Michelle O. Donovan Delivers Juvenile Fiction about Compassion

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Young boy in concentration camp befriends a mouse that strengthens his faith

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Between the years of 1939 to 1945, during World War II, hate was in the hearts of men, driving them to commit unspeakable acts of violence. Despite all the atrocities suffered during those years, there is still so much hatred, lack of compassion and discrimination in today’s society. With her new young adult novel Joshua, Helmut, and Bethlehem (published by iUniverse) Michelle O. Donovan delivers a story that explores the innocence of childhood where the meaning of hatred and evil is not yet understood.

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 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.

Joshua, Helmut, and Bethlehem asks readers to consider the unconditional love and acceptance that, as Donovan says, “are the keys to creating a better tomorrow for our children.”

About the Author
Born in France, Michelle O. Donovan moved to Canada in 1968. She has always loved writing stories for children. Inspired by her father’s experience in the concentration camps during World War II, she also wrote Christmas Miracle, a short story designed to make children aware of the cruelty of war.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on BarnesandNoble.com. iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit iuniverse.com or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebook on Twitter.

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