Sarah's Stars

Gudrun Pausewang.  Dark Hours
Annick Press  $21.95  ISBN 978-1-55451-042-9  208 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 14

Stefanie is celebrating her sixteenth birthday in the twenty-first century, with cell-phones to talk on, and TVs to watch. She receives a letter from her grandmother, and now that Stefanie is old enough, her grandmother decides that the present she will give her granddaughter will be the story of how she spent her own sixteenth birthday. Her grandmother had grown up during World War two, when Hitler ruled. The story is heartfelt and tells the tale of a girl who lasted three days under a crushed building in total darkness, with four other younger children.

This novel was amazingly accurate. I loved the way everything was so real, always giving you that unkind sense of realism. The characters were all so easy to get attached to, and when a terrible event takes place in the plot, it allows you to feel their pain. It is like you know them that well. The only drawback was that nearly the entire story took place in one room. It was something that began to bore me. Otherwise, the novel was a creative approach on how to tell a story set in World War II.

I would recommend this novel for people thirteen years old and up. It is a good read, brimming with violence and emotion.

I give Dark Hours five out of five stars, despite the similar setting throughout the book.

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