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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 4 star ratings
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    Steins never give up

    "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This is a story of two Jewish brothers Jacob and Moses Stein. It is a book of fiction but it is based on. True events and stories of the Jewish in France during the occupation by the German Nazi's. The brothers are living with their aunt in Paris when they are caught in a roundup by the Nazi's and taken to a large auditorium to be held for shipment to labor camps. The boys escape but as they return home they are rescued by a neighbor that tells them their aunt jumped out a window to her death rather than be captured. Now they must travel thousands of miles across France to find their parents. The story written is about their journey. The people they meet along the way. Those that help them and the close escapes they have from those that wish to capture them. They meet so many people that risked their lives to help the Jewish boys. such as those at Le-Chambon-sur-Lignon with Pastor Andre and his wife Magda. So many people helped showing that not everyone had hate in their hearts. In this horrible historical time there were compassionate and loving people. The boys were brave and they never gave up trying to find their parents. This was a great read, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. Thanks to Mario Escobar, Thomas Nelson Publishing, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an advance copy of this book.
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    Civil resistance may often be the only way....

    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...
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    A Compelling read

    I received a free electronic copy of the ARC of this historical novel from Netgalley, Mario Escobar, and Thomas Nelson Publisher. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am adding Mario Escobar to my favorite authors. He writes a brisk, compelling tale with factual historical backgrounds and sympathetic protagonists. And Children of the Stars is an excellent WWII historical. We begin with a prolog dating back to May 23, 1941, when Jewish German immigrant parents Eleazar and Jana Stein, actors by profession, take a train from Paris to seek a safe new home for their family further south. Paris has become dangerous and non-French Jews are being returned to German workhouses. Their children, brothers Jacob and Moses are left in Paris with their Aunt Judith, the older widowed sister of Eleazar and a long-time resident of Paris who took in her brother and family six years ago when they had to flee from Germany. Judith is not registered as Jewish and the boys should be safe with her in Paris until Eleazar and Jana can establish a safer home and send for them. Their ultimate destination would eventually be in South America. Paris, in the spring of 1942, basic supplies and foods are exhausted, scooped up by German soldiers, and even those French residents with ration cards and ready cash can find little to eat. By the summer of 1942, Paris was under direct German rule and on July 6, 1942, French police officers began a mass arrest of 13,152 Jews, whom they held at the Winter Velodrome before deportation to Auschwitz. Thousands of Jewish families, including native French Jews, were imprisoned there for days without food, water, medical assistance, or hope. Many were ill from the unrelieved heat and dehydration. All were enveloped in fear. The Stein boys were turned into the police by the doorwoman of Aunt Judith's apartment on day one while Judith was at work. They did not know if Judith was entrapped as well but were not able to find her in the Velodrome. Jacob, twelve years old, Moses, eight, team up with a youngster about Jacob's age named Joseph, also looking for family members in the crowded Velodrome. They managed to find their way into the basement area, and eventually, following the sound of water flowing in the sewer pipes, they were small enough to escape back under the streets of Paris and eventually to the apartment house of their Aunt. Finding no sign of Judith, the boys go with Joseph to his home. Joseph discovers that his family is interred at Drancy, and he chooses to join them there. First, they return to Judith's apartment, gathering necessities that will fit in their backpacks along with letters from their parents and their own passports. And find out from Margot, their downstairs neighbor, and friend, that their Aunt Judith had committed suicide, jumping from the roof of the apartment complex. Judith knew what happened to her father, taken to Dachau in 1937. She couldn't live knowing the German's had captured her nephews. On their own, Jacob and Moses accompany Joseph as close as they can safely get to the gates of the internment camp and watch as he is reunited with his parents behind the gates of Drancy before making their way to the Gare de Lyon train station, and slipping onto the train without being stopped. In Versailles, they will be met by Margot's friend Raoul Leduc, an art restorer who is allowed to travel freely, who will help them get to their parent's last letter's address. Their next reunion destination will be a tiny town, Place de la Liberte, Valence, France, south of Lyon in unoccupied France. Or so they hope. And thus begins their journey to find their parents. With common sense and luck, the help of strangers and the French resistance and the Catholic church, the boys work their way across France, missing their parents by weeks and then days. This is an excellent story. It will give you hope and break your heart in turn, but it is a story of courage and human goodness and will fill your heart with joy, as well.
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    Historical Fiction WW II

    1942, Jacob and Moses Stein, two young Jewish brothers are staying with their Aunt Judith in Paris during the Nazi occupation and are trying to keep a low profile. Eleazar and Jana Stein the boys parents, are German actors they have left the brothers with Judith while they try to find somewhere safe for the whole family to live. On the first morning of summer school holidays, the boys have a early breakfast, decide to leave the shelter of the tiny apartment and visit the local synagogue. The boys have no idea the Nazi's have ordered the local police to round up Jewish citizens and take them to the Velodrome d'Hiver. The boys are spotted leaving the apartment building, they try to get away and are eventually caught. The conditions inside the Velodrome are terrible, it's over crowded, hot, stuffy, and full of desperate people trying to find their family members who they had been separated from during the chaos of being loaded into buses. Jacob and Moses manage to escape the Velodrome, they return to their aunts apartment, she has gone missing, while searching the apartment for any clues as to what happened to their aunt, the boys find letters from their parents and they notice the envelopes have a return address, it's in the south of France. The brothers decide to try to find their parents and the boys flight from Paris begins! They travel through France by van, train, truck and they also have to walk through the dangerous French countryside. They need to be one step ahead of the authorities, stay hidden, keep calm, pass undetected through check points, not slip up, it's very hard to know who they can trust and they have a few close calls. Along their journey, they meet members of the French resistance and complete strangers who are willing to help the boys, they provide shelter, food, a hot bath, clean clothes and a safe place for them to hide. They put themselves at risk of being arrested to protect the boys and some do pay the ultimate price for helping them. The boys eventually make it to the village of Le Chambon-sur-Ligon, here Pastor Andre Trocme finds homes for them, they go to school, Jacob has his first crush on a girl called Anna and life in the village is peaceful for a few months. But the threat of the Nazi's return, they know Jewish people are being hidden in the small valley and they start looking for them and arrests begin. The boys are on the run again, they have no choice but to take the risk of trying to get to safety in Spain and eventually try to be reunited with their parents who they hope have made it to South America! I enjoyed reading Children Of The Stars, its a story about the strong bond between two loving brothers, how families had to make the difficult choices during WW II, parents would do anything to keep their children safe during such a dangerous time in history and about how two boys manage to go on a long crazy journey through war torn Europe, how they try to find their parents who are desperately fleeing the Nazi's and being sent to a concentration camp.
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