When a brave woman arrives in town with several terrified, starving children, 15-year-old Magali knows she's found her purpose. She joins Paquerette in persuading the Nazis to release children from concentration camps---so they can lead the little ones to freedom in France. But will Magali's courageous actions bring danger to her family? 320 pages, softcover from Kregel.
Average Customer Rating:
(11 Reviews) 11
Rating Snapshot(11 reviews)
10 out of 1191%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Heather Munn and Lydia Munn in their new book, “Defy The Night” Book Two in The Night series published by Kregel Publications takes us into the life of Magali: In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference.
From the back cover: If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself.
In 1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives.
Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help.
Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.
Word association-what do you think of when I say “France”? Some might answer wine, grapes, cheese, Paris I am not so sure that many would answer heroism. German troops marched into France and occupied it until it could, finally, be Liberated, until then The Night had fallen. During that dark night there are many acts of heroism, some from The French Resistance, others from pockets of individuals who wanted to take a stand against the brutality. “Defy The Night” is based on actual events, Tanieux is based on the real town of Le Chambob-sur-Lignon 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. Real history, real personal sacrifice and real suspense. I am so glad that the Munns are telling these kinds of stories as I for one was not aware of them and I am glad to know about these acts of true heroism. I recommend this book highly and look forward to their next book.
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.”
"Defy the Night" is a tale to make readers consider true courage and sacrifice. Heather Munn and Lydia Munn teach young adult readers valuable lessons through their teenage protagonist, Magali. The story takes place in 1940s France, when Hitler's regime is beginning to carry out their devastating plot against Jews. The setting provides a different perspective of World War II for both young adult and adult readers, and the Munns describe the political and social environment with clarity and realism. The pages capture what can only be small fraction of the desolation of the Jew interment camps in France, but the images are sad and emotionally stirring. The bravery of the female aid workers who entered the camps and transferred countless children to safety is remarkable and inspiring. Their story is one that deserves to be told.
After reading "Defy the Night," I am left with mixed feelings. The historical element is compelling, but Magali's perspective is sometimes distracting. Some of the conversation sounds too modern for a novel set in the 1940s. At the same time, young adult readers need to relate to Magali and a more modern tone may help to build a connection. Magali comes across as impulsive, bitter, and critical of her friends and family throughout much of the novel. These qualities are not condoned, and often cause trouble for Magali and the cause she is trying to support. Magali's character alternates between soft and hard. Just when she seems to be maturing, a thought or action mars the impression of growth. In the end, Magali learns an important lesson of sincere sacrifice and shows maturity.
The secondary characters clearly have their own stories to tell. Paquerette's perspective as an aid worker would make a powerful foundation for an adult novel. Nina is a background character in "Defy the Night," whose story is told in "How Huge the Night," I hope that the voices of Magali's other friends will find life in the pages of future books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.
Share this review:
0of0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Defy the Night
Date:April 28, 2014
Wow! Was I ever surprised. Defy the Night certainly did just that. The Munn ladies opened my eyes to the atrocities of war and the saving grace of kindness. The authors have taken real time events and towns, then carefully extracted the perfect balance of fact and fiction drawing us into a moving story of two women whose desire was to make "but a small difference." Paquerette and fifteen-year-old Magali, make it their goal to save as many as they can. The selfless ambition proved successful as they risked their own lives, working under the cover of darkness, to rescue children from Nazi internment camps. Their work dangerous and grueling, but their successes triumphant.
This story is a must read if for nothing more than to remember those, who in real life, worked relentlessly to protect others from sure destruction. A well written story of strife, truth and decision, Defy the Night, hits the reader hard in the gut and makes them ask the question, "Could I have sacrificed so much for so little?"
Mark this down as a book to follow on heels of Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List for memorability. ~ Cindy Sproles, Exec. Editor, ChristianDevotions.us
No matter what age a reader is, unless quite young, this historical fiction is one to take time to read and be reminded of those courageous people who helped save lives. In this writing based on fact, one young women desires to help save lives as she views the work of another aid worker bringing in children from Nazi camps. The point I believe of the novel is how one French girl, Magali, has a distorted view of how she can be a Joan of Arc, looking evil in the face. However, she doesn’t see how her impulsiveness places lives at great risk. As readers progress through the novel, they will see how Magali realizes in time and through experience all she has yet to learn. Defy the Night is a heart-touching novel because the scenes were described so well it wasn’t hard to imagine the harsh conditions the Jews were forced to endure. As a mother to read how other mothers willingly gave up their children so that they may have a better life pulled my heartstrings. Some of the refugees lost all family and were taken to homes where they were cared for to either stay permanently or until a person was willing to adopt them. What I learned was how many aid societies were allowed early in the war to come into the camps and take the children to new locations. Later on in the war though this was no longer allowed and an underground system was being worked on in order to hopefully save lives that would otherwise face certain death. The path the workers had to take, the lack of good food, loss of sleep and the constant risk of danger took its toll on many courageous people. The delicate balance between the impulsiveness of youth with the wisdom from older people is shown quite vividly in the book. I believe that balance to really exist, and how Magali submits to her parents even when it isn’t her way is a great witness to youths even though it is very hard to do. I loved when Magali worked with one aid worker and this person took time to explain some things to Magali and others she knew they would have to be experience. The brokenness that comes from impulsiveness, causing someone else harm is evident in the book along with the restoration that brings hope anew.
This was an amazing and heart-wrenching story and yet totally beautiful! It is based on an historical town in France and the sacrificial efforts given toDefy the Night book cover save others – children being the focus of this novel. The characters are complex, most with back stories of pain and yet figuring out how to truly live during this war.
Magali is only 15 years old, but she has a burning desire to help. She is finally able to join Paquerette, her hero, in smuggling refugee children from internment camps. She finds the trips more difficult, exhausting, and dangerous than she could have imagined, but she longs to always be the one chosen to go. Her quick mind and determination are helpful, but she must learn that she can not save everyone. She must also let go of her pride and realize “that this is not a hero’s business.” However the lessons don’t sink in until she puts Paquerette in danger.
“There’s only one thing you can do, Magali. And that’s go on. No one turns back time. No even God. You’re not alone. You’re only young. But I tell you true, when you get to my age, there’s no one, not a one, who doesn’t have one thing they’d cut off their hand not to have done. You lie awake at night and think about it. But it’s done. The past doesn’t change. You can pray that God makes good out of it. I believe he can. But even that…even that you may never know.” [Magali’s grandfather, pg. 297]
I highly recommend Defy the Night!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Defy the Night is a heart-rending story. It's terrible and wonderful and the characters become strong presences in your mind as you read.
Historical fiction can often seem fluffy, with modern people and poor plots forced back into a different era. Not so Defy The Night. This book is written in a serious, steady way, with a tone that captures the tedium and the danger and intensity of life in 1941 Tanieux France.
Magali is a fifteen year old girl living in a country where the government capitulates with the Nazi's and her neighbors have largely ceased to resist. It all spells "weakness" to her, and she loathes it. Magali wants to be strong. She has courage, but it's raw and untested. It's courage without wisdom and prudence.
Paquerette can teach Magali how to be brave and smart, and she can give Magali a reason to live. Paquerette is young in years and old in spirit, with eyes like firelight on steel. Standing tall and straight, Paquerette walks into the lion's den week after week and steals away his prey. The lions are the internment camps, the prey is the sick and dying children who manage to get medical releases. Paquerette is their escort to safety, their lifeline. She becomes Magali's Joan of Arc.
This story is excellent historical fiction, and a great choice for a teenage girl who wants her life to make the world better, who wants to break out of the narrow box that every woman she knows seems to live in. If someone asked me what stood out to me most about this novel, I'd say it is a story about a girl who finds out what strength really is, and learn what it means to be strong.
Paquerette who poured out all her reserves, to the last drop, to save lives. Magali, who desperately wanted her life to matter in the fight against evil. Magali's mother, who wanted to shelter her girl and needed to let her go. Rosa, the refugee girl who never stood out yet had abilities that Paquerette needed in her work. Nina, the girl who had experiences behind her eyes that she never could explain, who was grateful for every drop of kindness, and whose brokenness became proven strength.
Tank you Kregel for my review copy! I'll certainly be looking for How Huge The Night.
It is 1941 in France and fifteen year old Magali is frustrated. The nation is supposed to be “free” but the Vichy government is cooperating with the Nazis. Internment camps run by the Vichy government were being used to detain people they considered undesirable: Gypsies, illegal immigrants, and especially foreign Jews. While these were not death camps, people did die there from disease and malnutrition. Sometimes children were released from these camps when they became orphans or were sick. Magali desperately wants to be one of the young women who ferries the children to their new homes. When she is finally allowed to go along on the rescue trips, she feels like her life is making a difference. But then she makes a mistake that puts them all in danger.
This is a great fictional account of young women rescuing children that is based on history. There were many who devoted their lives to saving as many children as they could. Many of the children went to children's homes like the one in this novel. Some of the young women actually worked in the camps, as did some in this novel. This was during the earlier part of the war, 1941 and 1942. France was still trying to appear humane. The later years would become much more harsh.
The Munns have created Magali as a teen who desires to do more than just attend school or help her mother cook and shop. Seeing a young woman bringing rescued children to her village, she wants to do such important work too. But Magali is young and a bit brash. We watch her grow as she sees the conditions in the camps for the first time. We also see her make some serious mistakes. Through it all she learns about herself, others, and God.
This is a good coming of age story that deals with serious issues. It also shows how young people can rise to the occasion when the need is so prominent. Magali was willing to risk danger when many adults would not do so. The is a good story for teen readers as well as adults. You will get a realistic idea of what life was like in the early years of WW II in rural France.
This is a sequel but the novel stands well on its own.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Share this review:
0of0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Defy the Night
Very moving book about 1941 France
Date:April 27, 2014
Defy the Night is set in the year 1941 in France and continues the story begun in How Huge the Night. The country is feeling the effects of war with food rations and much scarcity. At fifteen years old, Magali wants to do something of importance. She doesn't want to to be stuck in a stuffy schoolroom studying; she wants to be out making a difference.
Enter Paquerette who has been bringing refugee children from internment camps. Some have been orphaned and others have been voluntarily given up by parents hoping their children might survive in a better place. The work is grueling and endless--so many children needing so much care. Magali admires and idolizes Paquerette and really wants to help with the work.
Relucantly, Magali's parents permit her to go on one mission with no promises that she'll be able to continue. Magali returns and can't wait to go again but the reality is that she is too important at home. In her absence, her mother has been bedridden with migraines and Magali pouts over the injustice of having her plans derailed.
She strikes up a bargain with her father to finish her studies and help out her mother more at home and perhaps he will see that she is ready and capable of taking on more responsibility by helping Paquerette. In spite of the long journey with often sick and crying babies, Magali wants to continue. She did fully appreciating how real and present danger can be. Magali learns some hard lessons about life--in the midst of war, foolish and immature actions can lead to tragic consequences.
This book was an incredible glimpse at the idealism and passion of some young women wanting to do what they could to save children's lives. Exhibiting a maturity beyond their years, they learn about loyalty, self-sacrifice, and perhaps hardest of all, forgiveness.
One of the most moving books about WWII that I have read, I highly recommend it. The setting is based on the town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and the many aid agencies whose mission was sheltering children (along with their mothers when possible). So many wonderful lessons from the book include: families and community working together, sharing what little one has and finding a way to do one's part. May we all be inspired to die to self and help alleviate the suffering of others in any way we can.
I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review.
A coming of age story set in France, early 1941. There were so many things I loved about this story. I'm not a history buff by any stretch of the term, but there are a few historical periods I can't learn enough about. World War 2 is one of those times. Magali is a young fifteen year old French girl who wants to fight back against the Nazis and Germans and scorns anyone whom she deems weak. Like her mother, her friend, and another young girl she doesn't know very well and doesn't care to.
She's a strong lead with a stubborn heart and I loved her spirit. Not her pride, but her tenacity, grit, and determination to help others. Yes, she liked herself more than she should have, didn't quite see her own faults as clearly as she saw fault in others, yet I still loved her and could only hope that if a day ever comes in which I have to choose to help others or turn a blind eye to what's going on, I help without hesitation like she did.
I don't think the authors could have written more true to life characters than Magali, Paquerette, Rosa, and Nina. This was a strong book that always went forward in plot, tone, and setting. I didn't tire of reading it at all. What reading time I have is precious, but I will be reading this one again and will recommend it to my reading friends.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not required they be positive.
Whenever I read anything connected to the Holocaust, I am deeply moved. I can't imagine the horrors that happened to an entire race of people simply based on what other people thought of them, that they were less than worthy of living. It is hard not to be impacted in a deep sense that these things really happened and they are not the works of fiction. In the novel, Defy The Night by authors Heather and Lydia Munn, the story chronicles the lives of women who were moved to save the children that found themselves in refugee camps and later became detention camps. This happened before these camps would later be turned into concentration camps by the middle of 1945 and would involve the mass murder of men, women and children in the Holocaust.
While many people still died in these camps, due to lack of food and water and health care, this story is about the time when people running these camps still had compassion on children and would allow them to be released into the care of women who would care for them and find suitable homes for them. Most of these children would remain orphans and would carry with them the memories of these camps for the rest of their lives.
This novel centers around a young girl Magali who knows she must do something more with her life than simply find a husband and begin a family. On the whispers of a pending war, France still remains free while Hilter and his army slowly begin to absorb taking over country's one by one. Food rationing is a must and Magali grows frustrated with her life. She can't stand the fact that they have to do without while Hilter takes everything that doesn't belong to him and makes her and her family have to struggle just to find ways to survive. She hopes that some day things will be different. She grows frustrated that even her closest friends are refugees from other countries and they remain shell shocked by the horrors that they have brought to their town, always on the watch for German soldiers.
Magali gets an idea to find a way to help those hurt most by the war when a young woman named Paquerette arrives on the train with orphans from a detention camp. Malnourished and in desperate need of medical care, she helps her arrange to have the children cared for by the town's mission homes. She learns that Paquerette is legally moving these children away from those camps and giving them a second chance at life, even if their parents never leave. It is a offer of hope that Magali finds too hard to pass up. She learns that Paquerette could use her help if only she convince her parents to let her. But after seeing what Hilter can do, her parents are hard to convince. They do offer to let Magali go once her studies have been completed just so she can see the horrors of what is really going on outside their small town in hopes, she will never want to return. But that will not be the case!
I received Defy the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. I love how elegantly these women did their research into what was happening to Jewish families just prior to WWII, how they were at first moved to these camps as refugees, then were detained as a way of cleansing the country of their presence and moved into detention camps where families were forced to endure deplorable conditions and serve in labor camps. Most people died just based on the conditions of the camps, the lack of food and water being given just bread and water most times to survive on. The French did it as a way of appeasing Hitler so that the French Jews would hopefully be left alone. It shows the basis for what would later be deporting this people to Germany as a way of meeting Hitler's quota for Jews to be exterminated in concentration/death camps later as the war progressed. I applaud their efforts to share this novel and the basis for creating an awareness that most never knew about or even considered. It makes us all wonder just what we would do should something like this occur again. I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and hope that everyone picks this one up!
I will finish the book but it seems to be written for the tweens age group. It is rather childlike and boring to me. Except for the French expressions that you won't know what they mean if you don't speak French. I am not impressed with this book. Too much money for what you get and not a very long book.