Tag Archives: Paris

Beyond Belief (Heroes of the Holocaust) – Dee White




March 2020

Publisher: Scholastic/Omnibus Books

ISBN: 9781760662516

RRP $17.99

It may be the holidays and I don’t need to be up at the crack of dawn to get to school but even so for me to read a book cover to cover in one night when I go to bed is pretty much indicative of a great read.

Dee White I thank you for introducing me firstly to a history of which I had no idea and secondly for transforming that into a narrative that is at once fraught with tension and filled with hope.

Based on true events of the Muslims in Paris who rescued Jewish children at the risk of their own safety, this is the story of eleven year old Ruben and his perilous journey to evade the evils perpetrated by the Nazi occupiers of France. Left by his parents at the Grand Mosque in Paris so that he will be safe while they go in search of Ruben’s older sister and her husband, Ruben has been promised that a saviour known as ‘The Fox’ will come for him before long. In the meantime, he must become as ‘Muslim’ as is possible for a Jewish boy in order to protect his identity – as well as the mosque inhabitants.

However when the mosque and its faithful protectors are targeted by the Nazi regime a flight into danger ensues and Ruben plus other at-risk friends Hana and her little brother Momo are in the hands of the network of resistance fighters/rescuers.

Their escape is dangerous for all concerned but there is light at the end of the tunnel and when they finally reach a safe haven there is an astonishing revelation in store for young Ruben.

The pace and intensity of this narrative leaves the reader almost breathless as we feel ourselves to be right in the danger with the children. Such histories of the Holocaust – and the story of both survivors and those who so selflessly helped them – are testaments to the enduring and inherent goodness and courage of so many. How truly wonderful that Dee White has shed light on this chapter in this narrative to inform readers – and incidentally proven the true character of Islam to a wider public. These are the books that will empower our young people to grow in acceptance, compassion and empathy.

I cannot recommend this highly enough particularly for readers from around 12 years upwards and as a ‘read-around-your-topic’ for students of the Holocaust and World War II.

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Click here to read more about Dee’s journey to bring this story to life.

Fearless Frederic – Felice Arena



Penguin Australia


April 2, 2018

RRP: $16.99


In 1910 Paris flooded. A ‘once in a century’ possibility saw the Seine rise to over 30 feet above it’s normal level and the citizens of Paris having to adapt to their city in ways they had never experienced.  For many of them this meant actually evacuating their homes and being housed in makeshift centres across the city.

This new historical novel from Felice narrates the stories of three children, all very different, and their own dramas amid the floodwaters. Frederic lives with his mother since his father was killed in a botched robbery at the Louvre, where he was a security guard. Thierry, the would-be author, is also fatherless – his builder father having died in a construction accident when Thierry was small. Claire, it appears, also has only her mother but there is something odd about the way her mum can never been seen in the shelter.

The children band together to make the most of the drama unfolding around them each day and find themselves in the roles of rescuers and heroes  saving cats, children, horses – and helping track down thieves In the process Frederic uncovers the villains who murdered his father and burns for revenge.

As the narrative unfolds, the personalities (and secrets) of the children, the extraordinary circumstances impacting on them and the growing friendship between them draws the reader further into the adventures of Fearless Frederic and his Floodwater Friends.

Felice has a really deft way of weaving adventure, history and realistic fiction together in a manner that appeals to both genders.

I would highly recommend this for readers from around Year 5 upwards.





Clementine Rose and the Paris Puzzle (#12) – Jacqueline Harvey



Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857987884

Published: 27/06/2016

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s


RRP $14.99

With great timing for Bastille Day favourite of many Clementine Rose is off to Paris with her family – both the old and the new (following the engagement of her mother Clarissa and Drew).

Clemmie is beside herself with excitement not only because of all the exciting things to see like the Eiffel Tower but because she will be visiting her very best friend Sophie. Readers will remember that Sophie’s family had to return to Paris for a time to take care of their unwell grandfather. As usual there are many adventures in store but most especially that revolving around a very famous but very strange puppeteer, a mysterious neighbour and a pig-napping!

How absolutely adorable is the new cover with its tri-colour design?  And the image of Lavender in his beret and jacket is just too sweet as well.

This will be a highly sought after new book on your shelves and I highly recommend for those little readers who will devour up their series of beginning chapter books.

Happy Bastille Day!


In honour of Bastille Day a review of a newish picture book plus a revisit of two older titles for your revolutionary pleasure.

An Armadillo in Paris – Julie Krause


Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781770495265

Published: 02/02/2015

Imprint: Tundra Books

Extent: 32 pages


This whimsical travelogue has been lurking on my shelves for months but with hindsight I’m very pleased I’ve saved it till Bastille Day.

Arlo the armadillo hails from Brazil and is one of a long line of adventurers. His grandpapa Augustin was also a noted traveller who kept journals of his various trips and now Arlo is the beneficiary. Following his grandfather’s Paris journal Arlo is taken on a sumptuous tour of the best sights, scenes and senses of the heart of France, all of them leading to the climax of the Eiffel Tower in all her glory.

For children who are interested in other countries, and particularly for those who study French at their schools, this would be a real treat. Krause’s illustrations are very stylish and have a definite European feel to them, despite her Canadian origins.

In honour of the anniversary of ‘le Revolution’ tomorrow, I read this aloud to my two English classes today – Year 7 and Year 8 – and both were quite delighted by it. We all agreed that nobody is ever too old for picture books and learning facts in such a pleasant way as a vicarious stroll through the avenues of Paris can only be good J.

Since our college studies French this will be added to our own picture book shelves and I highly recommend it to you for your own shelves to expand readers’ awareness of other cultures and customs.

“Paris is always a good idea.” Audrey Hepburn and the author Julie Krause both agree.

This is Paris – Miroslav Sasek


Simon & Schuster

Imprint: Universe

  • First published: 1959
  • Reissued: 2004

If you have not ever experienced Sasek’s beautiful travel books for children, you really must. I love that the new editions have ‘updated’ information on that contained within the book at the end.

Be prepared to fall in love with these!!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick



January 30, 2007

I have loved this book since it was first published – and even enjoyed the film adaptation. There is something entirely magical about the book and its gorgeous and stylish graphic format.

Check out the official site for information and more.

Watch a book trailer here.

Activities etc here at Scholastic.