Aaron was inspired by his grandfather, Paul Liebskind, to write this short story. Aaron did not know Paul very well but, remembered him attending his pre-school graduation as he was heading off to Kindergarten. Aaron grew to know Paul through the eyes, ears and voices of his parents and relatives. This has helped Aaron to develop a deep and emotional connection with his grandfather. He learned that Paul was only seven years old when, he fled Germany and was in hiding in Belgium during the Holocaust. He learned that Paul’s oldest brother, Kalman, went off to work one day, and never returned. He learned that Kalman gave his last breath during the death march. Aaron’s knowledge in Judaism captures the heart and mind to bring out this inspiring story, which exemplifies Paul’s character and courage.
Aaron is a martial artist, who has achieved his 2nd Degree Black Belt in the discipline of Tae Kwon Do. He enjoys competitive swimming on a certified member team of the USA Swimming (the national governing body of the sport). Aaron is also a highly ranked tennis athlete and competes in the United States Tennis Association. Aaron loves history, archaeology, geology and has a passion for astronomy. In addition, when Aaron has free time from his competitive schedule or weekly practices, he enjoys archery and hunting for fossils while, travelling around the world. Aaron is an 11 year old 6th Grade student, who lives with his family in Connecticut.
“The central metaphor neatly turns the yellow star, a badge of shame, into a symbol of light and determination.”
– Kirkus Reviews
This YA short story, inspired by the writer’s grandfather, portrays a boy’s struggle to find solace during the Holocaust.
Aharon, an Orthodox Jewish boy, lives in Munich, Germany, sometime after the Nazis have assumed power. Rock-throwing children and a Nazi guard set upon him and his brother, but another boy, Paul, temporarily hides them in his house, where he tends their wounds. Paul’s parents don’t like Jews, and when Aharon returns to thank his rescuer, Paul’s father orders him away. In the square, Aharon finds Paul giving away bread in the street, his goodness shining all the more in contrast with his father. Though Christian, Paul comes over for Passover, where he’s especially interested in the story of five rabbis standing up to the Romans. When Aharon next stops by Paul’s house, it’s been burned to the ground. The whole family was sent to Dachau because Paul helped him. A letter remains with Paul’s encouraging message: “The Yellow Star / Shines like a candle in the dark… / Don’t lose hope…because / you are the hope!” Next, Aharon and his family are sent to a camp, where his mother and father die. Aharon has Paul’s letter, however, which he reads to the other children, providing hope until their liberation. Later, Aharon reconciles with Paul’s father. Debut author Seth, a sixth-grade student, bases this story on his Orthodox Jewish grandfather, Paul Liebskind, though there are few points of similarity beyond unselfishness, as clarified in a short essay by illustrator Barran (The Survival of the Gingerbread Girl, 2015). Paul’s saintliness can make him seem more symbolic than real; for knowledgeable readers, he calls to mind other examples known from history, but as presented, his motives aren’t fully explored. Also, Paul and his family pay a high price for helping Aharon, which the book doesn’t consider. The central metaphor neatly turns the yellow star, a badge of shame, into a symbol of light and determination. The pencil-drawing illustrations are simple, fitting the child-narrator theme.
A message of hope that needs more emotional development within its characters.
Pub Date: July 21, 2016
Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2016
Book Trailer of The Yellow Star by Aaron Seth
1) Jules Verne; 2) James Dashner
1) Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea; 2) The Maze Runner
Student and Writer
Favorite line from a book
J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings "all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us"
Unexpected skill or talent
Flint Knap an Arrowhead
Passion in life
I'm most excited about my travels to far reached places, like Russia, Turkey, Italy-Pompeii, Bosnia, Motenegro, Croatia and Serbia, to name a few. I love exploring Roman ruins and learning about the history behind them. I enjoy writing about historicalThe Yellow Star Shines Like A Candle In The Dark by Aaron Seth, 2016 The Yellow Star by Aaron Seth, 2016 'The Yellow Star" by Aaron Seth, is Released, 2016 "The Yellow Star" by Aaron Seth, Speaks to a Young Audience, 2016
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!