Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched, this compelling book reveals the almost unknown story of how French Muslims' courage, faith, and devotion to justice saved the lives of so many Jews during World War II. Full color.
The book begins with a quote found in Islamic and Jewish traditions: Save one life, and it is as if youve saved all of humanity. Today's problems between these two Abrahamic religions are obvious, but there are moments of brotherhood. During the Nazi occupation of France, Jews were being rounded up and sent to concentration camps. One avenue of refuge was the Grand Mosque in Paris, where Jewish adults and children hid, some briefly until they could be spirited away, others for longer stays. Thanks to the mosques rector, and particularly Berbers from Algeria, many lives were saved. This is a fascinating, little-known piece of history (the afterword explains how difficult it was to research). The authors sometimes try too hard to explain too much to a middle-grade audience, but they effectively capture the desperation felt by the victims and the enormous effort made by the resistance. The evocative paintings in somber colors heighten the tension.