• Children of the Stars

  • By: Mario Escobar
  • Narrated by: Zach Hoffman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Children of the Stars

By: Mario Escobar
Narrated by: Zach Hoffman
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Publisher's Summary

From international best-selling author Mario Escobar comes a story of escape, sacrifice, and hope amid the perils of the Second World War. 

August 1942. Jacob and Moses Stein, two young Jewish brothers, are staying with their aunt in Paris amid the Nazi occupation. The boys’ parents, well-known German playwrights, have left the brothers in their aunt’s care until they can find safe harbor for their family. But before the Steins can reunite, a great and terrifying roundup occurs. The French gendarmes, under Nazi order, arrest the boys and take them to the Vélodrome d’Hiver - a massive, bleak structure in Paris where thousands of France’s Jews are being forcibly detained. 

Jacob and Moses know they must flee in order to survive, but they only have a set of letters sent from the South of France to guide them to their parents. Danger lurks around every corner as the boys, with nothing but each other, trek across the occupied country. Along their remarkable journey, they meet strangers and brave souls who put themselves at risk to protect the children - some of whom pay the ultimate price for helping these young refugees of war. 

This inspiring novel, now available for the first time in English, demonstrates the power of family and the endurance of the human spirit - even through the darkest moments of human history. 

  • World War II historical fiction inspired by true events
  • Book length: 94,000 words
  • Includes a historical timeline and notes from the author 

“A poignant telling of the tragedies of war and the sacrificing kindness of others seen through the innocent eyes of children.” (J’nell Ciesielskibest-selling author of The Socialite and Beauty Among Ruins)

©2020 Mario Escobar (P)2020 Thomas Nelson

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Innocence can only be lost once

Too often, authors write novels highlighting World War II’s horrible events, while few spend time creating a story based on the brave citizens who defied the law to save countless lives. We read about people’s grueling survival or perilous journeys through war zones, immersing ourselves into a world of dirt and darkness, but what about the light and hope that remained within so many? Children of the Stars brings both of these themes to life in this phenomenal narrative of two brothers as they trek across war-torn France to be reunited with their parents.

Jacob and Moses have only known the streets of Paris. Though persecution against the Jewish people grows every day, the brothers do not understand the Nazi-fueled hatred until they narrowly escape death in the Velodromo de Invierno. No longer safe in the city they’ve called home and with no one to look after them, Jacob and Moses determinedly embark on a venture that will take them further than they imagined. From city to city, they will meet an array of people, learning who to trust and how to survive on their own. With each terrifying day, Jacob and Moses will also grapple with their childhoods, wanting to keep hold of their youthly innocence while struggling to be treated as more.

"In one sense, childhood is an eternal present. The road traveled is just a few feet beyond the starting point, and the end goal seems so far away that it gives the false sense of eternity that the young always feel." ~ Mario Escobar

Children of the Stars was a fantastic novel. Gripping from the moment I opened the first page, I was remarkably surprised by this story. Though I have read many historical fiction novels based on World War II, Children of the Stars produced a new look at the war and restored my hope in humanity. It only takes one spark to light a fire, and while so many lost their fight during the war, others held onto faith to push them through. Jacob and Moses’ journey will inspire readers to find the good in others and always fight for what is right, no matter the cost.

"Most people value freedom and life, but for me, it’s all worthless without my family. Existing without them would be a kind of slavery. Suffering with them, I’ll be with them forever." ~ Mario Escobar

Inspired by true events, it was amazing to learn about the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. One of my favorite quotes from the book was, “From the green valleys of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, where a village of men and women set their faces against the horror and showed that, armed with the Spirit, the noblest hearts are always capable of overcoming and that the shadows of evil will finally be dispelled until light invades everything once more — for a new generation to believe it can change the world, or at least try.” Throughout the book, the author, Mario Escobar, perfectly explains the power of faith and determination; sparking a seed that the next generation can bring change and love into the world. His writing was relatable, allowing us to connect with the characters emotionally and spiritually, and knowledgable. To know that some of these events were true made the story all the more profound. Children of the Stars was a book I will not soon forget and recommend to any historical fiction lovers!

"The worst friend of the truth is silence. The worst lie in the world is that ordinary people are powerless against tyranny." ~ Mario Escobar