep...