The Night War

Dial. Apr. 2024. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735228566.
Gr 4-7–Historical fiction at its finest. In 1942 a brave Jewish girl escapes from a roundup in Paris and takes her neighbor’s baby in a desperate flee to safety, hoping to be reunited with her family. Miri finds herself hidden in a Catholic boarding school in the town of Chenonceaux. She discovers that the nuns who are hiding her also work in the fledgling movement to help Jews escape Nazi persecution. The Château de Chenonceau spans the river Cher that separates Nazi-occupied France from Vichy France, and Miri undertakes several rescue operations through the castle despite the watchful patrols of Nazi soldiers. The layers of storytelling include the mystical presence of Catherine de Medici, who befriends Miri, and several memorable Catholic nuns. Two-time Newbery honoree Bradley is at her best here; this is a novel that brings layers of the past to life in a way, connecting readers to a historic era and showcasing the author’s expertise as a gifted storyteller.
VERDICT Bradley’s latest masterpiece features a determined and daring heroine and details that bring the past to life. Readers will be wholeheartedly rewarded.

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