The Yel­low Star Shines Like a Can­dle in the Dark

Aaron Seth; Ilana Bar­ran, illus.
  • Review
By – March 25, 2017

Aaron Seth is an eleven-year-old who was inspired by the sto­ry of his grand­fa­ther’s Holo­caust expe­ri­ence and sur­vival to write this poet­ic book so that this sto­ry of suf­fer­ing and hope will live for yet anoth­er gen­er­a­tion and will con­tin­ue to inspire oth­ers. Writ­ten in free-verse style with emo­tion and deeply felt nar­ra­tive flow and with a sym­bol­ic over­lay, and accom­pa­nied by evoca­tive sketch-like illus­tra­tions, the sto­ry focus­es on the hope that one human being can share with anoth­er even through the dark­est of times. It doesn’t delve deeply into char­ac­ter devel­op­ment but it high­lights courage and sen­si­tiv­i­ty while not mak­ing light of the suf­fer­ing and hor­rors of the time.

A num­ber of the sen­tences in the book are writ­ten in Ger­man and they con­tain some mis­takes. They are all trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish with­in the body of the text so that all read­ers can under­stand con­tent and con­text with­out a break in the storyline. 

A list of dis­cus­sion points and ques­tions to pon­der fol­low the nar­ra­tive. Read­ers ages 10 – 16 will respond to this short, hope­ful tale which is filled with qui­et emo­tion and is writ­ten by one of their own gen­er­a­tion with sen­si­tiv­i­ty and love.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions