How Huge the Night

How Huge the Night

by Heather Munn, Lydia Munn


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825433108
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication date: 03/09/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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 rural Illinois, with her husband, Paul, and their son. Her blog, Gravity and Grace, can be found at

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.

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How Huge the Night 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
kittycrochettwo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whenever I read a historical fiction story that is based on true events I always love the fact that I am learning a bit about history that perhaps I might never really know alot about otherwise. With How Huge The Night the authors do an amazing job of weaving together fact and fiction, to transport us back to the days of WWII, seeing the events of the time thru the eyes of two teenagers Nina and Julian, while I knew at some point their stories would meld I wasn't sure how they would connect.The characters in this story are completely believable and it is very easy to imagine the things that they are going thru. Julian is your typical teenager, he isn't a man but neither is he really a boy. He isn't really happy that his family left their home in Paris to move to the farm in southern France with his grandfather, he is dealing with issues such as trying to fit in at school, not to mention trying to get along with Benjamin the Jewish boy who has also moved in with his grandfather.As Nina's father is lying on his deathbed he makes Nina promise that she will take her brother and leave Austria.For me their parts of their story was heart wrenching, and I found myself praying that they would be all right.I found this to be a compelling story that has many lessons woven in. A coming of age story during a difficult time period where the characters display great courage faith and hope. While this book is geared toward young adults I would easily recommend it to older adults as well. A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
TheLoopyLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mother and daughter writing team Heather and Lydia Munn put together a very compelling story that will appeal to teenagers and adults alike. (Read exert) Julien is believable as an ordinary teenager caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I became engrossed in the dramatic struggles that his family faced as well as the parallel story of Nina and Gustav. I liked the honesty of this book in how it dealt with faith. Real people struggle with their faith especially in horrible circumstances like those of war. It is all too easy to lose hope. The authors met those issues head-on. The reader can relate to the characters because they are not portrayed as perfect beings (a flaw that I've sometimes encountered when reading other Christian fiction). Having read Sarah's Key and Suite Francaise, I was familiar with the German occupation of France and how the Vichy government treated the Jews. But, I did not know that there was a town that stood up for what was right and protected many refugees during the war. Ultimately, How Huge the Night is a story about hope, faith and courage in the face of unimaginable hardship and atrocity, and I was profoundly moved by it.
ReviewsbyMolly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
miriamjacob More than 1 year ago
Growing up as a youth in war-torn, Nazi-occupied France, Julien Losier finds his very identity threatened by the horrifying and devastating effects of war. At the young age of fifteen, this can be extremely daunting for a teenager and can inflict huge psychological damage. In “How Huge the Night,” Heather and Lydia Munn portray the unseen and unsung heroes of World War 2, as they grapple with hunger, racism and war, in a world not of their own making, struggling to come to terms with heart-searching questions about the goodness of God in the midst of conflicting ethnic tensions in communities torn apart by war. The devastating horrors of war, the selfless heroism of adolescents triumphing in the face of overwhelming adversity and the significant choices they made are vividly portrayed as the authors deftly weave together the lives of ordinary people who promptly chose to focus their immediate attention on those in dire danger and protect them safely from harm. This historical novel, a most inspiring and compelling coming-of-age drama, will inspire people to reflect thoughtfully on the choices they make each day and the cost they have to pay to make those choices. - Miriam Jacob
WriterRani More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a powerful book. I couldn't put it down. I have studied World War II from textbooks when I was in high school, but all I can remember is facts about Germany, England and the invasion at Pearl Harbor. Heather and Lydia Munn brought Southern France and Julien's life as well as Nina's to me so I was able to live vicariously through them. It must have been very difficult to live in their time, being on the edge of adulthood, but not quite being there yet. I remember being a teen and it was hard enough without a war, so I can't imagine what it would be like with the threat of war and everybody choosing sides. God plays such an important role in a young adult's life, especially during wartime. I was glad to see the role that Julien's grandfather played in introducing a just and forgiving God to Julien. A young adult needs to know that God forgive us our sins and we need to make sure we forgive others, so we can help lead them to God. I would recommend this book to all teens as well as adults who wish to learn more about what life was like in southern France during World War II. Disclosure of Material Connection- I received How Huge the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn for free from the Kregel Publications' Blog Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
onedesertrose More than 1 year ago
Due to the threat of Hitler's war, fifteen-year-old Julien Losier and his family moved from Paris to the small town of his father's upbringing, Tanieux, France, but it is not to his liking. He's treated like an outcast at school, but perseveres to make friends. The family opens their home to a Jewish boy, Benjamin Keller, who is also from Paris, and he, too, is immediately ostracized at school. Nina Krenkel of Vienna follows her father's death-bed command to take herself and her brother, Gustav, to Austria and to burn their papers-they were Jewish. Through deep trials, they arrive at Tanieux, France. Nina is sick and emaciated, lying on death's door. Julien befriends them, and through the help of the pastor's wife and his mother, they attempt to hide them from the town. Although this book is mostly a confined read about the intensity of a small family and their interactions to hide Jewish children, it is definitely far from boring or mundane! It brings to light the extremes a family will go through to help the helpless in a time of war and extreme danger. The choice of Julien's family to hide Jewish children is portrayed in such a warm, caring and loving way, though it was a dangerous proposition. The whole story is believable as the circumstances and conversations unroll. The danger is palpable, the animosity true to life. Tension builds as France surrenders to Hitler. Though Tanieux is unoccupied, demands of the regime keep unfolding. It brings to light the horrors of WWII right into your living room. The war makes you question yourself, whether you would be willing to do the same amidst the animosity and the threats of death. Your faith is tested just as Julien's family. What would your response be? What would God require of you? This story is based on the true story of the town, Le Chambon, the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust. This book was provided by Amy Lathrop, of Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, we tend to forget what these poor people went through with Hitler coming to power. This is Julien Losier story, a fifteen year old from Southern France, and Nina Krenkel [Niko] a Jewish girl from Austria. There is also the Losier family, and Benjamin Keller a Jewish boy who comes to live with them. The story includes every day life before the thick clouds of danger start to descend on the people of Tanieux. The people of Tanieux show what it is to be a Christian. They give whatever they to those in need, and people live out their faith in Jesus no matter the cost I really loved the fact that even though this story is fictional it is really based on fact according to the Historical Notes at the end of the book. Wish there was another book in the story, would like to know how all of the character's stories finish. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications and Litfuse Blog Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
HMY More than 1 year ago
Set during World War II, this novel is based on the true story of Le Chambon, a small village in the country of central France. "One of the reasons this period of history fascinates my is choices," writes Heather Munn. "In France under the Nazis, people made all kinds of choices... Some used the Nazis for revenge... some vowed to fight the Germans... and a few, like this village in central France, chose to focus on those in the deepest need and danger, and protect them from harm." (From Kregel Publications Press Release) This book tells the story of fifteen-year-old Julien whose family has relocated to southern France, hoping to outrun Hitler and his army. The problem is that Julien doesn't want to run, he doesn't want to wait around listening to the radio for news every night. Soon after his family opens their door to a Jewish boy, Julien meets Nina. Nina and her brother are Austrian, and are fleeing based on their father's dying command to them. Soon someone's life and death depends on Julien. When surrounded by a conflict too big for them to understand each of them struggle with what to do. And what if it's not enough. I had a hard time "getting into" the book. The beginning was rough for me and I had to work through it to read the book. The pace and writing style are different from what I've been reading lately which I think made this one harder for me. I think given some time this is a book I will try again. With that said, it wasn't a bad book. The story overall was great, and is one that needs to be told. There were interesting characters, set in an incredibly important time period in history. I have several students who, as I read, I immediately thought would like to read this book. The end of the novel has a historical note, detailing areas of the novel that were fact, and those that were changed for the story. As a history and reading teacher I greatly appreciated that this was included at the end of the story. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Litfuse as a part of their blogger review program. I was not asked for a positive review of the novel, all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Sometimes we fail to see just how dark some parts of our life can be. Some times hate for one person's race can be just as dark, or how people can judge you based purely on the company you keep, while others will be blinded that all men are truly evil. In the novel How Huge The Night by Heather and Lydia Munn we are called as witnesses into the lives of three very unique children thrown together by the circumstances of World War II. This novel is based on actual events and you, the reader will be held spell bound to see how each of them fare in the end. First we meet, Julian Losier, whose family has just relocated to his father's hometown of Tanieux from Paris, France, fleeing Hitler's advancing army. Praying that his family will be safe, he begins attempting to live a normal life by attending school. However once people there learn that he is from Paris, he becomes treated as an outcast at school. Left all alone on the school ground, he only ally, is his roommate Benjamin Keller, whose parents have left him in the care of the Losier family. He is a Jewish-German and his parents hope for a normal life and education for him while finding refuge away from the war. However, Julian finds that he can quickly work his way into the social group of boys since they have treated him and Benjamin as outcasts. When he informs them of Benjamin's race and religion, it will cost Julian more than just being one of the in-crowd. Julian will have to chose which side he will stand with. Meanwhile, Nina and Gustav have just lost their father as sickness claimed him in the middle of the night. Leaving them with instructions to burn their resident cards declaring themselves Jewish, he makes them promise to flee Austria and find a way to Italy where he hopes they can find safety. He makes Nina promise to cut her hair and assume the identity of Niko, a boy and warns her that men are evil. Fleeing for their lives, they are befriended by a man who only asks to be called Herr. He agrees to show them the gaps in the fence lines between Austria and will get them to the border of Italy for 50,000 francs. When Niko fears that there is more to his intentions than helping them cross the border, the children make a run for it in the middle of the night, not realizing that Herr has their pack with all their money and food inside. How will they make it alone in the midst of the war to safety? I received this book compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and couldn't put it down. I can't imagine being a young teen in any of the circumstances and try to find a way to make it through the impending war that is looming on the horizon, not sure how or if you or your family would make it out alive and who would you trust to help you along the way. This is an amazing story of survival in the most difficult circumstances and truly worth reading. For anyone who has a love for historical Christian fiction, than this one is a 5 out 5 star book.
snidbits More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting book. I wondered how the stories of Julien and Gustav/Nina would finally connect. It was heartbreaking to read of what Julien's mother went through. To read of the uncertainity and fear the three main characters faced. I had a little bit of hard time staying focused with the use of French sprinkled throughout. A glossary at the back with the translations would have helped. I liked Julien. Throughout the story he changed and it was interesting to read along and watch that process. I enjoyed the blend of historical fact with fiction.
CoffeePlease More than 1 year ago
What I Thought: I thought that this was a fantastic book. It ropes you in with the goodness of the characters and the tumulotous journey they experience both together and apart. We are first introduced to 15 year old Julien who has been displaced from his family's home in Paris to relocate with his grandfather in the French countryside. Julien, like any teenager, feels angst when he has had to leave his friends and familiar surroundings for the safety of the country. He has fears of being the "new kid" at school, not being able to make friends, and the "what ifs" of World War II. Through Julien we are shown how hard it is to change, accept change and make change. We see through the eyes of not only Julien, but Benjamin as well, a Jewish boy who has been sent to live with Julien's family in the countryside. Hopefully far away from Hitler's reach and persecution. Benjamin shows us how hard it is to be different ... Jewish in a Protestant community. Away from his parents when everyone else has theirs. We see both Julien and Benjamin grow and thrive in a not so perfect world. On the flip side of the beauty of the countryside, we meet Nina and Gustav, opraned Jewish children from Austria who are also trying to escape the Nazi regime. While never placed in a concentration camp, these siblings enounter hardships, face others bigotry yet also learn to see the good in people in a harsh world. I thoroughly enjoyed this books and the facts within. If only my high school history teacher could read this post. He might fall off of his chair. This book is history, made interesting. Or fiction with a touch of history. There are notes at the end of the book which outline the historical fact that is contained in the book, as well as pointing out items of fiction therein. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a good historical novel. Great even for teenage boys to read - no romance or mushy stuff contained! Great items for discussion shoudl you want to recommend for your next book club reading! I received a copy of this book, free of charge, from Litfuse Publicity Group in exhange for my honest opinion which I am pleased to present in this blog post.
jb70 More than 1 year ago
I received this book for review as part of Litfuse Blog Tours. I would like to say thank you to Amy Lathrop for the opportunity to read this book. This book paints a very believable and real picture of what life was like for people living in France and Europe when Hitler was in power in Germany. The picture comes through the eyes of teenagers, who are dealing with all of the regular teen issues like fitting in, going to school and making friend and then also finding their world changing in larger ways. Julien and his family have relocated from Paris to his grandfathers farm in a small town in France. The other boys at his school consider him an outsider and make no effort to accept him. His family is also hosting a boarder. Benjamin goes to school with Julien. He is treated as an outsider as well and along with being from Paris he is also Jewish. Nina and her brother Gustavo are from Austria and are left alone when their father dies. Before he died, their father made them promise to burn the papers saying they are Jewish and to escape from Austria through a network of help he has set up for them. Unfortunately the rabbi who is supposed to help them escape from Austria to Italy is already in jail and they have to do it on their own. Nina dresses as a boy and goes by the name Niko. She is on crutches because of an attack by a boy she had a crush on in school because of her religion. Each chapter is titled in a way that adds meaning to what follows. Some chapters follow Julien while others feature Nina. Each of them is dealing with consequences of where they are and who they are. Nina and Gustavo hide in abandoned building, beg for food, receive help from Gypsies and deal with constant hunger and fear. Julien and his family are also dealing with hunger and fear. Julien has trouble fitting in with his new schoolmates and gaining acceptance, especially from the most popular boy, Henri. Throughout it all both children, but especially Julien, pray to God and wonder if He is listening. While he doesn't receive an answer every time he prays, he comes to believe that God is listening and giving him answers, if he takes the time to look for them and understand. While it takes awhile, eventually Nina and Julien end up in the same city. Julien learns more about himself as he starts to see what is really important and what hunger and pain look like for other people. I like how this book feels real, especially since it is based on a real city in France and how it gives the people and especially the teens who lived at this time a face. It takes history and specific historical events and shapes them into a story that will resonate with readers and put a face on the refugees and citizens of the time. It doesn't show anyone to be all good or bad, but shows how perspective changed how people saw things. It shows how the little bits of filtered news gave an uneven or even inaccurate picture of what was happening and it shows how things can get so bad so fast. But it also shows that there can always be hope, that people can be willing to reach out even when they do not have enough themselves and most importantly that people are able to change and adapt and have their eyes opened to truths.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
How Huge the Night by Heather & Lydia Munn is a compelling story of the German occupation of France during World War II through the eyes of two teenagers. Julien is angry when his family moves from Paris into the countryside of Tanieux to escape from Hitler's growing power. He resents the loss of his friends and what is familiar for hard farm work and a new school where the boys are led by arrogant Henri. He is even more upset when his parents take in a Jewish boy named Benjamin who will also attend the school and never seems to look up from his books, except to insult Julien or give an answer in class to show up the rest of the boys. Meanwhile in Austria, Nina's father's dying wish is for her to take her younger brother Gustav, pretend to be a boy, and get out of the country before they are captured and sent to a camp for being Jewish. The plan seems doomed from the start when the rabbi who was to help the siblings to safety has been arrested, and the man they turn to for aid instead attempts to rape Nina, sending them on a wild race for their lives into the night. The story alternates between Julien's growing maturity as he struggles to understand how to fight someone with weapons of love as his pastor suggests and Nina's battle to keep her brother alive that soon becomes a giving up on life for herself. The stories come together when the siblings arrive in Tanieux and Julien helps them find safe refuge but even that is questioned when Henri threatens to turn them over to his father who will send them to a refugee camp, where Nina will most certainly die. The daughter/mother author team, Heather and Lydia Munn have really brought these based on real events to life, by sharing them through the eyes of Julien and Nina. Julien seems like a very average teenage boy, obsessed with soccer and fitting in with the other boys, angry at his parents uprooting him from all he knows, torn at his grandfather's stories of their Huguenot heritage. He matures as the story unfolds, learning to think about someone other than himself, deeply regretting words spoken in the heat of the moment, and finally coming to understand that you can't win someone's heart by fighting them. Nina's story is haunting and chilling as she experiences so much evil, more than any young girl should see, so much that she decides to give up on life. This is a quiet, yet powerful story of personal strength, faith, and sacrifice.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Heather Munn and Lydia Munn in their new book, "How Huge The Night" published by Kregel Publications takes us to Tanieux, a little town in southern France during World War II. Fifteen year old Julien Losier has recently moved with his parents and younger sister from Paris to the town of Tanieux, a little town in southeastern France, where his father was born and his paternal grandfather still lives. He is very unhappy about this move as he would prefer to be back in Paris and does not see how he will ever be able to adapt and fit into life in this strange new place. What would you do if your whole world was taken away from you to try to escape Hitler's invasion of your country only to find that there is no escape? Hitler had a personal animosity for France as they had held back the German invasion in WWI. Hitler made sure that France was unable to do that when his forces quickly marched through and took France. Now families and towns must make a decision as to what actions they will take for the rest of the war. The Losiers take in a young Jewish boy and hide him in order to prevent the Nazis from sending him to a Concentration Camp. "How Huge The Night" is based on actual events and the Munns show us what God can do with people who will stand up and fight against the darkness that comes to overwhelm them. "How Huge The Night" is an absorbing book that will keep you up late at night as you quickly read to see what is going to happen next. This book is for Young Adults to read to know just what happened in history and, perhaps, to see what decision they would make in their mind if such events were to happen again. This book is also for us not so Young Adults who might remember those events or who heard them from our parents. I recommend this book highly and look forward to their next book. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."