Elizabeth S's Reviews > The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Saved Jews During the Holocaust

The Grand Mosque of Paris by Karen Gray Ruelle
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's review
Feb 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: n-history, f-picture
Read from February 24 to 26, 2011

A moving description of what many Paris Moslems did during WWII to save Jews and others from the Nazis and the Vichy government. The book begins by explaining what was happening as Paris was taken, and later the Jews rounded up. It is explained at a level a child would understand, but the material is still (in my opinion) more appropriate for the older child. For example, my 4th grader and I read the book and it was a great learning experience for both of us. I did not read it to my preschooler. After the background information, it tells the stories of how the Mosque was used to save Jews, downed Allie pilots, and others.

Some history books do better with the passage of time because more information may become available. For this book, it is perhaps too bad that the people who know about what happened were not interviewed and their stories recorded before they died. This book does a great job tying together all the scraps of information that are available. I also appreciate that when the authors must move into the realm of speculation, simply because there is not enough information, they clearly state that. At the end is an author's note explaining what they did to try to gather information, and the regret that many of those involved had died over the years.

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