Thursday, March 7, 2013

"The Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark" Written by Carmen Agra Deedy Illustrated by Henri Sorensen

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-208-8
Total Pages: 32
The Danes had a highly - esteemed king ruling over them during the 1940's.  They had no idea how much they might need his wisdom during this era of wickedness.
In the land of Denmark, different religions were respected, as well as different people groups.  Everyone living in Denmark was simply...Danish!  Tall Danes, stout Danes, cranky Danes, even Great Danes!   They were all loyal subjects of their beloved King Christian.  He rode daily along the streets, mingling with his people.  He would do anything for them and they would do anything for him!
When Nazi soldiers gathered at the border of their country, a feeling of foreboding spread like a storm cloud upon their land.  One morning their flag was replaced by a Nazi flag flying at the palace.  The king ordered a soldier to take it down.  The next day, a Nazi captain came to ask who had done that and threatened to hang a flag the next morning.  He claimed he would have anyone shot who removed it.  King Christian bravely stated that he himself would be the next soldier who removed the Nazi flag.   "Then be prepared to shoot the king - for I will be that soldier."  The Nazi flag never appeared there again!
The next threat was more specific.  All Jewish Danes were ordered to wear a yellow star representing the Star of David, the symbol of their faith.  This star would identify them to the Nazi soldiers and probably lead to terrible treatment, maybe even death.  The King of Denmark was greatly disturbed and spent sleepless nights considering what he might do to protect the Jewish Danes.  Early one morning, the King called for his tailor and asked him to make him a yellow star that he might wear to show his support for his people.  He had gotten the idea while studying the starry sky, wondering how he could hide his Jewish friends among the rest of the Danes.  When he rode through the streets the next morning wearing a yellow star, other citizens followed suit, had stars made and wore them.  Soon almost everyone was wearing a yellow star, hiding the true Jews among the non-Jews.  This is a story of bravery and compassion, unity and hope.
The book was written for elementary students as an introduction to the Nazi occupation of Denmark during World War II.  The book is based on a legend, but more interesting are the true facts about Denmark during the war.  Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end of the book.  The beloved king of Denmark did indeed ride unescorted through the streets.  No Jews within Denmark were forced to wear the yellow star.  Also, among the Nazi-occupied countries, only Denmark rescued the overwhelming majority of its Jews.  (rev. C. Karns)
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of The Yellow Star  was provided by PeachTree Publishers in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

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