The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo


The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful children’s novel. It is perfect for ages ten years and over.

This is a tale simply but powerfully told. It introduces the reader to the power of music, memories and the holocaust. It is written in such a way as to inform but not to scare children into having nightmares.

Music transports us through time and space. We hear a piece of music and are immediately back somewhere in time. When that place is a concentration camp, we know why certain music is avoided as it causes great pain.

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The Bookseller Of Dachau by Shari J Ryan

Hold On To Hope

The Bookseller Of Dachau by Shari J Ryan is a powerful dual timeline novel that totally consumed me. I did not just read this book – I lived it – my emotions were all over the place.

This is a tale of love, of heartache and ultimately of hope. “Hope is something no one can steal from you.” Without hope, the people perish. We need hope as much as the air that we breathe.

The novel is set in 2018 and during World War II in Bavaria. The two time periods are linked by letters telling the tale of a young German girl and a German Jewish boy during the war years. The young girl is the grandmother of the modern-day character. Their tale is one of a great love. It was a love that defied the times they were living through. Theirs was a brave love. It was a love that meant they both had to hang on to hope.

Nazi Germany was a terrible place. Evil was all around. Selfishness abounded as many believed in self-preservation, turning a blind eye to their neighbour’s plight. One young girl transcended all this. Her bravery was huge. Her love ran deep.

As Jewish lives were eroded, the young Jewish man declared: “They can take everything but… I will still have my dreams, memories and the stories that live within my head.” His mind was free though his body was in bondage.

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The Challengers by Grace Livingston Hill

Absolutely Charming

The Challengers by Grace Livingston Hill is an absolutely charming Christian novel written in a bygone age.

Grace Livingston Hill writes with great warmth and faith as we follow a family through the hard times of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. We witness the close-knit family unit who pull together, thinking only of others before self. Along the way they meet both guardian angels and absolute rotters.

The family had had little time for God in the past. Their comfortable circumstances meant they had no need to rely on God. He seemed relegated to past times. The perception of the youngest daughter is spot on as she suggests prayer as an answer to circumstances. This reminds the reader that Jesus asks us to have a child-like faith. Pray and believe that our prayers will be answered. As our faith muscle is exercised, it will be stretched. We must “ask[ing] God to … show … what to do.” God longs to hear our prayers. Nothing is ever too big or too small for Him. If it bothers us, it bothers Him.

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Lions Of Judah by Kirby Lee Davis

See History Come Alive

Lions Of Judah by Kirby Lee Davis is a fabulous Christian historical novel. It is the second book in The Jonah Cycle series but can be read as a stand-alone. I recommend reading book one first for maximum enjoyment.

This book blends fact and fiction as its’ roots are in history. The masterful pen of Kirby Lee Davis brings the past to life. All the characters are fully rounded, springing to life for the reader.

The action is fast paced as we follow various skirmishes between good and evil. Uniquely we witness the scenes and hear the narration in the first person from the perspective of a lion. He stands apart from the humans as he witnesses their faith in action.

We see that life is always a battle between good and evil. We need to tie our colours to the mast and say a big yes to our Maker.

Though a beast of the field, the lion “saw the heart of the Maker” in the humans. When God lives in us, His light shines through us.

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