Hidden Among the Stars

Reviewed by: Diane Ash, retired teacher and current church librarian


Title: Hidden Among the Stars

Author: Melanie Dobson

Publisher: Tyndale

Publication Date: 2018

Format: 2018

Length: 397 pages


Annika Knopf is the caretaker’s daughter on a large estate in Austria with a family castle known as Schloss Schwansee.   The year is 1938 and Hitler’s troops are ready to march into Austria.  The estate owner’s son, Max Dornbach, has vowed to help his Jewish friends by hiding their valuable possessions on the grounds, and Annika becomes a willing helper.  As the Nazis take over Austria, times become more and more tense for any Austrians not willing to join the Nazi party or their army, and of course for anyone who is Jewish.  When Max eventually brings Luzia, a Jewish girl he loves to the castle, all their lives are in danger.

Meanwhile, in present day Ohio, Callie Randall is running a bookstore where she is also known as The Story Girl to the local children who she entertains during her weekly story hour.  While going through a collection of old books she comes across a 1931 edition of Bambi that was written by a Jewish man in Austria.  Inside is written Annika Knopf, Schloss Schwansee, 1932.  As she turns the pages, she notices on every other page there are extra lines written in black ink under the original German print.  It appears to be some kind of list.  Callie begins to dig into the past and eventually connects Annika’s story with her close friend Charlotte in Ohio.

Dobson creates an excellent story of World War II drama and suspense in Nazi controlled Austria during the war.  She also weaves in the present day search for answers concerning Annika and the Dornbach family who may be somehow connected to her friend.  The characters are well developed and the plot is a definite page turner. Dobson’s descriptions of the castle, the estate, and the surrounding lake and mountains paint a clear picture in the reader’s mind of this beautiful setting in the midst of Hitler’s horror.


Rating (1 to 5)


Suggested Audience

Readers who like WWII historical fiction, will especially love this novel.  It is also suitable for teens.

Christian Impact

Annika’s faith is woven throughout the story.  As her pastor reminds her, “Death is no longer a threat to those who believe in him.”  And so she clings to God, her Redeemer, who lives.

Other Notes

There are discussion questions at the end of the book.  This would be an excellent book club pick.


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Hidden Among the Stars

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

One Response to “Hidden Among the Stars”

  1. I loved Catching the Wind, so I know I will enjoy Hidden Among the Stars!

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