The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark

Carmen Agra Deedy, Author, Henri Sorensen, Illustrator Peachtree Publishers $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-208-8
Although it is billed as ""legend,"" Deedy's (The Library Dragon) WWII story raises disturbing questions regarding the importance of historical accuracy. Here Denmark's courageous King Christian responds to the Nazi edict that all Jews must wear a yellow star by wearing a yellow star himself, and his act inspires his subjects to do likewise. Deedy's writing is vivid and lyrical--but in an afterword she acknowledges that her story is ""unauthenticated"" and that no Danish Jews were ""forced"" to wear the yellow star. As Ellen Levine points out in her recent Darkness Over Denmark (Children's Forecasts, June 26), the order about the star was never issued in Denmark. Where Levine cited the false story of the king's yellow star to explore the facts about Danish resistance to the Nazis, this book, in perpetuating a myth, clouds history; it also deflects from the country's most famous act of resistance in rescuing the overwhelming majority of its Jews (the afterword reports that Danes smuggled over 7,000 Jews to Sweden in fishing boats). Ultimately, despite the graceful prose, the insight offered into a dark era and Danish artist Sorensen's magnificent oil paintings, the book's fundamental flaw is difficult to overlook. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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