Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blog Tour: How Huge The Night (Review)

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.

What I Thought
This book is unlike other historical novels I've read set during World War II. Not only does it's descriptions of war, racism, anger and compassion help define it as a strong book, the fact that it is written from the point of view of teenagers, sets it apart from others in its genre.

I really liked the story. It made me think - it also made me want to pull the book it's based upon (Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed) off my shelf to re-read it. That book, based upon the experiences in Le Chambon, tells the true story of how French citizens hid Jews during World War II.

I love how this novel will give me a chance to introduce the subject of "Who is my neighbor" with the students in my church. It shows how students are often faced with a conundrum of decisions during a time of war and civil unrest based upon race, religion and more.

This story focuses on how Julien's decision to help Nina and her brother with may impact not only his life, but those of his family. He has to decide what is important - and what is the value of a human life. He also has to decide if he's going to follow the "masses" or if he is going to stand up for what is right, regardless of the potential negative outcome.

I also thought Nina's story was vivid and helps humanize the plight of Jews during this time period. Her experiences are painful to read about, but again, help encourage further discussion.

On the scale of one to five, with five being the highest, I give How Huge The Night a solid four. This is a story is compelling, heart breaking and unfortunately, it's based upon truth. It will definitely provide a gateway for an abundant amount of discussion with students and adults alike.

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.

It's A Contest
To celebrate the release, Kregel Publications is giving away a $50 gift card. All you have to do is send a tweet (using #litfuse) about How Huge the Night or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use the hashtag (#litfuse), if you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy. (All Litfuse bloggers who post a review are automatically entered and do NOT need to email us.)

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea.
TWEET THIS:  How Huge the Night - compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens and adults alike turning the pages! #litfuse

FACEBOOK THIS: How Huge the Night by Heather & Lydia Munn is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens and adults alike turning the pages late into the night!

Online Resources
Find How Huge The Night On
Read an Excerpt of How Hugh The Night
Read The Book That Inspired The Novel: Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed: The Story of the Village of Le Chambon and How Goodness Happened There by Philip Hallie
Read what others think about How Huge The Night: Follow the Blog Tour here.

As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review How Huge the Night! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, and it's exciting to me that you plan to use it with students at your church. I had really hoped that it could be used for good discussion of God & real-life issues with teens.

    Thank you also for linking to Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed! Very much worth reading.

  2. I reviewed this book and enjoyed it too. Have a great week! :O)


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