Life is not easy for nine-year-old Joshua during World War II. Because of his family's Jewish heritage, they are sentenced to live in the concentration camps. Scared and alone, Joshua tries to blend into the camp's background and stay in the barracks as long as he can, because he knows that many who leave them never come back. Recalling teachings about Jesus as their Lord and Savior, Joshua prays that God will send him a friend while he's held prisoner. One day, while trying to hide under the floorboards, Joshua meets a little mouse whom he calls Bethlehem. The tiny mouse befriends him; when the boy is taken to live with a German family-who has a nine-year-old son named Helmut-Bethlehem tags along. Although the boys become fast friends, Joshua isn't sure what will happen if Helmut ever discovers Bethlehem's existence. Will Bethlehem be sent away? Will Joshua? Although the cruelties of war eventually separate these unlikely friends, Joshua understands that Jesus is always there for him-no matter what his circumstances. He spends his life praying for his lost friends and acknowledges that he will see them again one day, whether in this life or the next.
My Take on the Book
This was very interesting book that tackles a very tough topic. I was amazed at the power in the words that were shared by the author and through the experiences of Joshua and Helmut. This is the type of book that will truly allow your children to experience diversity and whole new way, and I for one was quite impressed with the message that was being shared in this short book. The book was well-written and will draw you in from beginning and hold you until the end.
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