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Safiyyah’s War

Hiba Noor Khan

Andersen Press (9+) 9781839133138 (Paperback)

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When war arrives in Paris and the Nazi occupation begins, the lives of Saffiyah and her family and friends change forever.  Safiyyah lives at the Grand Central Mosque in Paris with her family.  This book shines a light on the role the Great Mosque in Paris played in helping the Jewish community, offering an insight into a less known part of World War Two.  Drawn into danger, will Safiyyah be able to summon the courage to enter the catacombs beneath Paris and lead the Jews to safety in this daring, exciting and genuinely tense read?

Safiyyah is a heroine readers won’t forget. She is independent, bookish, rebellious, adventurous and bold. There’s a palpable build up to events with strong characterisation throughout and a central character who develops in maturity and understanding. Community and coming together in adverse times are related powerfully and memorably. The intergenerational relationship between Safiyyah and her grandmother is well realised in this engaging and emotional story based on real events. Themes of family, friendship and bravery are set against an accurate and realistic historical context. It’s an outstanding account of an important but often overlooked aspect of World War Two history. It shows empathy in action and tackles stereotypes about Muslims, Jews and women. A gripping novel that allows us to re-evaluate the stories of the past through a different lens. The ending gives real pause for thought. 

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Hiba Noor Khan

Hiba is the author of One Home, Inspiring Inventors Who Are Changing Our Future, The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai and the picture book The Little War Cat. Hiba has many strings to her bow: she’s a physics teacher and a recent Global Diplomacy graduate. Hiba is also an activist, she’s worked for The Children’s Society as a Refugee Advocate and for the United Nations IOM on international development projects. She’s also delivered humanitarian aid in Syrian refugee camps and worked on reforestation initiatives in Tanzania.

Shadowers' reviews and artwork

Safiyyah’s War is a beautiful book about World War II, it is a powerful book with a powerful message about helping those in more need than you, it’s about kindness and love, hope and peace. When the Nazis invade Paris, her dad becomes more secretive than ever with his sunken eyes and tired face. Safiya goes and finds out what’s happening when she finds out that her family and friends have been helping Jews to fake identities of Muslims to escape France. She takes on a huge responsibility of delivering parcels with pre-chosen Identities, clothes and code breaking messages. My view on this beautiful book is 100%, 10/10 because of its fantastic writing by Hiba Noor Khan. Emotionally deep and full of life, colour and sentimental value it’s a fantastically engrossing book.

Ivy

Larkmead

Safiyyah's War is a great book although it does take some time to get to the good parts. It's a story about bravery and kindness and reminds us that no matter who you are or where you come from kindness should be given to everyone especially those suffering from life changing hardships. It's a great book and it is very clever the way it tells the story of important events for young adults/teenagers

Nate

Woodruffians

Theres this girl called saffiyah who is in a war This book shines a light on the role the Great Mosque in Paris played in helping the Jewish community, offering an insight into a less known part of World War

ELLIE J

VISTA Academy

The second I opened this book, I was instantly intrigued and fascinated, as the author used many descriptive techniques to catch the reader’s attention and pull them into Safiyyah’s world during the WW2 period to see what she experienced. "Safiyyah's War" is a moving, historical and fascinating story based on genuine events during World War II. The plot centres on Safiyyah, a young, smart and curious Muslim girl living in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Safiyyah's life takes a drastic change when she gets involved in the efforts of the Grand Mosque of Paris to rescue the lives of hundreds of Jews. Hiba Noor Khan's writing is both gripping and expressive, combining historical accuracy with an engaging and heart-warming story. "Safiyyah's War" is a must-read for both young and adult readers as it is educational and people can also empathise with Safiyyah's experience due to the ongoing conflicts occurring at the moment. It offers a moving look at the human resilience, determination and justice in one of history's worst moments. Hiba Noor Khan has written a heartfelt and educative story on the power of bravery and humanity, with many moral messages, such as 'never give up'. It is inspiring and I highly recommend it to all ages as everybody should be aware of the pain and suffering people encountered during WW2. There were many moments of tension, suspense and excitement as I was constantly on the edge of my seat to see if any characters would be caught. I would give this novel 10/10. I loved it as it was an easy and beautifully written read and no negative points!

Louisa

LC Best Books

Firstly, I think 'Safiyyah's War' has a fabulous concept. Not many books are about Mosques helping Jews during the war, especially not in Paris, and it makes for a really interesting read about what others did in the war. However, I found this book to be a bit slow going to start with and it was only when i god to roughly half way through that i became hooked on the plan and action! After that though, it became extremely exciting and i thought the way Hiba Noor Khan used the Grandma to make the plot more twisty -and sometimes really sad- added another layer to this book. In all, I thought that the second half was brilliant but that perhaps a sub-plot could have been added to the first half.

Hebe

Woodruffians

The book saffiyah's war is a book with cunning plots and devious plans. It is a book where you never know their next move. With beautiful illustrations and carefully articulated words, Saffiyah's war is one of the best books I have ever read. Throught the book, the characters are constntly developing giving us a sense of community.

Megan

St Angela’s Reading Angels

This book was the first carnegie book that i read and it made me start off with very high hopes. I very much enjoyed this book as it had many different twists to it and I never knew how it would end. The storyline is original but the writer has made it unusual by adding events which made the book a lot more interesting. I also find this period in history very interesting meaning that i fornd it interesting learning about how people coped with it and how they lived there lives. Overall, I think this book deserved to be nominated for the carnegies, even if I think the ending could have been more satisfying for the reader.

Ella HG

4Shadowers

There are Nazis taking over Safiyyahs city, Paris, and her best friend has left her. The mosque was her families home, but now has Nazi footprints all over it She is left to explore the city streets to deliver medicine to a Jewish friend of her own, this is when trouble starts. Safiyyahs has to disobey the nazis, help Jews and take families into her home.… How can she help more people discretely? I really enjoyed Safiyyahs war with its characters and storyline. However, I think that the story seemed like it was based towards the audience of slightly younger children; the vocabulary wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be. I would recommend this book to Yr6-8, especially if they like a fun historical story.

Alicia

SJB Book Club

I quite enjoyed reading this book - following Safiyyah's story was interesting and informative, providing a fresh but still historically-accurate perspective of some of the events of WWII. It was inspiring to see Safiyyah grow and develop, staying unfalteringly brave throughout the book, even after her father is arrested. I liked the cheerful character of Setti, her slight obsession with oranges and her delightful stories too! However, I did think that the book wasn't the most engaging at times and I did occasionally lose interest in it. Overall I did really enjoy the book though! 6.5/10

Lei

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan is a book about different religions in World War 2. It follows Safiyyah and her troubles as a Parisian Muslim during the war. Safiyyah is a strong independent character who is never willing to give up a fight. Tension rises from the very first chapter and becomes more tense throughout the book, like a rubber band that is being stretched until it snaps. Her bravery is astounding as she attempts to save Jews and hide them as the Nazis come. This overlooked part of history shows the importance of strong community and relationships between different communities. In my opinion, I think that this book is a must-read to alter your perspective of World War 2 and understand the struggles and horrors of this time.

Roisin

LC Best Books

This book is about a girl called Safiyyah who helps the Jewish community to safety in Paris during World War 2. This is a gripping story full of emotion and adventure which draws the audience into the narrative. For me, Safiyyah’s character really stood out. She is a brave and determined character who risks her life to help others. I believe that it sends a very powerful message to the readers about WW2. Since the book is based on a true event, I think it shows the readers what it was like to live at that time. The suffering endured by the people is real and it can help the readers get a clear perspective of the horror of WW2. I would without a doubt recommend this book to people who love a sense of adventure. It captivates readers into another dimension of time. It is a really intriguing/interesting book to read!

Nemdini

LC Best Books

Through moments of joy and despair, ‘Safiyyahs War’ follows a young Muslim girl through her journey and experiences of the second world war and her life living in the mosque. We can see she lives a privileged life with food on the table and a family to keep her warm but when the Nazi invades Paris, her world crumbles to pieces. Many people in her dire situation would give up before anything even started however her bravery carries her through dark moments and she determinedly strides forward helping to resist the Nazi in any sort of way. My favourite characters are Yemma and Setti because I think Yemma's capability is very undermined and her potential never truly discovered. The community only ever saw her as a house wife and mother but she was so much more. Setti was a gentle soul, always there to pray for her loved ones and offer wisdom and guidance. I love the mosque and how descriptive Hiba is with it. It paints a beautiful picture and contrasts the outside world of destruction that the Nazi tore from each and everyone of those people. I was shocked when I read some of the horrendous things they did to the Jewish and black people, finding what was most precious to every Jew, tormenting them endlessly, then snatching their dreams and futures ruthlessly, before carting them off to concentration camps to die all alone, feeling useless, empty and heartbroken. Many near death experiences and multiple sickeningly scary choices, I fully admire Safiyyah and her family bravery and resistance. I feel sorrow to think about the sacrifice and danger Safiyyahs put herself in but pride in humanity that love still existed and brought together the citizens of Paris in years of oppression and evil. She lit a candle in the darkness and I hope she brings courage to every reading this book, that you can make a difference big or small and you will get through it. I would recommend this book to anyone 10 or above as it is vital we teach the young people of this century the importance of kindness and the importance of acceptance and the importance of courage and determination. 10/10, everyone involved should feel extremely proud, I will definitely be reading many more books of Hiba’s.

Amelia

The John Mason Shadowers

Safiyyah's War was an extraordinary book full of excitement, mystery, and sadness. It all started when World War II came to the streets of Paris and life for all Jews changed forever. Safiyyah’s father joined a resistance party creating fake identities for Jews in Paris; trying to find a way to save them all and provide them with a better future. It all stopped when her father got arrested & she had to take up the responsibility of taking documents around her dangerous city filled with Nazi soldiers. When times get tough all her strength and comfort would come from her dearest grandmother Sete but after her cousin was taken to prison by the Nazis all of Sete’s happiness and comfort drained away and she sadly passes away. The war in Paris began getting worse and at this point Safiyyah had to lead the Jews out of Paris for their own safety since the Germans refused to allow her father and anyone else to leave. Soon she must sneak out of the prayer to lead all the Jews out of the cold tunnel…

Zano

Larkmead

Amazing book with an exciting plot, a fun but heavy read.

grace

Plymstock Readers 24

This is a very good book about how a Muslim child feels in Paris during WW2. It shows how children as well as women put up a fight against the Nazis by helping their fellow friend and other Jews find refuge. It is a reminder of how little things make a big difference to the people they are aimed at.

Adebowale

Macaulay Book Club

Heartwarming tale of love loss experiences and hurt. Taught you real life feelings of a girl in Paris during the advance of the Nazis.. What would you do if your dad was arrested when rescuing jews? Would you stand up for the lives he risked so much for? 5 stars gripping and wonderfully written

Bethan

Austin Book Club

Holly

THS Shadowing

Sarah

THS Shadowing

I liked this book a lot, it showed the struggles of the Jews during Nazi invasion. It unearthed some stories that have not been widely heard, being the Muslims using the Grand Mosque to help the Jews. It was a heart-felt and emotional story. I would give it a 9/10.

Jairaj

Ermysted’s

One thing I really liked about Safiyyah’s War is how the book is written like a tale, despite it being about History. When I read it, it didn't feel like I was reading about a girl resisting during the Nazi occupation of France, but like a girl risking her life to help others. I just enjoyed reading about her adventures (and misadventures), and learned so much about WWII at the same time. Safiyyah’s War really is my all-time favourite historical fiction story. Habi Noor Khan immerses you right at the heart of Safiyyah’s life; and when you reach the bottom, you don’t want to go back up.

Claire PMC

4Shadowers

The book introduced me to a Parisian 20th century world, during WW II. Indeed, the story narrates the invasion of France by the nazi Germans and their persecutions of Jews. On one hand, this world seems familiar to me insofar as the story is set in Paris where I now live. Moreover, I am currently experiencing a somewhat similar war threat as Safiyyah: in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, Russia menaces Western Europe with an atomic bomb. In addition, I have already experienced curfews just like in wartime, during COVID. On the other hand, Safiyyah's world seems very strange and distant to me as I don’t live in the middle of the military theatre of operations. Consequently, I haven't experienced their fear as the protagonists constantly put themselves in danger and face death all the time, helping Jews during the Hitlerian period. I partly identify myself with Safiyyah insofar as both of us have lost our grandmother. Hence, I can feel and understand her deep sadness. What’s more, I understand what war refugees’ life means as my dad and his parents fled Laos in the 1980s. Consequently, I can relate to the situation of Jews in Paris in the book. As my Dad told me about the suffering and pain he experienced, I can empathize with Safiyyah. On the other hand, I feel a bit distant from Safiyyah's situation as I haven’t endangered myself nor have I protected anybody. In conclusion, I can relate to her on some aspects such as the sadness of losing her dearest grandparent but not on others such as taking immense risks when giving false papers to Jews in Hitlerian wartime. Safiyyah experienced and endured pain during the major part of the story. For instance, when her best friend, Isabelle, left her, she cried relentlessly. She also felt sorrow when her grandma deceased. Finally, she experienced extreme stress as the destiny of hundreds of people depended on her. This responsibility terrified her in the catacombs as she was the only one to guide the Jews to safety. My emotions while reading this book went from joy and excitement when Safiyyah's dad was set free to horror and despair when the soldiers entered the mosque. This book conveyed numerous messages and morals but the main ones are the following: - never give up; - always help people in need no matter the price; - fight against injustice. These beautiful morals left me with the urge to make a better world: injustice is something we shall not learn to live with. By reading this book, each of us may strive to help people in need and to reduce economic inequality between people which divide the society.

QuentinPMC

4Shadowers

Safiyaah's war was one of the books that I enjoyed reading. I loved reading through her adventures and the way her life changed once war started. It was a book really enjoyable to read, simple and also beautiful.

Raphaelle PMC

4Shadowers

I loved this story! It was action packed and adventurous, and full of twists and turns! It was very exciting, although there were some moments where I felt Safiyyah to be too good to be true. The cover is excellent, and overall so was the book, so far this is my favourite book in the shortlist!

Emma

PHS Reading Ambassadors

There is violence all around, her best friend has left and even the library has become a shady place. Safiyyah's war takes you on a journey through the catacombs under France. Her bravery is admirable when she stands up to the Nazi soldiers to help multiple families escape imprisonment.

Mia

SJB Book Club

I started reading this book and the descriptions are so detailed. You can really picture the story so well which helps you get into Safiyyah's world. I don't really like reading about realistic events since reading for me, is an escape from the real world. However I can see this book really helping young kids learn about these tragic events and the impacts they had and still have on people.

Sophie

SJB Book Club

Safiyyah’s War is an emotional story about the struggles of World War 2 and the holocaust. Seen through the perspective of a Muslim girl, It demonstrates the way different religions came to together when they were invaded by the Nazi’s. The book merges real life events with a gripping plot, that is sure to have the reader on the edge of their seat by the end. This book excels in creating a great atmosphere of emotion, with each character being developed incredibly well. I thought the protagonist, Safiyyah was a great example of this as she became increasingly brave throughout the story. Overall, you could really feel the description pouring from the pages of the book, which perfectly complemented the intense and serious plot. My main complaint with this book would be its pacing. I felt as though some parts of the story should have been taken at a faster pace to avoid it becoming boring, especially in parts with less action. This issue was mainly present in the first half of the book, where it seemed to be slowly building up to a climax. In conclusion, Safiyyah’s War is a book that I very much recommend to anyone interested in WW2, especially since it is written from a perspective that we don’t see very often in war books.

Harry

OLA Shadows

It was a very heart warming story and it gave me new knowledge about the mosque resistance and the side of humanity we should be proud of, particularly the way the people of one religion risked their lives to help another. It was really educational and unlike what I usually read, but it really warmed my heart. I would recommend this to everyone who likes history and humanity at it's best.

Erin

WyRead

This book is about a girl called Safiyyah, who is a young Muslim, who lives in Paris, in a mosque with her family during world war II as they help lots of Jews escape from the Nazis. I really liked this book because I liked how it was from Safiyyah’s perspective and shows how hard it was to live during the war. It is a book full of emotion and shows how everyone worked together to help the Jews and fight the Nazis. It is a very interesting book and I would recommend to others to read. I thought that there could have been more about the ten years later at the end and what happened to the mosque but overall it was a very good read.

Zoe

OLA Shadows

Safiyyah’s War is set in Paris during World War 2. Safiyyah is a brave and kind Muslim girl who lives in the mosque where she notices her father acting strangely and secretly. She eventually discovers that he and his friends are helping hide Jews and help them flee France from the Nazis. Once her father is arrested, it is down to her to continue his resistance work, helping Jews escape through the tunnels under the mosque. This was my favourite book of the Short List so far. I liked learning about how Muslims helped Jews at that time, and that it was based on a true story. It was very gripping because there was a constant risk of many characters getting caught, and you never knew if the Jews would escape safely until the very end. I found it interesting how the Nazis left the Muslims alone but went after the Jews, as they feared they would cause trouble for themselves elsewhere in the world, and that the Nazis respected Islam so much that they did not search closely enough inside certain prayer areas of the mosque when they were searching for the Jews. Saffiyah also was safer walking around Paris wearing a hijab because she was identified by the Nazis as a Muslim. My favourite character was Saffiyah because she was a great friend to Hana, a Jewish girl that she had been friends with at school and who she gently nurtured back from shock after she had been through horrors and had stopped speaking. I would recommend this book to everyone because it teaches you about that time, different religions and is also very exciting.

Florence

OLA Shadows

Safiyyah’s War is a book about young Safiyyah in world war 2 using the mosque of Paris to help save the lives of Jews. I found this book very enjoyable and interesting to read. Although the book felt a bit boring or long sometimes, I think it was a good trade off for the many great and heart touching moments in the book such as my favourite one where Monsieur Cassin was making the butterflies with Safiyyah. I would recommend this book for readers aged between 10 to 14 years old. But all together I thought this book was a great and enjoyable book to read when on the move and I think that it definitely deserves to be on the Carnegie book list.

Archie

OLA Shadows

Safiyyah’s s war is a book about the great mosque in Paris and the way that the Muslims at the mosque helped the Jewish people to escape the persecution against them in World War 2. When Safiyyah’s father is almost caught trying to give false identities to a family of Jews, the mosque decides that he should not risk doing the visits around the city. Instead, Safiyyah convinces them that she would do them. I really enjoyed this book because the story is fantastic and the fact that this book was created from the stories of the great mosque saving the Jewish people. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

Alex

OLA Shadows

In this review I shall be looking at Safiyyah’s war, a book written by Hiba Noor Khan and telling you why it’s on my must read list. Safiyyah’s war is an enjoyable book about a young Muslim girl who lives in a mosque in Paris. When Paris is invaded by the Nazis, Safiyyah assists her father in smuggling Jews out of the city in this thrilling adventure. Safiyyah’s war made me think about the stories of the ordinary people, telling the tales of beautifully crafted fictional citizens from marginalized groups who might otherwise be ignored. Many stories about World War 2 focus largely on the persecuted Jews, but Khan has told the tale of a Muslim community who worked tirelessly to assist the Jews. Khan gives each character a believable and unique personality which she unveils slowly over the course of the book in dribs and drabs. By the end of the book I really cared for all of the characters. However, the problem with this technique is that the book was difficult to start and at the beginning took a while to get into, simply because I couldn’t relate to the characters. Safiyyah’s war is a well written story, and the tale flows beautifully. Khan has perfectly balanced the adjectives making for a lovely read. However, lots of khan’s book is not paragraphed especially well and some pages are just daunting walls of words In conclusion, I enjoyed Safiyyah’s war and though I might make some changes, Safiyyah’s incredible bravery has inspired me and I would recommend it to other readers.

Emily

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This book is about a young girl whose life is upended by the brutal realities of war. Being set in World War II, this historical story captures the harrowing conditions of those living under Nazi rule. It was really engrossing to learn that the Grand Mosque of Paris offered to help and shelter the Jews. Safiyyah's bravery and determination throughout the book filled me with a lot of hope and courage. I definitely recommend this book to someone who wants a book that will keep them on the edge of their seats, especially because Safiyyah's war is based on real-life events.

Hanifat

LC Best Books

I found Saffiyah's war interesting as it shows an angle of the war that I didn't really know much about. As well as this, I think that this book is really well written- I would definitely recommend it to anyone in year 6-7, though I found it a bit young for me personally.

Eleanor

Pride and Paperbacks

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

This novel is quite compelling and includes themes of community, resilience and justice. Set in France during WW2, the protagonist Safiyyah is living in a Nazi-dominated area. The author’s portrayal of the gruesome and difficult living conditions of the people is reflected in her in-depth knowledge on the topic, educating the audience as we go. Safiyyah’s journey is an inspiration to us as she overcomes overwhelming adversities. I love her character as it’s a blend of vulnerability but also unwavering determination making me relate to her. Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure and a page-turner!

Mercy

LC Best Books

Safiyyah’s war was such a heart warming story as she saves the lives of many Jewish family with the help of her friends and family as well as rescuing a of couple animals she found. Definitely recommend!

Ava

Fortismere

I really liked this book because of how it conveyed and used the powerful message of Nazi Germany but still with a light and sometimes humorous tone. I liked how this book and the way that the author wrote this book makes you feel entrapped in Saffiya's world and makes you feel her story. This was a book that I really enjoyed

Mattia

Fortismere

Safiyyah’s War transports readers to Nazi-occupied France during World War II through vivid and immersive descriptions of the city where Safiyyah lives. The author’s writing brings the setting alive, painting a picture of bustling marketplaces, narrow cobblestone streets, and the ever-present tension of wartime occupation. For example, Khan describes Safiyyah navigating through the crowded marketplace, where vendors call out their wares and the aroma of freshly baked bread mingles with the scent of fear as Nazi soldiers patrol nearby. This setting of everyday life with the harsh realities of war sets the stage for Safiyyah’s brave journey. At the heart of the novel is Safiyyah herself, a young Muslim girl .Her character is portrayed as she navigates the moral dilemmas of wartime, from sheltering Jewish families to participating in underground resistance activities. Each decision Safiyyah makes is fraught with risk, showcasing her bravery and unstoppable determination to protect her loved ones and fight whatever it takes. I I think that One of the most touching moments in the book must be when Safiyyah talks with her grandmother and her grandmother shares stories about their family and teaches Safiyyah about courage and resilience. These moments deepen the emotional impact of Safiyyah’s journey. Her grandmother gently tells her, "Strength comes from facing fear with grace and dignity."I think that is quite inspiring In "Safiyyah’s War," Khan weaves together historical events with personal stories, showing how individuals like Safiyyah navigate the challenges of World War II. For example, when Safiyyah risks her safety to hide a Jewish family from the Nazis, it illustrates themes of resistance and sacrifice. These moments not only show less known aspects of history but also prompt readers to reflect on universal values of justice and compassion

Julia

Roaring Readers

Julia

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

I liked this book. I found that its point of view- considering many historical fiction are set in WW2- reading about the Nazi occupation from a young Muslim girl’s point of view made the book stand out to me. I also enjoyed the relationships displayed throughout the story, notably between Safiyyah and her family. Despite not being captivated by the book, I would definitely recommend this book to younger readers since the style of writing may be a little to simplistic for older and more experienced readers.

Olivia (HG)

4Shadowers

'Safiyyah's War' is hands down one of the best books I've ever read!!! Set in Paris during Word War 2, it follows the breathtaking and emotional story of Safiyyah who lives in the Grand Mosque of Paris. I fell in love with Hiba Noor Khan's descriptions from the first page. During the Easter holidays, I actually got a chance to travel to Paris and visit the mosque. It was exactly as I imagined with the prayer hall and the fountains Setti and Safiyyah sit on in the garden. The story of Safiyyah and her family's struggles through the war and their part in saving Jews from the Nazis has inspired me to be braver just like Safiyyah. This book made me gasp, laugh and cry with its relatable characters and exciting plot line. I loved everything about it! The character development of Safiyyah made me connect with her so deeply that it felt like she was one of my closest friends. The only bad thing about 'Safiyyah's War' is that it ended to soon!! I didn't want it to end! Thank you, thank you, thank you Hiba Noor Khan for this incredible story you've written and shared!!!

Julia

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

Safiyyah’s War is a story based on real events. As war struck in Paris and the Nazis start taking over Safiyyah tries to lead the Jews to safety to prevent the Nazis from hurting them. This book showed him how hard life was for the Jews and their families just because of their faith, as it must’ve been traumatising to see that happen at such a young age. I really liked how strong Safiyyah is to risk her life for others who are in a life-or-death situation. I would recommend this book to those 11 plus as it discusses antisemitism, and I would rate this book an 8/10.

Esi

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This is my favourite book of the ones I have read do far. It combines hope, love, sadness and courage all into one in the most beautiful way and teaches us about an often overlooked period in our history. I absolutely would recommend to anyone. I adored it!

Emily

Lionheart24

Personally I find WW2 fascinating because of how many stories are made because of it. So I think Safiyyah’s war was a great book for me. It was really emotional at some points but overall I give it a 8.5/10.

Will

Horsham BOok HUNTers

"Safiyyah's War" by Hiba Noor Khan is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that takes readers on a journey of love, loss, and self-discovery. Set in a war-torn country, the story follows the life of Safiyyah as she navigates through the challenges of living in a conflict zone and finding her place in the world. With beautifully crafted characters and a compelling plot, Khan's writing effortlessly transports readers into the heart of the story. I found this book interesting as this war story was not written from a European pov.

Jesse

Horsham BOok HUNTers

This book is exceptional! Although it deals with hard topics such as war, Khan wrote it with fluency and care making it extremely readable! I would absolutely recommend this book to people who are going through hard times and need to relate to something!

Olivia

LC Best Books

I loved this book and how the reality was converted into fiction in a brilliant way. I loved the character of Setti and her juicy oranges obsession and of course her wonderful stories, which kind of relates to me. I loved the boldness and bravery of Saffiyah herself. I would love there to be a sequel to this story, since there is still so much going on. I also liked the concept of the Mosque helping the Jews out of pure kindness and I am glad that this story, based on a true story, was published. I love the fact that the community in this story were all so warm, inviting and supportive of each other and the refugees too. Overall, I would rate this book a 9/10.

Tanvi

Perse Carnegians

I tend to avoid children’s books about World War II Europe, mainly because they are all very similar and rather dull. However, Hiba Noor Khan’s Safiyyah’s War is different. Its vibrant narrative, coupled with unmatched lyricism, tells the story of a small but important part of history most have forgotten or ignored— the role mosques have played in saving countless Jews in Paris in WWII. At the centre of this book is a twelve-year-old girl named Safiyyah. Armed with a hijab and forged papers to to protect Jews from prosecution, she set off on a journey across Paris, and in the process, on a journey of self discovery and purpose. The title is very fitting; Safiyyah’s war was written to show the war from her perspective. The writer also gives us a sense of how Safiyyah was forced to mature in such a short time. What impressed me the most was her ability to love unconditionally and her unwavering dedication and determination to help others, despite always knowing that danger was just around the corner. Safiyyah’s War is a book I would recommend to people of any age. Definitely one of the best books I have read this year. The only thing I wish for is to read this book for the very first time again, it’s simply magical.

Yan

LC Best Books

This book is very inspiring for people who like adventure and ‘tense sitting upright in your chair’ books. When her Dad starts acting weird and he keeps on locking a certain room, Safiyya feels like he is keeping a BIG secret from her. The novel describes how Safiyya’s country is under threat from other countries, and she realises that she must do something to stop it. When she is told by her best friend that she will be moving to a different country because of the danger, Safiyya feels like her whole life has fallen apart. I liked this book because it was adventurous and interesting. I think someone would enjoy this book if they like mystery and adventure scenes. It is also sad in some places but only mildly.

Laura

LC Best Books

War has come to the streets of Paris. Safiyyah has an impossible task. But with Nazi eyes watching from every corner, will she be able to complete it? I really enjoyed reading Safiyyah’s war, because it showed me a different perspective of World War 2. I found it very eye-opening seeing it from a Muslim’s perspective, as I never thought a mosque would be involved in resistance work. Throughout the book, I felt sympathy for Safiyyah and especially Hana, when things didn’t go their way. I would definitely recommend Safiyyah’s war to people who enjoy war stories. Overall, I would give it a 10/10.

Maria

Larkmead

Safiyyah's war is a really good book and I definitely enjoyed it. It really demonstrated what life was like for her family and the hardship they went through during the war. I also like how it was a child telling the story because that makes the whole book more emotional. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it.

Blessing

TTS Readers

Based on a true story, Saffiyah's War describes how the Grand Mosque of Paris saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War II. It’s a fresh perspective on the well-known cruel history of Nazi occupation and collaboration by Vichy France. Safiyyah, a young girl whose name means “pure” in Arabic, is certainly pure in outlook – perhaps almost naïve at the outset. However, her transition from innocence to experience is uplifting and exciting. When her father is arrested by the Nazis for serving in the resistance network, she moves from loving books and reading history to actually making history. Through her moral and physical courage, she contributes to the saving many lives. Although I appreciated the historical accuracy, I thought the book was a bit basic for me. I would recommend it for 8-10 year olds who haven't read much historical fiction before. In conclusion, Safiyyah's War is an exciting, suspenseful, and vivid book. It has strong cinematic qualities, suggesting to me that it was written partly with a view to being made into a film. I would rate it a 3.5/5

Benjamin

Perse Carnegians

I liked this story and found that it was nice that it talked about life in Paris during WW2 instead of England.

William

The John Mason Shadowers

Based during World War 2, Safiyyah's War is a story full of bravery, friendship, hardship, and the terrible history of the Nazis invading Paris during the war. This book was incredibly inspiring and was hooking, since the author did an amazing job of depicting the events that occurred, including a haul of emotions which came along the way. This book was truly powerful and moving, since it showed the persecution of the Jews and how the Grand Mosque of Paris saved many lives during that period. It really emphasises the bravery needed for this, and the lives that were impacted. Overall, this book was a wonderful read, and I would definitely recommend it to others looking for an inspirational book.

Seungah

Perse Carnegians

I found this book to be pretty good. There was an accurate representation of Islam and conveys emotions well. However I found the pacing to be not the best, as it took over half of the book to actually start the part where her father is arrested. Also the blurb is a bit misleading as I had the impression that her father would be taken away but instead he was only temporarily away. Overall a good book.

Yusuf K

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah’s War is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. When I first saw this I thought this book is going to be historical and personally I don't like historical books but every one said this book was amazing so I gave it a try. After reading this book i was amazed because it explains the clash between the Nazis and the Jews and opens up a paradox between the Palestinians and Israelis. This was a great way to make it interesting by including the Palestinian war that is happening right now. I would give this book a 10 out of 10

kowshik

TCOLC Perfictionists

This book showed me the hardship and sadness of what families of soldiers must go through. Jews as well being persecuted is awful and I just cannot imagine going through what this family went through to help everyone. Everyone was just trying to survive. Seeing the war through the eyes of a child helped me to understand what it would be like for us having friends’ parents taken away maybe your own and having relatives or friends killed in tragic ways in the war or knowing they are being tortured by the Nazis. It must be such a horrible experience.

Sophie

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah's war is an amazing book about people who helped Jews escape the Nazis. It is very emotional and I would read it again and it shows how it is not just soldiers fighting the wars

Max

St Kaths

Inspired by the true story of how the Grand Mosque of Paris saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War II, Safiyyah's War is a breathtaking tale of suspense, compassion, and courage, starring a young heroine readers will love. It is a part of WW2 I didn't know much about before reading the book, but afterwards I had a better idea of what happened when Germany invaded France and how it impacted the people living there. I also loved the character development, both of the main character and her family and friends, as it meant you were more engaged as the reader. The only thing I disliked about the book was the pace in the first half - I found that sometimes it could get a bit boring , especially as the writing was very simplistic. However, it picked up in the second half with the plot twists. Overall though I really enjoyed this book and would recommend, 4.6/5

Athena

St. George’s Dragon Readers

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only did I find it immersive and exciting, but it was totally different to other war time books that I've read. We learn so much about London during World War 2, but to have the book take place in Paris gave me a new and interesting insight as to what it was like to live in a country actually invaded during that time. I felt this book really captured the growing tension in the city, as soldiers start to appear on the streets. Furthermore, I felt the characters were all individual and well-developed in their own ways. The author managed to create a realistic and lovable family as well as side-characters worth becoming invested in. Overall, I felt that this was an extremely worthwhile read. The plot was well-paced and I found it altogether captivating and eye-opening. I would definitely recommend (though perhaps for a younger age group than myself)!

Pippa

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan is a book about the city of Paris being controlled by Germany in the Second World War and is based on how the Great Mosque of Paris helped Jews who were living in France during Nazi rule. The book is about Safiyyah and how she develops her knowledge and skills over time. Due to this I think that the book is well written, has good characters and has a good development of the characters. Overall, whilst I did not find myself engrossed in the book, I would still recommend it.

Elliot

Open Book

I really liked the book “Safiyyah’s War”. I found it really interesting to read as the story takes place during the second World War and features many inspiring characters. The book is written by Safiyyah’s point of view, a young muslim girl who lives in Paris . Safiyyah’s life is deeply impacted by the arrival of the Nazi and their violence towards Jews. However, soon Safiyyah discovers her fathers secret and suddenly she plays an important role in the Jews survival…

Elise PMC

4Shadowers

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan follows the story of a muslim girl called Safiyyah in the second world war. She lives in a mosque in Paris with her family, and she experiences terrible things happening to her family and friends as a result of the war. When she finds out that her father is secretly helping Jews escape Paris, she helps him deliver secret messages and help. I loved this book, because I loved all of the characters (apart from the antagonists of course) and I really felt their emotions with them at every turn. I was excited to read this book because it had been recommended to me by so many other people, and it really did not disappoint. It was not only emotional but also exciting. Safiyyah is awesome, and a lot braver than I think I would be if I were her. I would highly recommend this book! (Be prepared to feel sad though)

Sophie

Euro Bookworms

Saffiyah's war is a dramatic, yet heartwarming story about doing the right thing, no matter what. I think it also portrays the Muslim culture well, as well as helping me understand what life really might have been like in WW2

Ziva-Gabrielle

TPS Carnegie Collective

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to many readers around. This story was truly moving and an absolute joy to read. It is about the story of a Muslim girl whose father helps to run the Paris mosque during WWII. This was an interesting perspective to see the war from, because it is usually from a Jewish or Christian point of view. I would highly recommend this book to many readers around who are looking for historical fiction and a bit of thrill!

Theo

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Saffiyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan is a truly uplifting and beautiful book written from the perspective of a young Muslim girl living in Paris in World War 2. Saffiyah, an adventurous, determined and caring child, begins to feel the impact of the war when her best friend moves away. From then on, things get more serious with curfews and Nazi soldiers raiding the mosque and Saffiyah’s home. During the book, there are lots of links to the Resistance, all tying together when a big responsibility falls on Saffiyah’s shoulders. With her closest friends desperate for safety, Saffiyah has to gather the courage to navigate the dangerous underground tunnels with no map but her mind. I really enjoyed this book as it was very eye-opening to see this catastrophic event from a different perspective – not only in age but also religion. It’s evocatively written, giving the reader a detailed insight to life at that time and a very strong connection to each character. I found myself entranced in this book and would recommend it to anyone over the age of 10 because it contains themes of antisemitism and warfare. I believe this is a book that everyone should experience as it puts a different spin on the life changing event from not too long ago and I’ve come away from reading it feeling both moved and educated.

Bethan

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Saffiyah's war was an incredible book! It was a really interesting read and it is definitely now one of my favourites! The story is about Saffiyah, who lives in a mosque in Paris during the second world war. This story was really heart-warming and touching and really makes you appreciate how much different our world is today compared to then! It made me feel very sad, such as when her grandmother dies, scared, when they nearly got caught by the Nazi soldiers several times, but also really happy! I would definitely recommend, 10/10 from me!

Francesca

Orpington Library Younger Teens Group

This heart-warmingly, beautiful read is a story of bravery, hope and truth. This has got to be one of my favourite books on the Carnegie shortlist. Safiyyah’s War has an incredible storyline and is an utterly superb book. All characters in this book are well described which makes them unforgettable. This is a must read for everyone. This book also teaches you the history of WW2 and overcoming what it was like to be a Jew at this time in history.

Lily

Larkmead

Lucy

St Mary’s RC High

The book Saffiyah's war was very informative and emotional to read. It's very important to learn about different cultures for younger children, as they can be overlooked. For example, I have learned about the Jews and Nazis in World War 2, but never the experience of people from other backgrounds. I had never heard of the Great Mosque before, even though it had an essential part in WW2 history. This book is great as it shows representation and respect between people from different religions and ethnic background. I have taken away a lot from it. I'd recommend it for ages 10+.

Tess

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah's War does a very good job of displaying the actions carried out by the Nazis during WW2. I also really enjoy Safiyyah's character, and how she remains bold during the book. Even though her father was arrested, and she was left alone to carry out her tasks, she executes them all well. From time to time, I would feel a little bored reading Saffiyah’s war, so it is perhaps not the most engaging read, but I'd still recommend Safiyyah's War to children of all ages, specifically 8 to 13 year olds. I finished this book in 8 hours total.

Zoe

Perse Carnegians

I really enjoyed this book - it gave an insight on to what the experience in WW2 was really like. The plot was different than most books, especially since it featured a child that came from a muslim background. The book is full of emotions as we follow Saffiyah as the war progresses. I also found the book really informative as I never thought about mosques in WW2 and their place in the war.

Summer

St Angela’s Reading Angels

I found safiyyahs war very interesting. I enjoyed how Hiba Noor Khan wrote the book in safiyyahs perspective. Safiyyahs lives with her little sister and takes on a motherly role and as the book goes on, she goes through a lot of challenges. When I first saw this book it didn’t really catch my eye and I didn’t think I would find it any interesting but as I started to get into the story I realized that I need to try new things because it was an amazing book. Personally I think ww2 is one of my favorite topics to learn in history and that made the book an even better read. I would definitely recommend this book.

Tiarnan

TTS Readers

SAFIYYAH'S WAR Safiyyah's war is an amazing book based on the life in WW2 when the streets of Paris are under attack from the Nazi Germans. the one plot is Safiyyah's family helping and smuggling Jews plus giving Jews fake identity to keep them safe from the German soldiers. In this book so many thing latched onto me and caught my attention, this is my favourite one: page 48 line 5-6, "The Germans were now racing across northern France, with a trail of destruction in their wake." this book is spoken in the 1st and 3rd person. I would highly recommend this book to any loving reader or a WW2 fan. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!!!!

Arthur

Bookwizards

This is a story about unexpected bravery in the face of a powerful enemy in occupied France during World War Two. Safiyyah is a muslim girl, daughter of a religious elder, and the unlikely saviour of an incredible number of Jewish refugees and victims of Nazi atrocities. Living in the safe environment of the Paris Mosque, Safiyyah, her family and some friends are protected from the terrors of the Nazi war machine which operates in the streets in the city. But this security is challenged when her father joins the Resistance in the fight against the horrors of the Holocaust. Everyone in the Mosque could be arrested at any moment! When Nazi soldiers come to inspect the Mosque one day, it falls to Saffiyah to lead the hundreds of frightened Jews to safety through the catacombs under France’s capital city. A life-threatening, heart-stopping journey. The story is one of continuous excitement, fear never truly leaves the characters. A poignant moment in the story was a dream of Safiyyah’s, where she imagined a map of Europe in which the borders of Germany were continually spreading across the parchment like ink seeping through blotting paper. The book concludes with a thoughtful epilogue. Ten years later Safiyyah has set sail to where two of her Jewish wartime friends are now living. Safiyyah reflects on the events of the book as they are about to be reunited. This is a great adventure which would appeal to all those who like historical fiction and thrilling stories all in one.

Gabriel

Euro Bookworms

Saffiyah’s War was my favourite book out of all the Carnegie books. The book was addictive and had you hooked the first moment your eyes set onto the page. A must-read and definitely a great book. The topics were quite sensitive but the book magically forged history and fiction together between the pages. Very good book! I love it!

Joyce

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

'Safiyyah’s War' was a brilliant book showing the perspective of the Muslims during World War II and not only did I find it a thrill to read but it gave me a different view on a subject I had learnt in the past. Wrapping a detailed familiar historical event into a simple but effective story is just amazing. I would rate this book a 8/10.

Margarida

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Safiyyah’s War is a stunning middle-grade book that weaves suspense, compassion, and courage into a breathtaking tale. Inspired by the true story of how the Grand Mosque of Paris saved hundreds of Jews during World War II, the novel stars an extraordinary young heroine named Safiyyah. Set against the brutal Nazi occupation of Paris, Safiyyah’s Muslim identity keeps her safer than her Jewish neighbours. As she unravels the mystery of her father’s odd behavior, she becomes deeply involved in the perilous underground resistance against the Nazis. The book beautifully captures the trauma, hope, and resilience of its characters, making it a must-read for both children and adults. The writing serves as a timely reminder of religious tolerance and courage. Overall, Safiyyah’s War is a powerful and educational historical fiction that leaves a lasting impact. Recommend to children age 11+

Zoe

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Saffiyahs war is a very emotional book that’s is based in ww2 in Paris after being occupied by the nazis. It follows a young Muslim girl and her struggles of living in the war and how she handles it. It’s inspired by a true story about how the grand mosque of Paris saved the lives of hundred of Jews. This is a very well written book that’s both gripping and moving, Hiba Noor khan brings the story to life through her writing and tells the story of less familiar parts of occupied Paris. The plot is full of suspense making you want to keep on reading it. Saffiyah is a courages young girl who manages to deal with many struggles and reminds us that everyone can make a difference. She’s a easy likeable character who’s kind-hearted and manges to keep you motivated throughout the book. It can be quite a sad book at times talking about losing loved ones and having to deal with it. The story has a strong adventure which it follows that shows the the big events in history effected young children

Tatjana KEG

Sidcot Shadowers

Hope

SMM Bibliophiles

Really well written but quite sad

Ellie

GreatB00ks

Safiyyah’s War is about a young girl, named, obviously, Safiyyah, who lives in France in 1940 during World War Two. After her best friend leaves France, seeking sanctuary from the Nazis in England, Safiyyah is left alone. Moreover, her father is acting strangely aloof. Caught in the middle of a war-torn country, Safiyyah must learn the value of courage in the face of adversity. Reading Safiyyah’s War was enjoyable to read and was a wonderful book, it conveyed a beautiful message of being brave and doing the right thing. The writing style was detailed and perfectly paced. Five out of five stars

Emily

Wadham Warriors

This book is incredible. I absolutely loved it. It was very moving but also inspiring, demonstrating determination and courage in the darkest moments. Overall, I give this story 5 stars because of how beautifully written it is. This book is about war and how the people of France come together to unite and fight back the Germans. Its such an amazing book and I 100% reccommend it.

Miya

Plumites

I enjoyed this book as it was from a different perspective from people who struggled from WW2 which were not Jews etc, it was a Muslim.The book was written amazingly and teaches us about morals, teachings and what we should be grateful for in this life.

Ryan

Ermysted’s

I really loved this book and following the story. I really felt like I could connect with the characters. I found the book to invoke emotion in me as it was quite a gripping story. Great overall!

Amber

Fortismere

This book was really good as it managed to explore a sensitive subject and dive deeper in to the war. I really enjoyed the plot and the fact that she was so determined to help. the overall plot was great and I enjoyed how the characters grew and changed throughout. The book was well written and had a great plot that made me want to read more. It was very factual at times but had a lightness to it as well. the book was a really great read and I would definitely recommend it to people and not to mention the characters feel real and you get to know them well. It’s like greeting old friends not reading a book at some points and the friendships are defiantly accurate especially that of the best friends, this made the book touch you on a different level. On a more serious note you can tell the author did their research as they are accurate and factual throughout and this definitely helps to bring the story to life and full the imagination. The accuracy is definitely important and it means that your never mislead this book was fantastic and I would read it again.

Cecilia

St Augustine’s Challenge

I loved this book, I thought it was absolutely beautiful watching Safiyyah grow and mature in a world that no one should have to endure, least of all a kid. I liked how Hiba Noor Khan showed the reader how you can still love someone even when there are far away, and how missing someone hurts so much and is a long process. I especially like the quote “The darkest part of every night is just before the sun rises. The bleakest point in winter is just before we turn into spring” as I feel like that is such an important and powerful message.

Jenny

Perse Carnegians

For starters, gorgeous cover. I think it's greatly done already giving you an idea about what to expect. I really loved the fact the story is set around real life events without changing too much of the actual history and clearly researched. The book itself was also great but I just couldn't get sucked in (most likely because I prefer books intended for an older audience). I thought it was written for children who are slightly younger -- perhaps 9-12. Overall the story itself and writing is fantastic and I would recommend it to my younger friends.

Levi

St Augustine’s Challenge

I believe this should win because it is such a good book but it also includes an event from the past. I really like how there is a girl who wears a hijab in this book and also how the fact the mosque helped the Jewish community as muslims are always known that we are 'terrorists' but we do help people.

khadija

TCOLC Perfictionists

This book made me feel a thousand if not a million emotions in each second. The main character was a brave and courageous little girl it made me feel upset after reading everything awful she had heard or seen or went through. This book was lovely.

Salma

Bellerive Bookies and Cookies

Safiyyah’s war was a very good book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book Safiyyah’s war and there were no points where it was difficult to read, it was fast paced but contained a very good plot within that. I thought Safiyyah had very good character development through the book and I like how her rebellious streak ends up being what saves the day in the end. There are very good themes of family and it presents a very fascinating facet of World War II history that I had little knowledge of previously but led me to do more research into.

Amelie

Perse Carnegians

Timothee is mischievous and is a positive character. Safiyyah is presented as a nurturing and friendly character, not to mention very brave. After reading the book , i deeply admire the efforts and courage of people during any war.

Gabriella

ST PAULS STARS

Safiyyah is brave , adventurous and caring. She is a young hero and helped save lives. A book about bravery and loving each other as family.

Yusuf

ST PAULS STARS

Inaayah

Beauchamp Champs 2024

One of the strengths of the novel is its ability to balance action and drama with emotional depth. Khan skilfully explores the themes of war, and displacement, while also diving into the complexities of family dynamics and cultural identity. The supporting characters in the novel are equally well-developed, with Safiyyah's family members and friends being particularly memorable. The relationships between these characters are complex and multifaceted, adding depth and richness to the narrative. If there is one area where the novel falls short, it is in its pacing. At times, the narrative can feel a bit slow, particularly in the first half of the book. However, this is largely compensated for by the engaging characters and plot twists that emerge later in the story. Overall, "Safiyyah's War" is a powerful and thought-provoking novel and is worth the read. Who would enjoy this? People who like historical fiction, with themes of friendship and second world war. Also anyone who is looking for a good book to read.

Daisy

SCC Prolific Bookers

In my opinion, this book was amazing. I really enjoyed the contrast between the orange-scented, safe and gentle world of the mosque with the terrible streets of Paris under Nazi control. I also enjoyed the heroism of Saffiyah and the people at the mosque as they fought to save the Jews (and other oppressed people) from the clutches of the Nazis. Overall, this was a great book and I really enjoyed the time I spent reading it.

Joe

Kingdown 24

I will say that I did not particularly enjoy this book, especially the storyline. I felt that it made it quite a hard book to read. However, I felt that the concept of the book was great, as many stories set in this period revolve around soldiers. Overall, I probably would not read this again.

Tyler

Kingdown 24

Safiyyah's character is my favourite as she is just a young girl and managed to be a Hero. She helped save so many lives. The book deals with a lot of issues that are currently happening in the world.

Fatima

ST PAULS STARS

'Safiyyah's War' was such a good book because it showed the kindness of some of the people to the Jews during WW2. Even though they knew they would be severely punished and arrested, they still continued to help people in need. I loved Safiyyah because she was such a kind and brave character. Throughout the book, she displayed heroism, by helping the people to safety and insisting that she help even though she was in great danger if she did. She was also an extremely smart character. She figured out most of what her father was doing and also memorised the way through the catacombs. She was extremely heroic throughout the story and wasn’t afraid of anything. She even stole from the soldiers so she could comfort her friend and help him. In addition, I thought it was heart-breaking that his life work was destroyed. Overall, I though the book was a brave and heroic tale.

Aisling

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Amelia

The John Mason Shadowers

I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected and I especially enjoyed it due to the fact that it is based on real life situations. I really loved the description which really helped me envision what was happening. As someone who really enjoys history and loves reading books that are written based on historical events that take place around different parts of the world, this book is a must read!

Maimuna

Plashet School

A very interesting book about the lengths taken to preserve the life of others while risking the life of ones self.

James

HAYES BOOKSTOPS

Truthfully I didn’t like this book, though the language was great and felt breathless when satiyyah steals from natzis this book it didn’t excite me at all. However I do believe it is a good book. Saffiyah finds herself in the middle of Germany's takeover in Paris. She has to find the courage to do things because they are right not easy, but her dad has got a secret that gets him arrested. I recommend this book for 10-14 year olds it's heartfelt but may upset people with the dangerous events mentioned in the book.

Elli

Blake Student Shadowers

Safiyyah lives with her family inside a mosque and in Paris. Her world changes over time as the war intensifies. Her best friend Isabelle leaves yet, even though she was heartbroken, she still has to continue and help others as was the way of her family. Because of the Nazi fears of a Muslim uprising in North Africa, the Muslims of Paris continue to live in comparative safety, but Safiyyah and her father both feel compelled to help those in greater need, particularly the Jews who are facing growing persecution. Safiyyah’s desire to become involved in his mysterious night-time activities is resisted at first, but does her continuous pestering change her father’s mind? I really enjoyed reading this book as it had a series of different emotions combined like an emotional rollercoaster. The bravery of the characters was really moving, and I really think we could learn a lot from this kind of book.

Luella

SHSK Shadowers

Safiyyah's War is an inspirational masterpiece! Filled with vivid descriptions and realistic characters fighting for the freedom of humanity against the Nazi's, plaguing the earth and committing mass genocide against the Jewish population across the world. Safiyyah must find a way to contribute, to safe her home, to save so many of her friends and thousands of other Jews from a horrible and torturous end on the doorstep of Paris. Hiba Noor Khan is a genius!

Taira

Chiswick Carnegie

The book was quite thrilling and it was based on a girl called Safiyyah who experienced many things and how extraordinary she was. Safiyyah is unsure on what to do as everyone she knows was now gone and the bombing made her afraid to leave the mosque and the place she lives. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books with adventures and mysteries.

Sahar

Royal Readers and Where To Find Them?

A fantastic novel filled with breath taking sentences a book filled with mysteries. I like how it is about a real life topic and is a story about freedom, family and unity.......love it .

His Royal historian Muhammad

Royal Readers and Where To Find Them?

Its a magnificent novel and I love it but sometimes it is hard to read it in big chunks. But overall good because it relates to us as it is in the same age group as us.

the city of lies

Royal Readers and Where To Find Them?

A lovely story of the unseen heroes of world war two. I absolutely loved this book it is one of the best I've read.

Lily

Christ’s Book Society

At first I was very excited to read this book, however once I got into I started to like it less. It was a little interesting at first but I feel like the plot is a bit slow and there is not much about that really makes me want to pick it up. I would probably not read this book again.

Sydney

Portland Readers

I really loved Safiyyah's war and thought that it was an amazing book. I thought that the wide range of friends that Safiyyah has is really heartwarming, from old Monsieur Cassin to Isobel. The fact that Safiyyah also had little treasures to pair with her friends and family was really sweet: Paper butterflies for Monsieur Cassin, pressed flowers for Isobel and oranges for Setti. It was nice to see the war from a different perspective as well, it's not everyday that you hear about the war from a Muslim girl's perspective. It did seem like a book for younger children though. It is a heartwarming book but the style of writing seems to be for younger children, unlike the other books which are definitely made for an older audience. I also think that the title seems a bit misleading. It suggests that Safiyyah is fighting a huge mental battle throughout the book, when there are people who have it much worse; Safiyyah got extremely lucky. Overall, I think that this is an amazing book, heartwarming, good-natured and unique. I would definitely reccomend.

Nikita

SHSK Shadowers

Spellbinding captivating special Safiyas war suprised me with each page living in Paris at the start of the holicurst she helps her friend escape from the Germans as they invade France using the mosque her home as a safe haven

Jess

CTA Book Club

This was an astonishingly well paced book as it was easy to read fluently and really painted a picture in your mind. The descriptive language was impeccable. I also love that its set in WW2 because it adds some more flavour to the book. I like the plot of the story so far and I hope for a plot twist at some point during the book e.g. it was all a dream, or the war was a distraction for something bigger. id also like to draw attention to the cover of the book as the hues of blue in the sky and the buildings in the backround mainly because it draws me to the book. Each sentence I read keeps me wanting more and I find it very hard to put down.

zuriel

Rad readers

This book was very interesting and enjoyable. It was a simple book and i'd recommend it for ages 10-14 . Also I really liked the information included in the book and it showing real life situations e.g ( the war). I really liked the cover of the book but I feel like you could make it stand out more and look better for more purchases. I think more books should be made like this and showing more real life situations as people could relate and enjoy it more.

anisha

Rad readers

I really liked this book! I loved that through the vivid description, I could really imagine Safiyyah's adventures in Paris. I though the setting was really interesting as there are many books about WW2 but this one still felt original and interesting. The characters were super interesting and overall really enjoyed this book!

Eva

Rad readers

I like the plot of the story as it is a unique story of a different point of view from the usual ones. Also, there is a lot to read and discover throughout the story. This book is about a young, brave and a bit mischievous Muslim girl living in Paris, France, where they are under attack by the Nazis. The author is called Hiba Noor Khan, and it was published in 2023.

Reuben

Rad readers

The writing is very good and describes the places very well. You do not see very many books set in ww2 france other than ones that are set in dunkirk. It is interesting to see it from the point of view of a child and a Muslim. Overall the book is very good and I enjoyed it. :)

Rowan

Rad readers

Personally, I thought Saffiyah's War was a really good read. I enjoyed Saffiyah and her family as characters, as Saffiyah really reminded me of Matilda, in that she loved going to the library. Also, my favourite character in the book was Saffiyah's grandma Setti. This is because she loved oranges, and I found it funny and peculiar how she would stash them anywhere - even the case for her gas mask! Speaking of gas masks, I loved that it was set in World War II, as I get drawn automatically to stories set in the past, and I really like World War II as something I learn at school.

Winnie

Rad readers

Safiyyah's war is a great thrill of a story, I like the way Hiba Noor Khan wrote it so well that I couldn't wait for the next time to read it. It is honestly amazing and hope it wins! She helps me find my sense of adventure and creates an image in my head of the possibility of going on one. This last part is for Hiba Noor Khan, "Thank you for making this book, may it last forever. Assalamu alaikum" Thanks for reading my review. -Tyria

Tyria

Rad readers

I loved that it was from a child's perspective and that it was set in France as many WW2 books that are set in this country. Also I was a big fan of the imagery like when they described the streets. Over all i would give this book a solid 4 stars

Evie

Rad readers

This was one of my favourite books ever. Safiyyah is so relatable as a "good child" who often steps out of line. Seeing the imminent threat of danger through the eyes of a child is, well, eye-opening as I was not alive during this time period, nor have I ever been to France/ Paris. I think my favourite scene has to be when Safiyyah and Timothee with the animals. It has scary scenes, happy scenes and everything in between. All round, an enjoyable novel for all.

Elly

Rad readers

This book was well-paced, captivating, and clearly written. It is set in France, and shows characters both agreeing and disagreeing with the war. The characters' personalities and relationships are communicated well, and the settings are quite easy to imagine. Overall, I think it is an intriguing story with a good plot and characters.

Lina

Rad readers

Saffiyah's war was a great book. I enjoyed the fact that it's set in world war 2 time and the front cover was well illustrated. It describes the movements and creates a picture in my mind of the emotions the character is feeling. As well as that, it describes the locations well and helps create an image. I hope this book wins!

Kaitlin

Rad readers

This book wasn't my go to genre. I found it quite boring. It didn't get me interested so I didn't want to finish it. I think that it was a good concept of book and it was a good idea but it is not my kind of book.

Tayla

Rad readers

I loved the depiction of WWII and how the suffering of the Jews touched my heart. This is a powerful book about the importance of equality and how everyone should help each other no matter what, especially in times of trouble.

Nazeeha

The Dorothy Davies

I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did in the end. You can't dismiss the power that comes with knowing it is all based on true events, and I love the information at the back of the book giving you some of the details. It's a brilliant opportunity to read something from such a different perspective to normal World War II tales, or even those set during the Nazi occupation of France. However, it's not only a great historical read. As a story, it works in its own right, with plenty of mystery, bravery and tension. It's super-readable yet has some lovely prose throughout, and is full of emotion!

Miss K

BUCS Library Book Club

this book shows that because of your religion some people won't like that your not the same religion as them and because of this they run but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

Izabela

RET 2024

i like that its religion like so running away hiding feeling it make me think that that could of already happend in the past

zuzanna

RET 2024

The book is about a young girl and here family's struggle during WW2. Despite Saffiyah's young age, she tries to do the right things and even puts her safety at risk for others. The book teaches us to do what is right despite the consequences.

Lisa

St Bernards

In "Safiyyah's War," Hiba Noor Khan weaves a poignant tale of courage and resilience set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Paris. The novel follows young Safiyyah, who resides in the Grand Mosque of Paris with her family. As the war ravages the city, Safiyyah's life is upended when her father is arrested for his Resistance activities. Thrust into a world of peril, she must navigate the treacherous catacombs beneath Paris to lead Jews to safety. Khan's narrative is a testament to the power of unity and the strength found in diversity. The mosque becomes a beacon of hope, sheltering those persecuted, regardless of their faith. Safiyyah's character embodies the spirit of youth—brave, curious, and determined. Her journey from a carefree explorer of the city to a key player in the Resistance highlights the impact one individual can have in times of crisis."Safiyyah's War" is not just historical fiction; it's a reminder of the forgotten heroes and the enduring human spirit. Khan delivers a story that is both educational and inspiring, making it a must-read for all ages.

Reina

Perse Carnegians

This book was really different to other books I've read about WW2. It was a really original idea and it was cool learning about Paris and the Great Mosque. I found it quite hard to pick up and read at the beginning but it got better. I really fell in love with all the characters and could relate to, Safiyyah especially, them. The "10 Years Later", I thought could have been a bit more descriptive and you sort of had to infer what was going on but overall it was very good.

Rose

Tenbury Page Turners

This book is a great mixture of adventure and friendship. Some parts had me crying, some worried, and some smiling. I would vote this an 8.5/10

Alice

Sale High Readers

This is a really extraordinary and fantastic book because it teaches you to be courageous and brave like Safiyyah. And it brought me through a lot of emotions such as happiness, being overwhelmed and made me feel like I was holding my heart in my hands. I was utterly astonished and amazed by the air of mystery some sentences gave me.

Juvanita

The John Mason Shadowers

I really enjoyed this book, definitely one of my favourites. In this book, I really liked how the author showed us the massive effect World War II had on young people as well as older people, and how all cultures and religions worked together to help get the Jews to safety from the Nazis. I especially admired how Safiyyah risked her life to help save some of her friends and get them to safety, I found this feature of the book very heartwarming and inspiring. I loved the storyline of this book very thrilling and exciting and would definitely read more books like this.

Juna

Fortismere

Living in the time of the second world war, Safiyyah a young girl who has a keen interest in maps, finds her life rapidly changing by the invasions of the Nazis in her home city: Paris . The tale of loss, tragedy, bravery and hope follows Safyyah as she aids secret resistance work, overcoming traumatising obstacles on the way. I really loved this book and found the story line very enjoyable finding lots of twists and turns throughout the book.

Pauline

KEVICHG

Safiyyah's War is an engaging story centred around a more overlooked aspect of World War II. It follows a Muslim girl (Safiyyah) as she assists her father in a secret resistance against the Nazis. It is also significantly more light-hearted than most fiction set with the backdrop of World War II, and told from a child's perspective (also quite rare). Safiyyah does have a large character development in this book, and it is interesting to follow her growing determination to help the Jews and fight against antisemitism. However there was little tension and seemed to be more of a soft story, which made it a little hard to get through. 6/10.

Saachi

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah's war was an interesting book.Based on WWII, it takes a perspective, centering around Safiyyah, an eleven-year-old Muslim girl in Nazi-occupied France. Her family becomes involved in the perilous world of the Resistance, providing false documents for Jewish families and helping them escape.The book portrays the importance of community and interfaith cooperation during adversity.Hiba Noor Khan's writing is captivating and compassionate.The book is educational , telling us how the Nanzis had affected everyone during the war.

Raya

Fiction Addiction

I think this book is expertly written. The story really made me reflect on what it would have been like to have been living in the midst of a war. It was an eye-catching book that really made me rethink my vote. However I think there were better books that were more enjoyable and had a more captivating storyline. I think if I were more interested in war and conflict I would enjoy this book much more.

Sachin

Ermysted’s

This book is about a girl called Safiyyah who lives with her little sister called Fatima, her parents and her grandma. However, when war comes to the streets of Paris, it is up to her to help her dad and all the other people who are part of the resistance work against the Germans. This book describes how much Safiyyah has been through, especially when her grandma dies. I really liked this book as it shows how hard it must have been to live in a place where there is war going on and what it must have been like to have soldiers wandering about in a city. There are some happy parts, such as when Safiyyah gets a cat called Bon Bon. In the end, I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it. It gets my vote for the best book so far! Thank you. Leen.

Leen

LGGS Shadow Questers

I absolutely loved reading Safiyyah’s War as it told a very captivating story from the view of a character based off the Jews in World War 2. Setti was a very wise and fun character: definitely my favourite!

Mutumba

SJB Book Club

Saffiyah's War is a powerful novel from a unique perspective from a young girl affected by war. It is a story that touches on themes of finding hope in the darkest of places, and the importance of family and friends. I would recommend it to anyone!

Sanjani

The Latymer Literati

Educating childrens book about world war II in Paris showing both the negative and positive sides of religious political tensions and how the children of central Paris lost loved ones to fight on the front lines. Empowering children who take action to help others in the war when the 2 communities of Muslims and Jewish people help each other out.

Zoë

The Latymer Literati

A thrilling read from start to finish with a very dramatic ending

Alec

The Latymer Literati

Safiyahs’ War This book was amazing and very good for people studying the holocaust for GCSE and A level. This book highlights how ww2 and the holocaust affected not just the people fighting and how everyone had to help to defeat the Germans. The quote: “worse then more people know now” illustrates people had no idea about the terror the Germans were about to cause as people just thought it would affect the jewish people. and how this book fills in all the details. I would recommend this book to young students that enjoy history and want to take it for gcse or a level.

zac

Glossopdale Readers

‘Safiyyah’s War’ is a great book about a little girl called Safiyyah who is a Muslim living through World War 2. Little does she know that her father is a part of the secret resistance fighting against the Nazi’s. She found out about her fathers work and demanded she helped out, and so she started running important errands for her father to help the Jews escape the power of the evil Nazi’s…. I really like this book as it is insightful, thrilling and educational all at once. It really opens your eyes on what life would really be like living during that time. It makes us feel empathetic for Safiyyah and her friends and family, even though we may not be able to relate to them now. It really brings our attention to others’ issues and wars in the world which are going on right now, and this book shows us the real life issues people are facing day to day. I would definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in war and historical reads. This truly an amazing book and would one hundred percent recommend to anyone who is interested in this sort of genre.

Grace

Glossopdale Readers

Safiyyah’s war is a book about a girl whose friend has fled and now is scared to leave the mosque because of the bombing until her father is arrested by nazi soldiers and now she has to do here father’s dangerous errands around the city Safiyyah’s war is a book that explores how even during the darkest of times there are still those who go out of their way to help even they know there life and freedom are on the line overall this book is a great read and is one of the more light hearted World War 2 reads as it shows the happier side of the war. I would recommend this book to anyone interested about World War 2.

finley

Glossopdale Readers

I think Safiyyah's War is a very creative book. I liked how the cover stands out and I like Isabelle's friendship with Safiyyah. However, I did find this book hard to get into and understand. But, I do think that this book would be good for the ages of 10-12, and if it is their first time reading a war book. I rate this book a 6.5/10

Jennifer

Rebel Readers

This was quite a nice read because it was a lot longer than some of the others which were quite short. I don't usually read this genre of book but like I Must Betray You from last year it was quite a nice historical fiction. Overall I think that this is a nice book to read.

Alfie S

Ermysted’s

I enjoyed the book and it is a good topic to write about as there is so much that happened in ww2, but unfortunately I would not rush to read it again.

angus

Chiswick Carnegie

The book is about the Nazi invasion of Paris and how a Muslim girl, called Safiyyah, and her family help the Jews to escape. I really liked this book as friendship, resilience and kindness are shown in every action that Safiyyah makes. I also liked how it is based on a real story about the unsung roles of the resistance and the mosques within it.

Henry W-R

Ermysted’s

Saffiyah’s war is a book based in Paris when it was taken by the Nazis. The book follows the story of Saffiyah and her family and is partly true. Saffiyah was a muslim girl and with her family they helped to protect Jewish people by giving them fake identities and helping them to flee and had to continue living her life as though she hadn’t seen the cruelties around her. The author deserves credit for capturing me throughout the read and it was eye opening to have look at the war from a child’s perspective.

Karim

MTS Northwood

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Safiyyah’s War. It was a thrilling story about Safiyyah’s experience in Paris during WWII. It was a very heartfelt story about the persecution and the struggles Paris went through under Nazi occupation. The book highlighted the individuals who assisted all of those in need of help, during the occupation. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read.

Liam

Reader Leaders

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan is an amazing historical fiction book set during World War II in Nazi occupied France. The story follows Safiyyah, a brave, kind Muslim girl who gets involved in the French Resistance. She risks her life to protect her Jewish friends and fight against the Nazis. It explores themes like friendship, courage and the impact of war. The writing style is very engaging and makes you feel like you are there in the war, and readers will find themselves deeply invested in her story.

Annie

Corsham Shadowers

I did enjoy Safiyyah's War as I enjoyed seeing Safiyyah's generosity and bravery shine through in times of need. I found Safiyyah a really likeable protagonist that I found myself get attached to. I think the writer showed the second world war through a young Muslim girl's eyes really effective. The only thing I slightly disliked about Safiyyah's War was that I found the plot quite slow at the beginning of the book, leaving it hard for me to get hooked onto the book early on. I did enjoy Safiyyah's War though and I would recommend,

RACHEL

Fiction Addiction

As Germany takes over Safiyyah’s home, her beloved Paris, her life changes in unimaginable ways. Her best friend’s family flees to the safer countryside, and the rare maps in the library she loves are sent away for protection. When her father is arrested for his resistance work helping Jews escape Paris, Safiyyah takes on the essential yet dangerous task of delivering secret messages across the city. With the safety of many in her hands, Safiyyah must face her fears and rise to the challenge. I really enjoyed this book! I loved all the descriptions, and it was a nice, easy read. My favourite character was Madame Odette because of her love of books and her kindness, both towards Safiyyah and the Allied soldiers she sends books to. This book also radiated a spirit of togetherness that shined through the actions of those trying to save the Jews despite the senseless brutality being performed by the Nazis. Overall, Safiyyah’s War is a captivating and heart warming tale that showcases the power of unity and resilience in the face of adversity. I would highly recommend it! 4.5/5 stars

Fiona

SCC Prolific Bookers

It was quite an interesting book but it didn't seem that good to me considering it was voted for the Carnegie Meal It was a bit childish but interesting to learn facts about Muslims helping Jews using Paris tunnels. 6/10

reuben

St Augustine’s Challenge

Safiyyah’s War is an interesting read that allows the reader to embrace and look at different cultures and religions. Furthermore, it is an engaging writing style perfect for older and younger readers alike. This makes Safiyyah’s War an easy and enjoyable novel. The book explores the theme of anti-semitism during WWII and it's told from the perspective of Muslim girl Safiyyah. This book is a good read for all ages. There aren't many mature topics that aren't breached in schools. Furthermore many children, old and young have learnt about the World Wars in school so I do not see this as a problem for younger readers. 9/10

Isla

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I did enjoy this book and I loved the backstory behind it. However, I felt that when I picked up this book I hoped for a story that would be climatic and eventful but once I was reading it I realised it was more of a soft read. I expected something more deep and emotional but I don’t think I felt that connection with the book. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great book and a lovely story I just don’t personally feel it was for me.

Ava

Dallam Bookclub

Saffiyah's War is a beautiful book. The book started off slow, showing what a happy life Saffiyah and her family led in the mosque however, in the next few chapters you had some hints towards the war that was going on in the background and how Saffiyah (because she was so young and naive) was oblivious. The beauty of this book came down to it's simplicity in the complicated war. Saffiyah had a vague understanding and clearly wanted to know more but was kept in the shadows until she was allowed to help by delivering fake documents to the Jews living in Paris. The chapter involving the catacombs when Saffiyah has to lead the Jew to safety was very sweet but after she had led them it was a bit stressful because the thought of her being stuck and lost down there and not being reunited with her family was a sad thought but thankfully she was saved. I wasn't sure of the ending the first time I read it but eventually it grew on me when I read it a second time because I realised it was nicer not knowing what happened to her cousin and Hannah and that you had to imagine it yourself. Overall the book was very sweet and interesting but I would have preferred if it included a bit more of the war side of the story instead of the peaceful side in Paris.

Maya

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Safiyyah's War was an eye-opening read about how WW2 impacted families. Although it is impossible to understand just how awful the war was, this book gives a good feel for how hard the war hit different people and even countries. We are told about different aspects of war including the loss of loved ones, injustice, fear for your life, not having the basic necessities. Even though the war was a desperately sad time, it also had good impacts as well, such as Safiyyah meeting amazing people who came into her life and helped her to see things from a different perspective. This book is also inspiring to young children showing them that although you may be small you can make a huge impact. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a believable fiction and I am very glad this was on the Carnegies book list.

freya

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I loved this book. I found it so compelling and was completely invested in Safiyyah's story. I had never encountered stories about the war from this particular perspective, and was inspired by the bravery of the character. I thought that the way the book was written was beautiful.

Miss R

The Hinckley Shadowing Group

Safiyyah's War was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it. It was a bit different from books I would usually read but I loved it anyway. I loved how entertaining it was and you could never put the book down.

Charlotte

The Hinckley Shadowing Group

I found Safiyyah's war an engaging and insightful book that showed me an unspoken perspective to the Second World War. It is about the story of Safiyyah, a young resistance fighter, and her life under Nazi rule in Paris. Small things, for example Setti (Safiyyah's grandma) and her orange obsession, make the story seem more real, and the stark effect of the war on everyday life makes you think about your own privileges, an experience that I valued. I appreciate that this book is not everyone's cup of tea, some of my friends find this book boring, due to it's younger characters and perspective, so it may have worked better as a younger category book. However in my opinion, the beautiful plot, character connections, and happy ending more than make up for this.

Rosie B

Bookiewookiedoodaas

This book blew me away! Its description of Safiyyah's surroundings are spectacular. The story is so indulging and the ending was and is amazing. I recommend this to any reader who enjoys mystery.

Callum

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This was an interesting book that shed a new light on the effect of the second world war in France and the people who fought against the Nazi's rule. I found this to be a great, engaging story with a well-thought-out plotline. The characters, especially Safiyyah, were well thought out and challenged stereotypes really effectively. I'd recommend this book to people aged 9 to 13 who enjoyed adventure stories, such as Murder most unladylike by Robin Stevens or secret breakers by Helen Dennis. Although there is an element of danger and suspense, it isn't too scary and younger children should be fine with it.

Eleni

VISTA Academy

It is highlights the danger in the world

Hope

SMM Bibliophiles

The story is about a girl named Safiyyah and, when war comes to the streets of Paris, how her life is changed forever - her best friend and her friends' family have fled and Safiyyah is afraid to leave the mosque, where she lives. What I liked about this book is how Safiyyah and her teacher have a very close relationship with each other. It shows in the book how kind and loving they are to each other. In relation to the setting, I found how they had to evacuate their home and country to be very sad (as a reader, I wanted them to be able to stay) - it really showed the impact of war. I found this to be a good book and would give it three stars out of five.

Aleena

Rockwood Reads

I loved this book because I felt all of the emotions like the characters were feeling, such as the high amount of stress and anxiety that they felt in multiple parts of the story. I think the story gives an enlightening view on what it was like for some people living under Nazi rule at that time and is a good way of educating people about that time in history. I would have liked to know more about the character of Isabelle and whether Safiyyah ever reunited with her, as well as Tarek. Overall it was an amazing book and I was very sad when I finished the book because I would love to continue reading about their lives.

Robyn

WyRead

this book is really interesting. khan makes you connect with each character and sympathise with every victim. i love this book and would definitely recommend

Fatimah

Lionheart24

Daisy J

BFS Umbra

Look, as a Muslim with Algerian heritage, I might be a bit biased towards this book, however, from everything I've been told from my parents about Algerian history, I feel this book really captures this well. This ranges from France colonising Algeria to the crucial role Algerians and Muslims in general helped the war effort in WWII. Plus, in this day and age, particularly with the Palestine-Israel conflict, it's important to note that in a war, Muslims and Jews would help each other, and I feel that this book provides such a different idea to what is being spread nowadays that it is definitely worth reading.

Ilias

St Clere’s School

I really liked this book as it gave an insight on how religions helped each other during WW2. I also really liked that there were elements that you know happened in real life, and that you could imagine vividly.

Grace

St Augustine’s Challenge

As a fan of war stories this was 100% my book. Its incredible empathy really shines through. And I was really shocked to find out it was a true story! My rating is 5 Stars!!!

Spencer

Bispham Bookworms

Safiyyahs war is an amazing book. My favourite part of the book was when safiyyah gives setti oranges. I love the subtle placement of the oranges on the cover. Safiyyah felt like a real person because her emotions were perfectly shown throughout the book like when isabelle leaves

George

Book Squad

Safiyyah’s War is a book that brings the reader back to World War 2, not through the perspective of a soldier or a refugee, but through a unique perspective of a young Muslim girl. Through her innocent eyes, we see her character development as she counters fears as Safiyyah witnessed the horror of the Nazis invading their lovely home firsthand and her growing determination to help those in need, especially those persecuted Jews. However, unlike many other WW2 stories, this one isn’t solely about tragedy and suffering. Safiyyah’s War is a powerful novel of courage, compassion and justice. This book overall shows the ardent reader the courage of Muslims who risked their lives and the unique perspective of individuals we usually forget about.

Xavier

The Lotus Readers

This book tells the story of an 11 year old girl as she lives in Paris during World War Two. After Paris is occupied by the Nazis hope seems to be lost for Safiyyah until she discovers something that boosts her hope for the future. It is masterfully written with great knowlage of the horrible situation that people faced during the war.

Lottie

Going Places

The book Safiyyah’s War is a fascinating insight into how life would have been for some people during WWII and how the resistance in many different countries helped defenseless Jews and other people. Safiyyah's War is about a girl called Safiyyah whose world changes after the Nazis take over Paris. She must risk her life in order to help her father help Jews and other people who need to escape from the Nazis. During her adventure she loses and gains friends and family. I really enjoyed this book because of the reality of the adventure and risks that she faces and how it felt like I was actually feeling those emotions then and there. This book really shows how the Nazis ruined people's lives and were very cruel to people just because they were different. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in the war genre. Overall I would give this book a 8/10 and would recommend it for people 10+.

Eloise

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I think 'Safiyyah's War' is a heartfelt book that really brings to light how grateful all of us should be about the simple things in life- for example an orange! Safiyyah and her family really showed me how to bring positivity and optimism to the worst situations, and that things are always bound to get better someday. They also showed me that being brave for other people when they need it is the bravest type of brave of all.

Aarna

Mansell Library Reviewers

Review: 4.5/5 I really loved the Muslim perspective of World War 2. I love historical fiction, and this did not disappoint. Safiyyah's mischievous and kind character was well-developed and I loved her relationship with Hana and Setti!

Hazel

County Shadows

Safriahs War is a fiction story about a girl in World War 2 in France while their being attacked by the Germans.After her Father is arrested by Germans for being part of a resistance. Its now safariyahs turn to Follow in her fathers Footsteps and help Jews to safety. This book is crazy journey with twist and turns in the plots. Highly recommend.

Rory

Fortismere

Safiyyah’s War is what I would call a really good book because it has all the elements - war, the common enemy, and hope. My favourite part of Safiyyah’s War is probably the character of Safiyyah as I think she has been well thought through and she is very relatable. I don’t think Safiyyah’s War can be improved! It’s a great read and I would really recommend it.

Polly

Mansell Library Reviewers

This was definitely my favourite so much that I have bought my own copy of it. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time while reading it!

Amelia

Ossett Academy LRC

This is my second favourite book in this year's shortlist. The book covers a Muslim child's experience of the Nazi occupation of Paris in WWII. Saffiyah helps her father protect Jews around the city and help them to escape. This book was well written and shows the horrors of not only military occupation but the Nazis themselves. The story includes many deep scenes in which Saffiyah understands the Nazi's cruelty is worse than she previously thought. Overall, the book is very interesting and enables the reader to read about war without being too depressed.

Isaac

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyahs war written by Hiba Noor Khan is set in Paris at the very beginning of the Second World War. The main character is a Muslim girl and it shows what it was like for that community and how they helped others and viewed the world. Safiyyah and her family are part of the resistance against the Nazis and try to help as many Jewish families as possible. I rate this book 5/5 stars because it is entertaining and informative. I also like it because although the main character wasn’t a real person I like reading books with characters that are based off of a group of people during a certain period of time. The author describes the situation very well, however, considering the time it is set it felt too easy for the characters to do what they were doing without being caught and given a big punishment. Overall I think this book is one of the best ones this year and deserves a win.

Clara

Euro Bookworms

This historical novel does a wonderful job of explaining the horrors of WWII in a way that is suitable for younger readers, as well as showing how the resistance happened and how many people felt. This is an informative book which does have a modern tone to it, but it does an amazing job at telling the story of innocent people during the time of the Nazis. The only problem I have with this book is the blurb basically telling you the ending.

Rachel

Carnegie Carnage

This story is an immersive outlook on events of history, in this case, World War II. I found this unique part of history which hasn’t been well documented, extremely interesting and engaging throughout. I also enjoyed that it followed the story of a young girl, Safiyyah as it captured a child’s perspective of the events of the war. Additionally, I loved the character of Safiyyah! She was such a brave, inspiring character. Overall, I think this book is an amazing story as it focuses on important themes of friendship, love, and true generosity in a world destroyed by the influence and ideology of Nazi Germany.

Grace

Rebel Readers

I enjoyed this book. It highlighted a part of World War II that does not really get taught in history lessons. I liked all the mysteries that got unveiled throughout the book, and the ending was very poignant. Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys reading.

Oscar

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's war is a brilliant book, it contains a very different view of WWII than we would usually see, most of the books set in Britain. The storyline is full of friendship and the pain of losing ones family whilst simultaneously showing themes of happiness even through the darker moments. One of my favourite Carnegie books so far.

Cara

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

This book about a girl named Safiyyah who lives in Paris where they are at war with Nazis (WW2) which makes things really hard for her and her family. Safiyyah is brave and helps the Jewish community, It is sad at times but has some positive moments and can teach us to always help others.

Ryan

TTS Readers

safiyyah's war was in my opinion the best book so far the storyline was amazing and i loved the historical fiction the scenes were imaginative and the jewish and islamic culture was also fascinating 120% from me

Caspar

The Marlingtonians

I enjoyed reading Safiyyah's War as it is an amazing story. I love that this story is based on true events and that you can really tell that the author had thought it out and done lots of research. It's about how the Muslim community helped get the Jews to safety and she also loves spending time with her best friend Isabelle. In this book, I love the main character, Safiyyah, she is a brave and feisty yet kind-hearted girl. Safiyyah also loves running errands for her father and spending time with her setti. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to wide range of age groups, from young teens to adults.

Niamh

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

3/5. Safiyyah's War is written from the perspective of a Muslim community in Paris during World War II - a topic I was intrigued to learn more about. Noor Khan was successful in painting a clear picture of the daily lives of those living in the mosque, as well as demonstrating their bravery and service in times of need. Safiyyah’s tense ordeals with Nazi soldiers and citywide missions for the resistance organisation were tense and exhilarating. The cooperation between those following Judaism and Islam was heart-warming to read about, adding a much-needed positive aspect to the harrowing Nazi invasion of France. My favourite characters were Setti and Hana. Firstly, Setti is depicted as a loving, wise grandmother whose death was genuinely devastating to me as a reader due to her uplifting presence in the story. The connection to Algeria through her beloved oranges and tales of the past provided a fascinating insight into the links between Safiyyah’s French home and her family’s origins. As I read the beginning of Safiyyah’s War, I enjoyed the depiction of Hana as a quiet, intelligent, kind girl in Safiyyah’s class and was disappointed when she seemed to have disappeared. Therefore, I was delighted to see her return – not only to explore her personality in more depth but also to include a young, prominent, Jewish character. Finally, I was impressed to discover that the action and characters were based on real events and heroes of the resistance organisation. However, there were negative aspects to this book. When Noor Khan tried to simplify the Nazis’ hatred of Jewish people and people of colour through characters’ conversations, the dialogue became stilted and unrealistic. The classroom discussion of racism and antisemitism sounded more like a children’s non-fiction book than a conversation between anxious, confused 11-year-olds. The beginning also felt drawn out – leaving me with no motivation to read it – whereas the exciting climax was too short-lived. In conclusion, Safiyyah’s War is a convincing historical novel that, whilst not aimed at my age group, I enjoyed reading for a fresh perspective on World War II. The prose might be boring, simplistic, and strained at times but this novel’s compelling narrative is one not to be missed!

Alice

Book and Biscuit Club

"Safiyyah's War" by Hiba Noor Khan is a book about a Muslim girl in Paris called Safiyyah in World War II, who helped her family to rescue and help lots of Jews under the control of the Nazis. I really enjoyed this book. Throughout the whole book, bravery and courage were shown in many different ways, as well as the touching emotions and the historical background of it. I found it interesting that it's telling a story that would otherwise be mostly forgotten; and amazed that this is based on real events, and I really think that the author had told the story really really well! it is very gripping once you were into the story, with a few cliffhangers and twists. However, I think there could be more mention to the others throughout the book(like Isabelle etc); in my opinion, the "ten years later" bit is quite ambiguous, and could use some more description on the mosque maybe etc. But overall I really enjoyed this book, 8.5/10

Rachel

Perse Carnegians

This book i found out is classified as historical fiction, set in Paris during World War 1. The Nazis are invading the muslims!!! Safiyyah spends most of her time in the library where she is always interested in maps. Due to the invasion, she is taken away and has to live in the country. She meets her father and she figures out that her father is hiding things from her. She realises that her dad does mysterious things at night to help Jews so with many efforts of begging, her dad gives in. She meets someone called Timothee and they deliver documents to Jews that are hiding. I like that the book has a mixture of true history so you can test your knowledge and adventure to keep you engaged. I like that Safiyyah has a caring side and protective side for her country. I recommend this book 100%.

Elizabeth

St Angela’s Reading Angels

Saffiyah's War is a book about a young girl in Paris during World War 2. Paris is invaded by Nazis and her Jewish friends run away. She eventually works for the resistance to help Jews escape Paris.

Estlin K

Ermysted’s

Liana

Perse Carnegians

I liked Safiyyah's war because of the world building. In the book Saffiyah went to multiple different locations that were completely different to each other. For example, she goes to the rich street, the souterrain, the mosque, Monsieur Cassin’s house and school. These different locations make the world feel more alive and diverse, keeping the reader engaged.

Edward

St Augustine’s Challenge

I really enjoyed reading Safiyyah’s War. This is a story set in Paris, and it is about how World War II changes Safiyyah’s life. She is faced with challenges like parting with friends and coming to terms with the death of a family member. She also helps her dad with dangerous resistance work, and in the end leads the Jews to safety. I think the pace was a bit slow at the start but it improved quite a bit as the story went on, and I was interested to see what would happen. I would definitely recommend this book to people, especially if you want to read about a lesser known side of this topic.

Liana

Perse Carnegians

"Saffiyahs War " is quite an adventurous and wholesome book . I love the character ,Safiyyah, as she shows a lot of courage and bravery throughout the story . I give this book a 4/5 . I love the plot twists and how the author talks about the real challenges that the Jews faced in the war in a fictional way and how close safiyyahs family is and what struggles they faced , during war .

Paula

Lionheart24

Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan is an absolutely amazing book set in Nazi occupied France. It follows an 11 year old girl called Safiyyah who lives in the grand mosque in Paris. Safiyyah’s family are part of the resistance and are helping Jews escape Paris. I really enjoyed this book. At the start of the book when Safiyyah was obsessing over maps I thought that it would continue throughout the entire book but it became quite insignificant. While I was reading this book I kept being told that i would cry, I was not very sure about that because books never make me cry but I was very wrong when Safiyyah’s grandma died I was sobbing. This book is beautiful and is definitely worthy of a Carnegie medal.

Ava

HHS

The concept of a Muslim character helping Jewish people escape from the Nazis instantly caught my attention. It was a fresh and unique perspective of the war that I hadn’t seen before in fiction books. The author showed readers that WWII was not just about the oppression Jews faced from the Nazis but included other religions, like Islam, that were also deeply affected. I liked that it included the role of the Grand Mosque in Paris as it isn’t an event as well known as other historical moments during WWII such as The Holocaust. History aside, I really enjoyed the themes of love, loyalty and courage explored in this book. Safiyyah’s implacability and sympathetic view towards the people seeking comfort and support was refreshing to read about. I felt that this was a story that carried a lot of intense emotion. The author had expressed the misery and fear of the characters really well and while reading the various tense events in the book, the writing also triggered sympathy and sadness inside me. This story subtly encapsulated the significance of family and friendship during a war through the loving relationships our protagonist had with the people around her. Safiyyah’s War is a book that shows readers that the differences which may divide groups of people are also what unites them during tough times. I would rate this book a 9/10.

Nusaiba

Plashet School

I absolutely loved this book, the level of emotion and history you feel and learn is unbelievable. Although I would have loved to have know what happened to Tarek and Isabelle before having to look at the ‘ten years later’ but overall I loved this book

Antonia

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Saffiyahs war is a book based on real life events. It is about how the royal mosque in Paris helped save many Jewish lives .this book taught me just how important the power of community is and how strong it can itself be if we choose to. I really endeavored this book and its beautiful content It went just so fast in a blur

Fatima

The Reading Queens

I loved this book it was easily a 9/10 for me .At first I wasn't sure I liked it and it took me a while to understand what was going on in this book , It started to get more interesting the more I read. I liked this book because it gave me a different perspective on the 2nd world war.

samuel

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's War was an extremely action-packed and amazing read. The story is set in Paris during World War 2, where Safiyyah and her family lived in the Grand Mosque, with other Muslims, Jews and Christians. The story describes how brave Safiyyah's family where when they helped hundreds of Jews to escape from the Nazi's persecutions. This story is full of empathy, humanity and bravery and it makes me realise how incredibly difficult life must be for people who live during times of war. This book has, so far, been my favourite one from this year's Carnegie Shortlist Book collection.

Sebastian H

Ermysted’s

I love reading books that tell true stories about people whose voices are more often than not overlooked. Sometimes it gets boring hearing what feels like the same story repeated over and over with only slight differences. This story, on the other hand was one I had not already heard. I had no idea before this about the role of the Grand Mosque in Paris, and how they helped between 500 and 1700 Jews to escape the clutches of the Nazis. The three most striking messages within the book are as follows: Firstly, how every battle is equally significant, no matter if you are wielding a gun, or forged papers. Secondly, looking after yourself and others, and prioritising human life over objects is the most noble thing. And finally, how saving one human life is as if the whole of Humanity has been saved.

Zoë

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

Safiyyah's War had me going through a mix of emotions which I like a lot when I'm reading a book. This book made me feel like I was Saffiyah doing all those actions . And every page I turned there was excitement going through my body to see what happened next. I think this book really gives us a perspective of how life was back then and the amount of discrimination people still face today. If I could I would give this book a 10/10 for its characters and plot . Overall I believe this book was amazing.

Isabel

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Safiyyah’s War was a beautifully written book set during WW2 in France. The book focused on the antisemitism of the Nazis and showed how the situation developed for Jews in Paris over time. Safiyyah’s war also showed the impact of the Nazi regime on a wide range of people in varying situations, giving a different perspective to see. Safiyyah faced difficult situations; however, her kindness willed her to persevere through dangerous times to do what was right. I really enjoyed reading this book, because it was heartwarming how her friends and family worked together in the resistance to help people in need.

Manyan

Perse Carnegians

It took me a while to get into this book, but around half way through I started to enjoy it more. I found the beginning a little bit boring, and I didn't like it as much as the others. I did, however, like the motifs and portrayal of grief. I like the fact that I learnt the bit of WW2 that we never learn about in history lessons, and the positive lessons from it. I would rate it a 3.5/5 stars.

Ellie

Page Turners24

Safiyyah's war is a heartfelt story about a Muslim girl called Safiyyah and how she and her family resist the Nazi invasion of Paris in June 1940. Safiyyah lives in the Grand Central Mosque in Paris with her parents, younger sibling and her grandmother. Over the course of the invasion Safiyyah help deliver messages to the French resistance with the help of her friends. Along the way Safiyyah meets many Jews trying to escape the Nazis and learns their harrowing story. This book had an expert mix of life and death teaching the readers on the wrongs of the Nazis and how to avoid their mistakes.

Thomas

Perse Carnegians

"Safiyyah's War" explores anti-semitism during World War 2, yet it also manages to do so in a way that makes younger children be able to read it. The style of writing means the main character's thoughts and emotions were very clearly presented, so it was easier to imagine what she was feeling, and the desperation she felt at times. Furthermore, this book is from a Muslim girl's perspective in Paris, which provides an insight into her culture and lifestyle as well. The only thing I believe could be improved about this book is that it was predictable from time to time, but overall, I think this is a great, enthralling book, although it is probably targeted at a slightly younger audience.

Ananya

The Tiffin Girls’ Shadows

Safiyyah’s war was an incredible book that brought to light a lesser-known act of resistance during World War II. At the beginning, war haD not yet reached Safiyyah and her family, and Paris still had religious freedom. However, gradually, refugees started to enter Paris and Safiyyah was exposed to the impact of war when German soldiers start to arrive. I found it really interesting to read about the war from the perspective of someone living in France, as many of the wartime books I have read were either set in England or Germany. As the story progressed, Safiyyah began an act of resistance by helping people to safety through underground tunnels. This is based on a true story, which makes it even more meaningful that it is being brought to light today. It is a story of heroes that put their own safety at risk to help others, and really emphasises the importance of community and having respect for everyone, no matter their differences.

Isobella

LSST Library Shadowers

In all honesty I found the book rather boring. However, the story itself was amazing and inspiring it just lacked in the abilty to make me want to read more.

Emily

St Kaths

This book was highly enjoyable, despite it not being my typical genre to read it was lovely. I enjoyed how there was a build up in tension, from a little girl in Paris to a girl helping the Jews. I think it was effective how the writer let the readers see the personal growth of the characters and it gave a personal connection between the reader and the protagonist. I also liked how the book was very educational, as I learnt alot about war than I had previously known.

Bracha

St Angela’s Reading Angels

After discovering the invasion of Germany in France it gave a whole new levels of suspense and interest within Safiyyah's personal story about her development of a brave, caring character. Overall, this book shows how girls can take a passion in caring and confidence when something tragic and overwhelming is happening, whilst still staying consistent with her close friendships which are clearly imporant to her. For example it shows in Saffiyyahs War that women are capable of stepping up and caring for the community around them. My original predictions roughly alligned with what we read in the extract as it made it obvious near the beginning. As much as I knew what was happening nothing took away from the suspense of her best friend (Isabelle) left town and as she was caught in a bombing whilst fuffiling a promise for Monsieur Cassin. During Safiyyahs War other characters are invloved that grow her confidence in through support and working as a community. Such as Yemma, which is a close family member and has a special place in Safiyyahs heart and childhood. During this her Dad also comes through as a kind and caring part in Safiyyah's life. Monsieur Cassin was a family friend that cared for Safiyyahs interest in maps and travelling, giving Safiyyah somebody to confide in. Throughout the novel Safiyyah's character grows in passion and confidence, but still left on edge about her dad, causing alot of anxiety which she shows throughout the book. We can also see how she struggles on trust as she grows after the bombing, always cautious, as if shes stepping on eggshells throughout Paris. In my opinion, the book shows an element of hisotry from WW2 and the struggles, which I empathis for. I will definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a bit of an adventure and empathetic novel!

Izabelle

Malvern St James

This book is the best book I have ever read. The story line to the suspension till the end was just amazing. This book is about Saffiyah, who is a adventurous girl always in trouble some how but wants the best for everyone. One day she has to get the courage to save hundreds of people. Would she risk her life for some Jews or will she protect herself, I'll let you figure that out... I would definitely rate this book 5 stars.

Inaayah

Beauchamp Champs 2024

After discovering the invasion of Germany in France it gave a whole new levels of suspense and interest within Safiyyah's personal story about her development of a character. Overall, this book shows how girls can take a passion in caring and confidence when something tragic and overwhelming is happening, to say in Saffiyyahs War she steps up and cares for the community around her. My original predictions roughly alligned with what we read in the extract as it made it obvious near the beginning. As much as I knew what was happening nothing took away from the suspense of her best friend (Isabelle) left town and as she was caught in a bombing whilst fuffiling a promise for Monsieur Cassin. Throughout the novel Safiyyah's character grows in passion and confidence, but still left on edge about her dad, causing alot of anxiety. But I will definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a bit of an adventure and empathetic novel!

Izabelle

Malvern St James

The story is about a girl named Safiyyah and she is helping Jewish people, because there is a war on and she doesn't want to leave where she lives (in Paris). I liked how she was helping the Jewish people, showing that she is really kind-hearted and she did not want to leave her mosque, which I thought was really sad. I did not like how (*SPOILER*) Safiyyah had to leave her mosque and evacuate at the end, because of the war that is happening, which is really sad, because of the innocent lives that are being lost. I thought this was an amazing book - three stars out of five.

Aleena

Rockwood Reads

This book relates back to a movie that I've watched and it really tells a lot about the world before and how we should learn from it. Safiyyah's family are really nice people and we need more of them in the world. This book also links back to what i learnt in a year 7 gathering once.

Chiziteremiheoma

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I enjoyed this book because its is about how this girl called Safiyyah who had to do to survive WW2 when the Nazi's occupied Paris. The really upsetting part was when her best friend left her because of the war. The best part for me when she saved a white cat and helped the Jewish people to safety.

Laila.A

VISTA Academy

I enjoyed this book as it is about the second world war bringing history to life my favourite part of this book was the Germans initial bombing above the city as it shows how precious life is , this book is about a girl that must survive a war torn France whilst she helps her dad, a cat, and friends along the way risking her life in the process. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy historical fiction

Dexter

VISTA Academy

Safiyyah’s war is a moving book, depicting the life of a Muslim girl living in the mosque of Paris during the nazi occupation. When her father is arrested for helping Jews get out of the city, Safiyyah must step into his shoes, going from little girl to resistance worker. In my opinion, this novel has everything a good historical fiction book needs to have: a fast-paced plot, historical accuracy, and complex and engaging characters. Thanks to her amazing descriptions, the author really made us feel like we were living in World War 2 Paris, and I loved the fact that almost everything about the resistance work in the mosque, from where they hid Jewish families to how they managed to make them flee the city, was true. However, I do feel like this book might be better for younger children, but I would still absolutely recommend this book.

Victoire CI

4Shadowers

I read Safiyyah's war, The girl who fell to earth, and Impossible Creatures one right after the other and Safiyyah's war is my favourite by far. It really educates you, on what it was like for Safiyyah's family as Muslims and it really educates the readers on the Muslim faith. I couldn't put it down while reading it. It's very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it.

Lizzie

BHSA Book Club

Aarav

Bispham Bookworms

I really enjoyed the book, it was very well written. The anxious feeling was shown very well when the soldiers entered the mosque and Saffiyah had to go get all the Jewish people to the barges. I would definitely read another book like that, all the suspense built up in the book then with the happy ending of no one getting sent away was good. I really enjoyed the plot as well especially when Saffiyah started working with the resistance and running dangerous errands around the city.

Sophie

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This book shows the journey of Safiyyah , in the war . She has such a kind and caring spirit and how she wants to help anyone in need .

Lyra

Bispham Bookworms

I usually avoid WWII books set in Britain or France because they often feel repetitive, but the inclusion of a Muslim character drew me in. Safiyyah is a brilliant heroine—brave, smart, and loving. The author does an excellent job capturing a child’s perspective, balancing an eleven-year-old’s innocence with the harsh realities of wartime. Her family dynamics, especially with her grandmother, are heartwarming, though I wished for more backstory. This book introduces a lesser-known history, detailing the role of the Grand Mosque of Paris in saving Jewish lives during the German occupation. Safiyyah’s perspective is perfect for guiding readers through this important story, which I find really intriguing! The tension is subtle, making it suitable for most secondary-school readers. I hadn’t considered the presence of Muslims in Paris during this time, but their portrayal was enlightening and added depth to the story. In conclusion, this is a story about love, kindness, and doing the right thing even when it’s difficult. Its powerful message resonates with both children and adults. The writing is simple but profoundly moving. I highly recommend this book and hope it inspires more stories about the strength of people in challenging times! Overall, a 9/10!!!

Sivithi

Plashet School

'Safiyyah's War' by Hiba Noor Khan is a brilliant book set in Paris during World War 2. It is about a Muslim girl who starts to go on errands for The Resistance and helps save Jewish people all over the city. But then her Baba (Father) gets arrested by the Nazis. I really loved this book because it was very exciting and adventurous and also a little bit sad, but don't let that put you off. This is a really great historical fiction novel and is definitely worth a read.

Isla

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

I absolutely love this book because of how the author (Hiba Noor Khan) formed Safiyyah as a character and the story is very well told. I rate this book a five out of five. I recommend this book to people who like stories about resilience and helping others.

Aarav

Bispham Bookworms

While reading the book I quickly found it was written for younger audiences however it was still quite entertaining. I usually enjoy reading sadder book but I knew there would be a happy, unrealistic ending as it was a children's book. However I did enjoy reading about a young Muslim girl amidst WW2 as you usually read book about evacuees or soldiers. I'll defiantly recommend it to younger audiences.

Aaishah

Walthamstow Reading Champions

Safiyyah' s war is about a girl living in Paris during WW2 when the Nazis are just taking over France. Her father is helping the Jews escape and gain safety. Safiyyah goes through hard time and overcomes many challenges throughout the book. She is brave, smart, independent and has many admirable qualities for a young girl of her time. I haven't seen or read any books from a Muslim perspective of WW2 or any books that touch on this topic. This book interesting and overall a good read however Safiyyah has the best qualities and no imperfections, I felt that the author could have made her character a bit more realistic. I would recommend this book to 8-11 year olds.

Lyla

PGHS Shadowers

I liked this book because of the message of hope and freedom from war. It is set in France at the time of world war two but shows a different side to the story of the people in the mosque caring for the fleeing Jews. Although there were some sad bits, it was nice how it had a happy ending. I would give this book a 4.5/5.

Jola

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I quite liked Safiyah's War because the author made you feel the emotions felt in the book very well so every time she made a new discovery you could feel the radiance in the written words.

BENJAMIN

EJM Carnegie Crew

I read Safiyyah's war and I thought it was a good book. I thought the theme of the book was really sad as it was about WW2!

Emilie

EJM Carnegie Crew

Safiyyahs war offers a unique, rarely told perspective of the second world war, seen through the eyes of a Muslim child living in Paris. In most books, we will see it through the eyes of someone living away from occupied countries, or through the eyes of a Jewish person living in occupied countries. We don't see the main character leave their home, we see their friends and family disappearing. The book speaks volumes on our common humanity, and us living as one whole. Unfortunately, characters tend to be underused. One character is in the book for one chapter, disappears, and then is a major role later. This character experienced the Nazis terror first-hand, If the author were to alternate, going from Safiyyah's to Hana's perspective, we would have a more interesting, and more effective book.

Kaya

Portland Readers

This book was very interesting to see a very different perspective of WW2 in Paris. It was great to see someone close to my age doing such risky work to help another community. It was especially great to see 2 religions that are usually fighting, working together to save each others lives. I loved how many different characters were put into the story and how the different perspectives are shown so well in this book. This isn't the type of book i would normally read but i found it overall entertaining.

Manuela

Portland Readers

This book is interesting and factful giving you an interesting perspective on how Saffiyah's life was showing the different problems she encounters and occasionally resolves. However, I think the book could have included Isabelle a bit more, especially at the end so that we could have seen their reunion. I also think it is a bit confusing how her dad doesn't get completely arrested as it is stated he does in the blurb.

Stella

Portland Readers

This book was good but I wasn't very engaged. It wasn't detailed enough and most of the characters weren't very important to the story. After the start when Safiyyah's best friend Isabel went away, we never heard much from her. I think we should of because they are supposed to be best friends. I also felt like I was able to predict the end pretty closely. However, it was an interesting viewpoint to read from.

Paige

Portland Readers

Safiyyah’s War is an amazing book! It tells the story of a girl that lives in Paris during WW2. I think it was very interesting that the book is from the perspective of a muslim kid, because I never actually read a book about WW2 in a muslim perspective. I think that the book had some gaps, meaning that in my opinion some of the characters just disappears in the middle of the book and never came back. Besides that, I think that the book taught me many things about WW2 and Paris itself. As a conclusion, I think that it is a very good book and I would recommend.

Diana

Portland Readers

This book is okay as I am not into this genre. Although it filled my brain with knowledge about war, I did not know much about it. I also Saffiyah was inspiring.

Yashvi Rammichetty

Portland Readers

This was a very interesting book. It was not something I would usually read, but I did enjoy it. There are lots of interesting events and plot twists. I enjoyed how the book had lots of elements of history in it. Overall, a good book.

Maja

Portland Readers

This was an amazing book, giving us an interesting perspective on those who went through World War II. Although it was not a genre that I would usually read, it kept me entertained all throughout, and overall, it was a good book. One thing, though, is that I would have personally liked it better if some of the characters got more importance and added onto the story more.

Emma

Portland Readers

As a person who has read a fair share of books set during WW2 or WW1, Safiyyah's War was a captivating book. I found it different because it was from a new viewpoint. Although this is not really the type of book I usually read, I really enjoyed this book.

Violet

Portland Readers

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Louise

Book Busters

Scarlett

Book Busters

This book took me much longer to finish than all the others. The main reason for this is that it was so boring. The story was interesting, but something about the way it was wrirtten I found incredibly dull and boring, The last two chapters got a bit more interesting, but I don't think that makes up for the rest of the book.

Jack

The Marlingtonians

I found this book very interesting. It was about a young Muslim girl, called Saffiyah, helping Jewish people to evacuate during World War 2. It was also heart-breaking but also heart-warming at the same time. It describes the experience of an 11 year old girl facing hard ships in life and a war. Saffiyah is a determined, inspiring and outstanding character in my opinion. This book would be rated 5/5 in m opinion. Hiba Noor Khan is a very talented writer!

Ajwa

Word Wonderland

I was completely hooked from the beginning. It was a kaleidoscope of wonder and mystery - I thought that Safiyyah’s War really captured the reality of life and the way that this world works. It was an obstacle of beauty, life or death, cruelty, hope and love; these feelings -these butterflies - that never leave but hide and then show when plots are unravelled. It brought all of these tragedies, all of these downfalls to life but with a positive light seeping through. This book travels to emotions that I couldn’t imagine. It shined light to drive out the shadows, but most important of all it symbolised hope and love and that even in the darkest of times these two things can out power even the cruellest beasts.

Ciara

Thorpe Hall Readers

When World War II arrives in Paris, the tension rises as bombing from Germany begins and Jewish people are arrested. The intense description from Hiba Noor Khan makes you picture Safiyyah and her surroundings and sympathise with the character. Sneaking about with Timothèè forging fake identities causes an element of suspense that sprints after them faster than the speed of light but never succeeds. The history in Safiyyah’s War is a great spark on what really happened in World War II. I recommend this book as its intense level of attention to the storyline makes you picture the rain trickling on your skin. Themes of heartwarming events between Safiyyah and her grandmother makes you want to cry for hours as the emotional depth is the spine of the book.

Sofia

Thorpe Hall Readers

Safiyyah's war offers a different perspective of World War II because it is told from a Muslim perspective whereas most books written about this topic are told from a Jewish perspective. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and I particularly enjoyed how the book explored the experiences of different people in World War II, whose perspectives we are rarely exposed to. Since most books about WW2 are about the events in Britain or in Nazi Germany, I also found it interesting to read about the role of the Grand Mosque in Paris and what it was like for citizens of France at the time. The book introduces several characters, each with different experiences in the second world war. The protagonist, Safiyyah is inspiring and brave, as is her grandmother, with whom she shares a close connection. The book also has several Jewish characters, and shows how they are affected by the war. Although this book is aimed at a younger target audience, I still really enjoyed reading it although I think some of the other shortlisted Carnegie books are written better.

Isabelle

Holt Readers

After reading the start of this tragic yet carefully put story, I am amazed at the beauty of this book, the way the characters are described, I can almost imagine the scene right in front of me. In 1940, Safiyyah lived in the Grand Mosque of Paris with her parents, grandmother Setti, toddler sister and several other families. Smart, curious and spunky, she loves exploring the city—especially the map room of the nearby library, as she dreams of becoming a world explorer. Her carefree ways quickly change, however, as Nazi soldiers approach and invade, plunging her orderly world into the chaos of World War II. Setti warns Safiyyah, “There will come a day when you have the choice to use what you’ve been given in one way or another. . . . There is no use in a million maps unless they lead you to light.” Hiba Noor Khan’s debut novel, Safiyah's War, is a beautifully written, well-plotted work of historical fiction based on the heroic efforts of Mosque activists who forged identity documents for Jews, hid them in the mosque and led an estimated 500 to 1700 through the catacombs to safety. Khan does a particularly good job at making Safiyyah not only an eyewitness but also a bold heroine who dives into action, risking her life for others. Hiba Noor Khan gives the reader a clear image of the time by expressing the character’s feelings in an emotional manner. I really loved reading this book and i really suggest that everyone read this book. It’s simply brilliant!

Khushi

To Read Or Not to Read

Cosima

Sandroyd Bookivores

I enjoyed Safiyyah's war a lot because of how danger was around every corner of Paris and every page of this book. The method to evacuate the Jews was simply brilliant and I would never have guessed that the Mosque would have played such a large part. I really enjoyed the togetherness of this book as no matter what religion these people are they all worked togheter. I empathised for all the citizens of Paris in this book but espiscally Monsieur Cassin, who had his whole life's work taken away from him and all his favourite plants. I also felt really sorry for Safiyyah but I think the reader also feels very proud of her after she saved so many Jews when the Nazi's came looking for them.

Thomas

Team Berko

Alice

Ashcroft Avids

From where I am now the city is just being abandoned as the war is about to start. And we really get to know saffiyah as her perculiar attention to detail comes in use as she reads how people feel as she is walking to school the following morning. I think that what will happen next is she will get in a mess and become endangered and then she will escape and save the day

Sian

Malvern St James

It was very good, not the type of book I would usually read but entertaining, took a little while to read.

Christine

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

I found this book very happy for a book about war. I felt that although I wanted things to turn out well for the characters, I do not think that the story was particuarly realistic. I knew that everything was going to be ok, and felt that it was very convenient. I feel like it is for younger audiences.

Matilda

Broadland Bookworms

I found this book very positive for a book concerning World War II. I enjoyed it but felt it was for a younger audience. I felt it was quite convenient and everything worked out ok. At points, it was quite unrealistic. However, I thought it was a good introduction to World War II and offered a different perspective as I have not read a book about Muslims in the war before.

Charlotte

Broadland Bookworms

I liked this book, but I think it was a bit perfect. It would be something I would want to read if I was sad, but I do not think that is the point of the book because it is about war. I think there was a very good use of adjectives, and lots of good descriptions.

Annie

Broadland Bookworms

This book was an absolutely compelling read and ties together so well with the sense of a community growing and rising in times of peril. I compel you to be yourself while showing bravery, camaraderie and so much more. This shines a light on the Jewish community more than ever and is a really refreshing passage. Sometimes I laughed with Saffiyah, sometimes I wept with Saffiyah. Either way I was totally immersed with this journey. I also really loved the dynamic between Saffiyah and her grandmother and did not doubt their relationship once even through their hardships.

Teniola

Perse Carnegians

I thought this book was beautifully written and captured the War very well - it had a bunch of twists and was fun to read. It was unique in every way and I think Safiyyah as a character is realistic and relatable in many ways. I very much liked the cat Bonbon and how loyal she was. The grandma Setti was to me one of the best characters in the book. Safiyyah's War was very nice to read and I'd recommend it to many. I think we should of had more insight into Safiyyah's mother and the librarian since they had a lot of potential for the story. Nevertheless, this book was amazing and the plot was great. I loved this book.

Scarlett

Redcloaks

Safiyyah's War is a great book from a Jewish Girl in France during WW2. This story follows Safiyyah and her family and friends as they try to survive the Germans while doing resistance work. I enjoyed this story because it provides me with a new point off view of WW2.

Katie

Library Goblins

It's the only WW2 book I have read. read

abdul m

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's War is a truly life changing book. It reflects onto those who experience war on day to day life. It conveys aspects of World War 2, which is a very important topic people should be conscious of. I adore this book because it informs you about different religions such as Islam and Judaism, and that the writer of this book (Hiba Noor Khan) uses terms such as Mashallah, Inshallah. This shows readers that Muslims and those who are Jewish get stereotyped, like its a habit. The main thing that I utterly enjoy is how much of an adventurer Safiyyah is, and how she explores different parts of the world. I definitely think many people should take recognition of this book.

Simrah

TDA readers

this book we very intruiging and pulls me back in after every page. i also enjoyed this book because it is about stuff i relate such as mosque and the language they use and also the struggles saffiyah faces during this book . it could definitely encourage people to build up confidence because of saffiyahs action to her battlrs. this is a very adventurous book and you could read this over and over again and never get bored. i would 100% recommend this book to muslim girls and everyone.

Isha

TDA readers

it was a really interesting book I highly recommend it it was a really great book and I really enjoyed it.

khadija

TDA readers

saffiyahs war is a very interesting book. the book talks about how paris is going into war and as the book goes on its shows the reader how much of a brave character saffiyah is since this war has impacted her life massively. in my opinion it is a very extraordinary book and if you prefer to read adventurous books then this is for sure the book for you. you can definitely tell that the author has put a lot of time in this since it is a very interesting and fun book to read.it is has a lot of cliff hangers which encourages you to read more. amazing book and would 100% recommend.

maleeha

TDA readers

I really enjoyed this book, it took me a while to read but it was worth it :) I think it is a very important book to read as it gives a different perspective of the war. It is based on a real life story of heroes during WW2 and celebrates and recognises their efforts and sacrifices. I loved the general way the book was written as well. It’s written in a very thoughtful peaceful way which contrasts the chaotic time it was set in. My favourite character was the botanist.

Amelia

Horsham BOok HUNTers

it was very nice, i enjoyed reading it i like that kind of genre and look for more great stories like this

Tayyibah

TDA readers

I would rate Safiyyah's War 9/10 stars because I like her generosity and her kindness towards others that she learned from her family. I also like the narrative and how its based on WW2 as I'm interested in History.

Anonymous

TDA readers

Safiyyah's War takes you on a journey where you run through the streets of Paris helping millions of Jews get to safety. When her friend Hana comes back she is like she will never see happiness again Safiyyah helps her through the bad times until she is ready to leave. I loved this wonderful read this book will always be in my heart. 5 out of 5 stars

Willow-Megan

Book Squad

Safiyyah’s War is an amazing book about bravery, friendship, and war. This book is about a young girl named Safiyyah, living in Paris during the time of WWII. Safiyyah’s friend, Isabelle, moves as rumours of a war begin to break out and later, she finds out her cousin Tarek has volunteered himself to fight. She stops seeing her father as much as usual because he gets so consumed in work. Paris starts getting bombed and news reaches her that the Germans are moving closer into their country. People are leaving while they still can, and the streets become lonely and deserted. She comes across a cat in the street on her way home from school and finds out that his owners have left him. On her way home she also meets young boy named Timothée, who is very brave and helps Safiyyah just when she needs it. My favourite character is Safiyyah because she is kind, considerate, courageous and stands up for people who need her help. I also liked the character Monsieur Cassin because he was always kind to Safiyyah, no matter what, and cared about nature and took care of plants as if they were one of his own children. He wrote books about wildlife and studied all sorts of plants from around the world. The story kept me on my toes as I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. I would recommend this book for people who love intriguing adventures, dangerous situations, and historical fiction. I would rate this book an 8.5/10 and for the ages 10-13.

Annabelle

The Fitzharrys Shadows

The story is set during the Second World War and follows a young Muslim girl called Safiyya as she helps Jews to hide from the Nazis and to escape occupied Paris. Some main themes in the book are resilience, kindness, friendship and keeping hope in difficult times. This author's style of writing really helps to give us an idea about how people felt and helps us connect and empathise with the characters. I would give this book a rating of 7/10.

Cecily

Carnegie Club 2024

Safiyyah's War. Out of 10 stars: 0.5 stars. On paper it sounds good but your expectations don't meet. It bores you half way through and the children are like nowadays historians. Personally, I don't recommend this book. I don't often like to read war books as it is always serious and has a set perspective of being a soldier in the frontline or a witness of the disasters. A very disappointing book, especially as I thought I would enjoy it as its subject was WW2. Bland is how I would describe this. This book, though enticing, lost most of its potential from the method in which it approached the situation within it, with a soft method as if it were attempting to be safe with a situation which must be faced head-first.

Vinshu

TDA readers

'Safiyyah's War' is more than a book about war. It's a book about having faith when times are hard, finding your way in the darkest of times, and understanding that despite being human, people are treated differently. I loved how there were references to real people who played a significant part in fighting and helping their country, like Madeleine (Noor Inayat Khan), the first ever female wireless operator. I also genuinely hate open-interpreted endings, however, the epilogue of this book was well-written; we know that everyone who we read about escaped and Safiyyah was OK. I understood this through the inclusion of subtle details and objects like her best friend's pen and a book from her cousin.

maryam

Walthamstow Reading Champions

I really like reading this book because I loved how Safiyyah never gave up and helped the Jews, risking her own safety in the process. It is a story of adventure, friendship and bravery. Overall, I would read this again. Score 10/10

Annabel

Cake a Book Club

Saffiyah's war was a relatively good book, having a solid plot with multiple twists toward the middle and end of the book, I enjoyed hearing from the perspective of a different religious group and their experiences through the torments of WWII, and the fact that they helped the Jews escape despite the religious difference. I didn't like the fact that the book was quite slow paced and was set for a younger age group from my current one. I also thought that the blurb also over-sold the idea of the catacombs of Paris as they only came up very close to the end of the story. Overall I would rate this Book 7/10

Rory

KES Bookworms

Safiyyah’s War is the type of book you could read again and again and never get sick of. Set in the beginnings of World War II, a young Muslim girl named Safiyyah has to navigate loss, hatred and even the underground tunnels of Paris to be able to help people in a way most people wouldn’t. There is a wide variety of side characters, from a young shepherd boy staying with his sick father in a community hall to an old Jewish botanist broken after having his life’s work destroyed by Nazis. A lot of character development is shown as the characters become more accustomed to the war and gain new qualities, especially with Safiyyah as her bravery unfurls throughout the story. The main themes explored are the effects of war on people, buried history, the role of the Mosque in WWII, bravery and how to persevere even when your life is in ruins around you. The themes were well-explored and I learned things I didn’t know, making this an educational read as well as an emotional one. I rate this book 5/5 stars. It took us on a well-written journey and was very smooth to read and follow even after I put it down for a while. The characters and themes were interesting and all the twists and turns were not overdone, making them more enjoyable. I recommend this story to anyone interested in history or learning about it in school, looking for an adventure or just wanting a good book to read; I think it is definitely worthy of the Carnegie Writing Medal and would vote for this one.

Tatiana

Rebel Readers

This was an amazing book; a book ,I can never forget about. The way Hiba Noor Khan made me imagine the World War 2 was fabulous. And I am being honest that I have never read a book about "War". Thank you for this amazing book .And now I can feel the way Saffiyah would have even though this was not real .The strong vocabulary and context was very historical. Thank you ever so much for this book.

Manya

SuAS Shadows

This is a very inspirational story, where the main character, Safiyyah, helps the Jews escape and shows the courage taken as a brave Muslim. It was so heartfelt when the Grand Mosque in Paris wanted to help the Jews to seek refuge away from the Nazis. Safiyyah hates the Nazis in Paris, but her Muslim identity protects her more than her Jewish friends. Violence is everywhere, her friend left, and the library is now scary because the Nazis are afraid of books. I would strongly recommend and this is my favourite book yet! 10/10

Samarah

Plashet School

Safiyyah's war could easily be one of the best books I've read based on what Paris was like when war broke out and Nazis took some control over the streets. Safiyyah, the main character in the story, is a young girl who's intelligence is captivating and bravery is shown throughout the novel. At the start of the book we can see Safiyyah as a small girl who is only focused on her studies but as the book progresses we can see her development into a determined and courageous character willing to help anyone when she knows its the right thing to do. Safiyyah faces a number of dilemmas in the book such as her father getting arrested but as the extremely brave character she is, she is willing to go on and they only make her stronger as a person. Safiyyah only displays boldness and intelligence in the face of adversity which adds to the development of her character throughout the book. Overall I believe Safiyyah's war is an extremely well written book that could be written for any type of audience.

Eve

TTS Readers

it is a very good and interesting book . I really enjoyed reading it. I like Safiyyah, a Muslim girl, because she is kind and very brave. She never gives up and saves a lot of Jewish people from the Nazis. I really liked when she was leading Jewish people to safety through Paris' catacombs. I would definitely recommend it.

Amma

SLS Carnegie Shadowing Book Club 2024

I have only just started this book, but I was intrigued by title and the blurb as soon as I saw the shortlist for the medal for writing. Safiyyah, the protagonist, is a young Muslim girl growing up in Paris during WW2. She loves libraries and maps, and longs to explore the world. When Safiyyah hears that the Nazis have invaded her country, she becomes very concerned for her best friend, Isabelle, who is Jewish and has to flee the country for safety. I don't know what will happen next, but I am very keen to read on. At this stage in the book, everything feels a bit uncertain and dangerous but I feel like Safiyah and her family are good, kind people who will want to help their friends. Although this is fiction, it is based on historical facts. Set during a time of oppression and persecution, I think that this book will show me that there was also hope in the faith, tolerance, compassion and bravery of the Muslim community of the Grand Paris Mosque. I can't wait to read more...

Miss Love

Castle East Readers

the book is about a girl called Safiyyah and her experience on WW2. My favourite character was Isabelle because she is a very kind friend to Safiyyah. I read the story really quickly because it was really gripping and interesting. my favourite part of the book was when Safiyyah sold her friendship necklace to buy one last orange for her seti who was dying. I would rate this book 7/10.

lilly

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

Mack

Ousedale Olney

Eva

Pride and Paperbacks

'Safiyyahs War' follows a muslim child in Paris during world war 2. This book not only shows us the struggles that Jewish people fought during this hard time but also the bravery many faced at the front of war and imminent danger. The way this book is written enlightens us in ways many writers couldn't and uses descriptive language as well as astounding characterisation all around. 'Safiyyahs War' was a pleasure to read all throughout however I do wish we got a more finalized ending to the book. Other than that picking up that book was a pure joy and captivating to read, if I could read it again for the first time, I would.

Katie

Marshland Readers

Love this book 8.5/10

Artie

Macaulay Book Club

I really enjoyed reading this book and I think that one of its good features is the fact that it explains hard subjects like war and antisemitism in simple and clear ways that appeal to younger children. The book is made especially engaging through the use of a relatable and friendly main character, who further helps explain the themes through a younger perspective, making these easier to digest. Moreover, the strong impact of the main character's religion on her thoughts and action offers an insight into that culture, which I personally think is a great way to educate readers on different mindsets and lifestyles. And as for plot,I think it is well-paced , where the readers are kept interested, while presenting the main character's emotions clearly. However, as someone who has read many adventure books, I think that this book was a bit predictable and became boring at times. Therefore, I think this is for a younger age of 8 to 11.

Yashwina

The Tiffin Girls’ Shadows

Safiyyah's War is full of engaging details that tell an inspiring true story of incredible bravery. It reminds us that love and humanity surpass every boundary, and destroys so many stereotypes deeply entrenched in our society. It is a story of, more than anything, learning to be brave, a lesson we all need refreshing every once in a while!

Martha

Dallam Bookclub

I loved this book because it was wonderful to read such a thoughtful story about a girl that survived World War II. This book inspired me to make life worth it. If you do consider reading this book, I just hope you love it like I did.

Isabel

Fortismere

This is a heart-warming account of Paris in WW2 and has beautiful messages of hope and community. While this isn't a book I would normally read, I was really interested in the methods of forgery and Resistance. It comforted me how an entire city came together to aid each other in a time when there wasn't much to go around. In fact, although everything was lacking, the rate of support and connectivity increased massively and that was nice to read.

Phoebe

Ousedale Shadow Chasers

Magnificent from the very first word. To see the French resistance from a rarely heard perspective was a treat in itself, but to see it via a novel of this quality was still better. While reading, I felt myself rooting for the protagonist at every twist and turn – the mark of a true classic! Each and every supporting character felt entirely rounded and, for want of a better word, human. An easily followed yet intriguing plot added to the plethora of aspects of this novel’s success. There can be no doubt that the Second World War is a difficult subject matter in any context. Khan, however, handles it superbly sensitively and empathetically. I could not have asked for more!

Isaac

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This book was a heartwarming story that helped to give readers an idea of life in France at the time of the war, as well as the inspiring story of a brave girl trying to help others. 4.5/5

Polly

Eltham Hill Book Club

This book is about a young, brave and a bit mischievous Muslim girl living in France, where they are under attack by the Nazis. The Nazis want to take away all of the Jews, so Safiyyah's family and mosque have to carefully smuggle Jews and lead them to safety, but will the Nazis find out and punish them... I liked the plot and the description of the characters, but I think that there was too much description of some things that didn't play a big part in the book. I would give this book 8/10.

Hisham N

Ermysted’s

I quite liked Safiyyah’s war, it was a wholesome book with a strong, brave, adventurous, and kind female lead. It follows a young girl who lived in Paris during World War two, and it tells the story of Muslims helping and saving Jews, which I personally never knew about, despite studying World War two at school, which was a nice surprise! It was fast paced, and even though I usually stay far away from books on World War 1 and 2 as I find them quite depressing usually, Safiyyah’s war manages to display the pain and the hardship whilst not going too strong! It was unique in the style that it was presented too, I haven’t read much war but the ones I have read tended towards a very mild and not very action-based plot however Safiyyah’s war was quite the opposite, it was gripping to the point where I couldn’t put it down! So far probably my favourite read. Although I would say that the character personalities were sorely underdeveloped, I wish the author had focused more and developed the personalities of each individual character much more!

Delana

Perse Carnegians

I really liked this book because it was an amazing story and I think this book can inspire people to always be courageous in a good way. I don’t really like historical books but I think this is my favourite historical book so I will give it a 9.5/10

Emily

Sale High Readers

Safiyyah's War is an intricately woven portrait of the life a young girl in occupied France during WW2. The book shines a light on an often neglected part of history: that of lesser known stories of individual and collective bravery which popular history often glosses over or ignores completely. The role of the Grand Mosque of Paris in WW2 in the rescue of French Jews, giving them an opportunity for salvation surprised me, given that I'd never heard of it before. The roles played by ordinary Muslims in Paris during the war must be recognised, and this book showcases that. Throughout the book, the empathy and compassion shown by the members of the Resistance are entwined with the horrors of Nazi occupation, but the book is written sympathetically, bringing the humanity and kindness of ordinary people to the fore. I especially enjoyed Noor Inayat Khan's cameo as Madeleine!

Anjali

Watford Girls

This is about a girl who is very lucky and has her little perfect world, wanting to go travelling and explore the world when she is older. But then war comes and everything she once knew and loved is threatening to disappear before her eyes. Soon she finds out why Father was acting so weird and joins in on the action. She is a Muslim and most of her friends are Jewish - will her friends be OK and make it through the war? Will her family be OK, with everything they are doing? Will the war ever end? Or will it continue until the end of time?

Anna

Cathedral Crew

'Safiyyah’s War' by Hiba Noor Khan was a great historical fiction book. When I think of World War Two, I don’t think about how the Jews were persecuted in Paris, France at this time, and this is where the story was set. It’s a story that illustrated the hardship all races endured during the war - curfews, the lack of food and goods and the fear of being arrested at any time. Life could not go on as normal and Safiyyah’s learning took her on a new path; one that was dangerous, scary and life altering. Safiyyah’s friendships/relationships in the book were very strong and made you know what sort of person she was - kind, caring, selfless etc. She looked after the old and the young and if she could make them happy, with the little she had, she tried to. Her desire to help others, and not following instructions, got Safiyyah in trouble with her father a few times, But in the end her determination to help was what enabled others to be free.

Mrs Lucas

Marshland Readers

PMC group work

4Shadowers

This book was amazing! I loved all the characters (Especially the cats!), and how it brought to life one of the best, but most overlooked, parts of World War Two. The whole story was so believable! Before this book I had never really thought about the Nazis in Paris, or Muslims helping the persecuted Jews, but this book changed that. All in all, I loved this. 5/5

Elijah

VISTA Academy

This was by far my favourite book as it contained beautiful characters, setting and language. It helped to bring to light a very important part of the community of people who fought against the Nazis and assisted the Jewish community. The imagery was wonderful and created a really vibrant world contrasting against the difficult times it was set in and bringing to light a set of unique and courageous characters. I couldn't put it down as I felt very in touch with the characters. I felt their emotions in all the right areas and saw a different view on an incredible community that I hadn't thought of before.

Amy

Page Turners24

This book was so sweet! I loved the character of Safiyyah, and how the book explored the themes of war, religion and divides. The descriptions were lovely, as were her family and friends. I do think it was aimed at a younger reading age, mostly due to the content and style of writing, but it was a nice read and had a good storyline. I would definitely recommend if you're looking for a book on WWII, as it is factual and interesting.

Poppy

Page Turners24

Safiyyah's War is a story of tangible courage, fear, bravery and heartache that shows war through the eyes of a child. The themes of friendship, love and true generosity are reflected tastefully while the plot guides the reader through the perilous tales of the resistance against the Nazis occupying Paris. The writer explores more pleasant themes of family and care paired with the heart-wrenching main plot of war to allow glimpses of dappled hope into the story, and to give way for (though minimal) light in the darkness of conflict.

Kaiya

LatLit

I personally enjoyed this book because of my interest in the events that happened during World War Two despite the boring start. I also feel as if this book was wrote in a different way compared to the others that are about World War Two and the Holocaust. Safiyyah, the main character, lives in a Mosque with her family and is strongly portrayed as a brave and adventurous character through her willingness to help others in need whilst they were trying to escape the Nazi occupation in Paris. Right as the war breaks out Safiyyah unfortunately loses her best friend. Herself alongside her family dedicate themselves to help Jewish people and others in need. Further along into the story Safiyyah begins to see changes in her father and other people living in the Mosque, before something drastic happens. Embracing her true selflessness and bravery she risks her life to help lead the Jews to safety through the Paris catacombes.

bella

TTS Readers

Safiyyah's War. Out of 5 stars: 2.5 stars. War. Hope. Pain. On paper it sounds good but your expectations don't meet . It doesn't keep you awake, it bores you half way through and the children are like nowadays historians. Personally, I don't recommend this book. The characters really know everything about the Germans . At the age of ten I never knew anything on the news while they are the news reporters as they know really everything. It made it feel very unrealistic. I didn't like that it is full of calm moments. I like books that keeps me on my feet, which is why I thought that a war book will do that but sadly that was not the case for me. It felt very relaxing and slow and war is the complete opposite, especially World War 2. The plot, for me, wasn't good enough. It didn't feel very real. I don't get how she hasn't been caught in Paris as well. There is no way that a girl on a bike is riding around Paris with things on her back in Nazi Paris. It can't be real. This book isn't for me. It is boring, slow, and disappointing. If you like war like me than read it, just know that I didn't like it.

Alex

Lost in Pages

This book is very good and it has a gripping plot with great details and characters.

Daniel

Beechen Cliff

Safiyyahs war is a very heart warming book with messages about the strength of friendship, war and family. Safiyyah is perfect for this book as she is brave,strong,independent and adventurous. As well as tackling the stereotypes of Muslims and life at war ,the strength of the family and Safiyyahs eagerness for adventure with a touch of strong bonds makes an amazing read! I could read this book over and over again.

Ana Christina

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

Safiyyah is a young Muslim girl, living in Paris during the second world war, when German soldiers begin their occupation. This is a gripping story of how the city’s Muslim community helped to smuggle persecuted Jews to safety, based on true events. The cover of this book and even the blurb didn’t really appeal to me as I often don’t enjoy books relating to war. Having said that, when I read Safiyyah’s War, I was totally gripped by it. The flowing narrative made it easy to read, and the vibrant details made Safiyyah’s family come to life in my mind as I read it. I also loved the author’s notes at the end, detailing specific characters and their real-life counterparts. I think this book is such a success because it highlights so clearly the communities of different faiths working together to resist the Nazi occupation. Reading Safiyyah’s War is the first time I have ever heard of or read specifically about the part Muslims played in saving the lives of French Jewish citizens during WW2, and I think it’s incredibly important that this is recognised. This is a wonderful book, and I would recommend it to so many readers!

Mrs Sirrelle

BFS Umbra

I really enjoyed this book. I think it was very entertaining and I didn't want to put it down when I was reading it. I really liked how it talked about the Paris Mosque and how Safiyyah helped Jews to hide in the mosque from the Nazis. Safiyyah is a very passionate girl and I also love her Grandma ' Setti' . At some point it seemed a little bit upsetting because of some of the things that were happening but they were also very entertaining and exciting! I would definitely recommend this book as I really enjoyed it and it is one of my favourites from the list!

Noor

TGS Book Group

I don't often like to read war books as it is always serious and has a set perspective of being a soldier in the frontline or a witness of the disasters however, this book gave a new perspective to the war, being the person to save targeted Jewish citizens. This book managed to talk about a serious matter and highlight the importance of the Muslims rescue but ease it in rather than starting of strong. I could defiantly recommend the book to ayear7-8 audience as it teaches them a bit about the war but doesn't come of to strong

Emma V

BFS Umbra

Now that I have started reading this I am really enjoying it. I can't wait to read it and I am very intrigued.

Issybel

Burford School

A very fascinating book set in WWII. Describes the cruelty of the Nazis and the people affected by it. Well-written, and Baba's character is very relatable 4 out of 5

Aryan

Bibliomaniacs

I thought this would be the book I'd enjoy the most but, sadly, not. I found the characters quite bland, especially after the complexity and vividness of those some of the other Carnegie reads. Mostly, for me, I was looking forward to a perspective I had not considered- the Muslim community during WW2- however what came across was how fortune the Muslim community seemed to be compared with the horrors and atrocities suffered by other groups during this time period. Even though they were doing such good helping Jews to escape it felt like their lives were extremely unaffected in the context of this book. The synopsis also led me to believe the storyline would be more in-depth and thrilling-not the case. The blandest of the Carnegie reads for me.

Debbie

Ousedale Olney

I think this was a really good book that was written really well. It did take a while to get started but once it did it was a really good book. I like that there was a strong element of friendship in this.

Emily

Kingdown 24

Louise

Book Busters

A very disappointing book, especially as I thought I would enjoy it as its subject was WW2. Bland is how I would describe this.

Mack

Ousedale Olney

Safiyyahs War is a novel set in France 1940s. (world war 2) The protagonist is an independent teen who adores reading until an unexpected visit from Nazi Germany emerges. Safiyyah begins to mature and support peoples needs in Paris as a disaster unfolds.

harry

Consett Academy

'Safiyyahs War' by Hibba Nor Khan is a riveting tale that tells the side of history often forgotten about by the history books. The book follows the journey of Safiyyah as she lives in Nazi occupied Paris and this historical novel explores bravery at its finest and how such dreadful circumstances can bring out the best in people. This book truly hammers home how you don’t have to be an adult to make a difference; small actions change the world one step at a time. I absolutely loved this story and how it embodies so many different themes and how everyone is valued. This has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I so wish it had a sequel. The phenomenal way this story has been told has created such a special connection between the reader and Safiyyah, and this book as a whole is truly unique.

Emelia

Marshland Readers

Safiyyah’s war is a superb historical fictional novel . It is both beautifully written and well plotted . It is a truly gripping and moving novel based on the story of the Grand Mosque of Paris who heroically saved hundred of Jewish people in the WW2 , highlighting the major role of the latter at the time . I also particularly enjoyed how this book calls attention to the Muslim perspective in Paris during the Second World War. Moreover I must say that the cover is absolutely beautiful, I love its Colors and details! I truthfully appreciated reading this book that taught me history, religion family and friendship !

Scarlett PMC

4Shadowers

I really enjoyed reading the book, because i feel like it has taught me a lot about the everyday life during war time. I also liked the fact that it was from a little Muslim girl’s point of view because until now I had never read a book with this pov, and I found it very interesting. The book is written in a really light and innocent tone, so it makes it really comfy to read :)

IrisPMC

4Shadowers

I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down because I always wanted to see what happened next. The author picked a good topic to write about and I learned a lot. This book is definitely one of my favourites.

Daria

Riverside Readers

Saffiyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan. This book in my opinion is a work of art! Many people (and many books) emphasise this topic but for me this is really impressive and unique, not only because it is well written and can connect to us and be compared to our lifestyle, but also because this book shows the power of faiths. How the muslim community in Paris contributed to support their fellow Jews from this horrible nightmare is just so intriguing. And I like how some characters are based on real people who were in the Grand Mosque but some are actually a representative of anonymous people who also greatly contributed. I also really enjoyed seeing the diversity of people who were handling the Nazi Occupation because this shows how imminent the unity and power of societies was in the Second World War. I would recommend this book was attached to me for a while! Its indeed a real page turner.

ShanyuHG

4Shadowers

I really enjoyed this book. It was very interesting and I really liked how Safiyyah wasn't afraid to help the Jewish people and rebel against the Nazi's.

Erin

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

Really good the pacing was iffy but overall its really intresting to hear other countries expeiences during ww2.

Isabelle

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

This book, though enticing, lost most of its potential from the method in which it approached the situation within it, with a soft method as if it were attempting to be safe with a situation which must be faced head-first.

James

TBGS Readers

I love everything about this book, from the delightful cover to the beautifully crafted story, inspired by true and little known historical events during the Second World War, in Paris. A message of hope and compassion.

Celine

Sandroyd Bookivores

I really enjoyed this book. The author transported me to the Paris mosque with her wonderful words. Safiyyah is going thougth huge danger and heartache, but she she very brave whatever she has to face. Her dedication to face danger to help those in need is inspiring.

Red

Sandroyd Bookivores

This book is amazing and I loved reading about Paris in WW2

Dexter

Chippy Chapters

Safiyyah's war is the best book ever! I love how it has a twist around every corner. My favourite character is definitely Safiyyah because depiste everything that happens to her she remains brave. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes war novel, trying to show the best in people rather than the worst of the war. I you want to read a book this Summer, read this!

Chiara

Sandroyd Bookivores

An amazing book that introduced me to an aspect of WW2 history I did not know about: the Paris mosque hiding and taking Jews down hidden tunnels to the harbour and a boat to England. The main character Safiyyah lives in an apartment in the mosque complex with other families of staff. Her father has included her in a lot of mosque business and she becomes suspicious when she is suddenly shut out of his office and meetings. Her natural curiousity wins the day and Safiyyah finds herself committed to the Resistance movement and undertaking small tasks. The book shows the brutality of the Nazi regime and its treatment of Jewish academics and others within Paris. Educational and thrilling!

Mrs. P

Cake a Book Club

Safiyyah's War is a great book about a Muslim girl saving Jews in World War 2. It is a book on friendship and bravery and is based on a true story. It's a great read as it is a great book with loads of descriptive language and at the same time learning about the war. But at some parts in the book it did get a bit boring. I would recommend this book.

JJ

Fortismere

In the starting, I didn't think I would like the book as much as I did mainly because I have read a lot of war related book so I thought it would be sort of similar but it was quite unexpected. I really liked the different cultural and religious references in the book, it taught me new things that I didn't know before reading this book.

TCOLC Perfictionists

“Safiyyah’s War” is written by Hiba Noor Khan. The story takes place in Paris, before and during World War II. Safiyyah lives in the Grand Mosque, and Paris lives peacefully. Until war gradually enters Paris. At first, most of the government, and many wealthy Parisians including Safiyyah’s best friend, Isabella flee from Paris. The arrival of German soldiers caused a curfew to be implemented, food shortages started to increase, and the treatment of Jews started to worsen. As classmates slowly disappear one by one from her class, Safiyyah feels helpless as she observes the influence of the war. She hides her pain by taking regular trips to the library as she has a keen interest in maps, which soon stops due to her mother’s fears of the war, causing her to create strict rules for her. Safiyyah soon notices irregularities around the mosque, which leads her father to let her in on the secret of the rebellion, in which she is determined to play a role despite the dangers. Her story highlights one of the unestablished acts of resistance in World War II when hundreds of Jews were led to safety through underground passages that had connections to the mosque. I like this story because it shows the effects of bravery and courage and it honours those who chose to help others, regardless of the huge risks.

Phuong

The Lotus Readers

Safiyyah's War is an educational and enjoyable book which explores the journey of a young girl who is learning about her community through the experience of the wartorn 1940's. Throughout the book, Safiyyah's actions turn into morals as she battles the evil and saves strangers from death. This book shows the importance of society and helping others, Safiyyah's resilience and determination to do the right thing inspires. This book is not only an exciting adventure, but also a reminder of the strength that humans possess if we all choose to do the right thing. To add to this, the book would be a good pick for children who wouldn't completely understand the circumstances as Safiyyah's bravery creates a subtle moral throughout. Overall, Safiyyah's War was an amazing and memorable book that captures what life would of been like for so many young children and motivates readers of any age.

Eleanor

TTS Readers

When the war finally reaches Paris, the world that Safiyyah grew up in changes forever. With people anticipating the worse, many people have already escaped and she starts to feel more isolated and in danger than ever before. Nazi officers parading around the streets, her best friend moving away and her father becoming more and more distant, will life for Safiyyah ever return to normal? When she finally unlocks the secret of her father’s resistance work, the responsibility is then handed to Safiyyah in order to protect her father and the Jewish community hiding in the Mosque from discovery by the Nazis. This book leaves your heart in your mouth and with a longing to reach out and help the characters with the many challenges they face. The author is adept in conveying the intense emotions experienced by the characters; so much so that many of the pages are now tear stained. I felt the intense grief the characters experienced when bereaved; the suspense when Safiyyah bravely assisted Jewish families escape from the catacombs was palpable and had me on the edge of my seat and desperate to know what happens next. I wouldn’t normally pick this book up, but I am so glad that I did. It was beautifully written, thoughtful, poignant and has left a lasting impression. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys history, bravery, the good of human kind and female empowerment.

Florence

HHS

Safiyyah's War is a book that takes place Paris in 1939 and is about a child who lives in a mosque ,which later becomes a refuge for Jews, during WWII. I had mixed feelings about this novel due to the fact that is not the type of book I often read, but I really enjoyed it because it provided insight into what life would be like during World War II and in the years leading up to it. Timothée was my favourite character throughout the novel because of his optimistic attitude towards assisting Safiyyah and her family with their 'business'. Overall I liked this book and would give it a rating of 3/5.

Tilly

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Absolutely an incredible book loved seeing safiyya risk her own life to help those of her friends and complete strangers truly a heartwarming book 📚 :)

Liana

Ullswater Readers

I really enjoyed the book. It has great pacing and doesn't feel rushed or too long. I also like that every character feels very 'real' and thought out, even the side characters are all very sympathetic and well thought out. The story can be upsetting at times but is also very happy. My one complaint, is that I don't particularly like the ending but it is still fine.

Jessica

Eltham Hill Book Club

This book is set in Paris during World War Two. The main character in this story is a young Muslim girl living in Paris called Safiyyah. Safiyyah’s life has changed dramatically since the war broke out and she feels more lonely than ever when her best friend’s family flee. Safiyyah’s family and many of her friends have been resisting the Nazis and helping Jews to escape them as well. Soon Safiyyah is helping with the resistance and is running dangerous errands around the city. My favourite character in this book was Setti (Safiyyah’s grandma) as she was always there when Safiyyah needed her and would always have something comforting to say in the most difficult times. I really enjoyed this book as it showed a different perspective of the war which you don’t normally get to see and described the difficult situations which many people would have had to go through.

Jyoti

HHS

I thought that Safiyah's War was a beautifully written book and for me personally I love books about the war a. It was refreshing to see a war based book from a different religion/perspective. You see a lot off books from Jewish perspective so it was lovely to see two religions form together overall would say that Safiyahs war is an amazing, refreshing book, one of a kind and beautifully captured and written.

HD

EDA Book Legends

This is a really good book, it talks about the history of World War II,. It covers the time when Germany invaded France, and how the Germans hated the Jews. The story is also telling the readers what impact women and children had during this time. It teaches you how people can be racist because of others religions and beliefs. The author tell you how people tried to fight against Germans during WW2.

HD

EDA Book Legends

It was a good book and I liked it a lot. I am interested in history so learning about the war from a Jews point of view was interesting. It was quite gripping in a slightly relaxed way. I have been struggling to stay focused on a book for more than a few chapters, but I managed to stay with this book from start to finish which proves to me that it was engrossing. I am an animal lover and loved the inclusion of the cats and birds. I'd love to know what happened to them at the end. The end also really pulled on my heart strings. Overall, the book was a lovely read.

Evelyn

Kesgrave Bookworms

The book portrays the contrast between peace and danger when Saffiyah's world is flipped upside down. The story encaptures a rare perspective to the war with the conflict of wanting to help and the danger of the possibility of getting caught. It gets the reader to imagine the beauty of Paris and how it evolves through the difficult time of war and the damage the Nazi's intend to do. The story covers so many complex ideas with simple language. Ideas encapturing, friendship, compassion, hardship, fellow stewardship and so much more. The book also covers more depressing subjects including loss and depression towards your current situation and other peoples. This heart warming book is perfect for a book to read in your day-to-day or a story to read on holiday.

Aj

Itty Bitty Carnegie Committee

I enjoyed this book a lot. I found the descriptive language amazing and it meant I could really imagine the world that was being told. I loved the characters, the family dynamics and how the events were laid out. I adored the cats and I thought it was a lovely sweet add in. I found Safiyyah's emotions very interesting and I thought it was an amazing idea to tell it from her perspective.

Hazel

Fortismere

This book is deeply heart wrenching . This book is full of love and diversity . I loved reading about such an amazing different friendship

Fatima

Fullbrook Bookworms

"Safiyyah's War" by Hiba Noor Khan is a really good book. It's set in WWII Paris and follows Safiyyah, a brave Muslim girl who helps save Jews. The book is based on true events, which makes it even cooler. The characters are really diverse and the plot is full of suspense. I was totally hooked. Safiyyah is a hero, risking her life to help others. The book taught me a lot about the war and the role of the Grand Mosque of Paris. It's not just a history lesson, it's a story of courage and friendship. Definitely worth checking out!

Joe

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah’s War is a book set in WW2 in Paris. Safiyyah lives in the city’s mosque with her family :Yemma, Baba, Fatima and Setti in their apartment. Safiyyah’s life takes a massive turn when the Nazi soldiers invade. Her friend moves away to escape along with thousands of others and there is lots of tension in the air. Safiyyah’s family do not move away but stay at the mosque. Safiyyah knows that they are not in immediate danger as they are not Jews but is still frightened. Then her Baba starts acting very suspiciously and leaving the house at night. Safiyyah knows she must find out what is going on. I really liked this book as it was told from an entirely different point of view of somebody in WW2 than is usually written. As well as being a really engaging read the fact that these events really did happen was very interesting. The mosque really felt like a safe place within all of the trouble and you found yourself feeling the same emotions as Safiyyah throughout the whole book. Safe, overwhelmed, shocked, angry, fearful and curious. I found myself not getting tired of reading this book and never wanting to stop. This book showed that people do have the power to make a difference and all they need is courage. I would definitely recommend this book to all types of readers because this book encompasses: history, war, secrecy, courage and the importance of family and helping people.

Heidi

Glossopdale Readers

Safiyyah’s War is about a girl named Safiyyah, who lives in occupied Paris with her family at the Paris Mosque. Her Baba runs the mosque, and as the Nazis take over Paris he is involved with the French Resistance. Safiyyah is friends with many Jewish people, young and old, and eventually she gets involved in the Resistance too, delivering letters or sheltering people (and a fluffy cat). This valuable, no longer forgotten story is true, as the Paris Mosque did save the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War 2. One of the first things I noticed while reading this book was the bare, simplistic writing style. There are no layers, no metaphors, no really interesting use of language. I believe it could be written more eloquently, with more metaphors and complex diction. The book is written for a younger audience, a possible reason for its simplicity. Most of the book lacks evocative language, which I believe would have made this book much better. Overall, the general plot and story is interesting, but I feel the writing style could be more complex and interesting.

Claire

BIS Society of Dragon Readers

Couldn't get into it at first, but overall a powerful story and well written because it almost felt like I could feel Safiyyah's emotions.

Aaliyah

Sale High Readers

Safiyyah's war is an incredible book about the life of those who helped the jews in the war. I learned so much, and I really loved the way that the people were all portrayed as humans. We got to see how people back then managed to escape, and how some of them didn't. Overall, this book was my absolute favourite as it uncovered some very hidden parts of history. Would definitely recommend!

Kristina

Brooke Weston Book Busters

Emma

BFS Umbra

this book is very powerful , when I first picked it up I knew it looked special it really captured me in its deep and meaningful insight into the life of someone living in occupied Paris it was a engaging read.

benjy

Fortismere

Gwen

Pride and Paperbacks

This book is amazing! I really got hooked into it and I felt like I was part of the family. It was a really enjoyable read and it was very compacted with information. The only thing I would change is that the blurb gives away alot of the story so once you have read the blurb you mostly know what is going to happen. But other than that I would definitely recommend 👍 9.7/10

Eleanor

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

‘Safiyyah's War’ is a book about a Muslim girl who lives in a mosque in Paris during WWII and whose life is significantly changed as a result of the conflict. This book might appear slow at first, however it becomes interesting as it progresses. While the beginning may not instantly capture the reader's attention, their patience is rewarded as the plot unfolds with exciting events, keeping readers anxiously turning pages to discover the next twist. Aside from the excitement, the author includes moments of sadness that remind us of the scars of war. In my opinion, the perfect balance between the thrill and heartache is what makes ‘Safiyyah's’ War a must-read book!

Suzy

The Lotus Readers

I liked Safiyya's war a lot. I thought it was a very realistic description of life in occupied France, and it also gave the story from a new perspective that is not often thought about. The climax at the end was a very satisfying finish to a clever plot!

Mabel

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

ˋSafiyyah‘s War‘ is a WW2 novel based on true events. The main character Saffiyah lives in Paris, as Germans attack the city. Her parents help Jewish people escape by giving them fake Muslim identities. It is a magnificent story about courage and compassion. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction.

Eric

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Wow, what an incredible read. I truly enjoyed Safiyyah’s War. As a girl who hasn’t read many war books before, I found Safiyyah’s War so interesting. The book shinned a light on the resistance act in WW2 - which I knew nothing about. But after reading this book I really wanted to research more into this sophisticated topic. I have to admit, this book made me emotional. Another reason why it is so great. I loved all the characters but I specifically enjoyed watching the growth of Safiyyah’s character. I would recommend this book to anyone, it left me feeling enlightened. Amazing.

Lily

THS Shadowing

I enjoyed reading this book as it is very engaging and the storyline is very good. I would definitely recommend it to a friend and I would give it a 5/5.

Eniko

Watford Girls

'Safiyyahs war ' was a very enjoyable book to read. Safiyyah [the main character] is quite brave and adventurous and has gone through lots during this book such as her best friend fleeing France and her cousin going to fight in the war .The storyline was quite interesting and captivating to read.Even though I'm not a big fan of historical fiction this book was an exception . I would rate it a 9\10

mia

The Bentley Woodlanders

I enjoyed reading the book Safiyyahs War. I found the book had a good story and though I did not have enough time to finish it feel if I had I would have really enjoyed finishing it. Despite not finishing the book it is definitely one of my favourite of those I have read!

Annabel

Tractor

Safiyyah's War was an interesting book to read and I found Safiyyah as a character to have an mind-opening mindset and to be very full of life. Safiyyah and her family all seem like very compassionate and helpful people as in regards to the way they treat others, and their story shows that. Whilst I was reading this story, I enjoyed the way it is written and how we get to see Safiyyah's opinion/thoughts on everything. I thought that this book was fascinating in the way it shows us what it was like for children and families in France during World War 2. All together I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to others.

Maisie

TTS Readers

A very interesting book about Safiyyah and what she will do for justice and equality as the Nazi's attack her home and everyone she loves and knows. A very ironic story considering the challenges we face today.

Mirabelle

STCCG Shadowing

Saffiyah's War was a great book to read.It had exciting parts and I also learnt a lot about WW2 and muslim culture.Saffiyah was an interesting character to follow.One of my favourite parts was when she rescued the cats and brought them home with then meeting Timothée.I did find that some chapters were bit tiring to read and I sometimes found myself at one point,super gripped and others not.It was still a very good book.

Rani

EJM Carnegie Crew

It is an amazing book that shows bravery, kindness, empathy and a range of emotions throughout the events

Khloe

Sale High Readers

I thought Safiyyah's War was slow to get started but still kept me gripped on the story line until the end of the book. I really liked the way that Hiba Noor Khan explored the Holocaust from a Muslim perspective, which is unusual and refreshing. It was very emotive and it made me really feel for the persecuted Jews at this time, in the story and in the second world war. It was also as similar to real life as possible without it being non-fiction, which meant no magic or crazy adventures; instead it had real life fears and problems which are still present in the world today. This made the book relatable in terms of emotions, and also made you empathetic towards what the main character was going through when the Nazis invaded. Safiyyah's War contains a mixture of history and fiction, but is still exploring important themes all the way through: family, kindness and community.

Freya

Holt Readers

This book literally made me think and feel like Safiyyah. It also made me realise that I had no idea about what happened in France with the Germans. It was also very interesting to read and very enjoyable to read. It's made me realise that you should cherish every moment of life.

Bethany kn

Ely College Reading Group

'Safiyyah's War' is a really interesting book. The pace is perfect and the scenes are easy to understand. Safiyyah is a really strong character and has a lot of complex emotions throughout the book, she showed us how to be brave and care for other people. I think that she is very important in helping other Jews to escape and she is risking her life at her age. This book also showed the history of the evil acts of the German soldiers and how WW2 affected the invaded countries and especially Jews. They lost their freedom to wear what they want and what they did was controlled by the Germans and just thinking about it, I feel really bad for people that lived in that time. The Germans also burnt books in public and included all the books they didn't want to be seen, because they didn't want people to find out about their horrific acts. This mass manipulation showed just how cruel the Germans were in the WW2, on the other hand, the author really described the scenes and the story really well. Its also full of action and points of plot twists and dangers, it's really inspirational and a gripping read. Overall, the book is structured well but personally I don't really think the ending is not as stunning and unique as I expected. Recommended to people that want to understand other people's emotions and like historical fiction, or people that look for an interesting read.

Hayden

Bookiewookiedoodaas

It was very interesting. It made me want to read more and more. I especailly like the grandma 😀

Esther

GreatB00ks

This book was a great book as it showed perfect examples of bravery and bereavement during the second world war and how people in her situation lived and coped, i quite liked this book but it was not my favourite but it still enlightened me more to other peoples problems.

felix

Ermysted’s

I enjoyed this book, it was boring in some parts as I felt like there was some parts that were slightly random and weren't really needed for the overall plot. I liked how it explored some important messages through a lense of fantasy. Safiyyahs war wasn't really as poignant and moving as I was expecting, but it was an interesting book that I enjoyed.

Natalie

Townley Book Club

I haven't started reading this book yet as I only got it out today however the cover is very appealing and the title is very intriguing. I am very interested in war themed books and I can't wait to read it. I imagine that it is going to about a war refugee and they have a family who is fleeing to an unknown country.

Issybel

Burford School

This book is a heartfelt story about what went behind the scenes in a war. It is full of unknown heroes and a brilliant protagonist. This book made my heart warm and made me realise how big an impact something can have on a range of people.

Emma

Burford School

Scarlet

The Sherbies

I enjoyed this book very much. It started off very slow and boring at the start however it picked the pace up towards the middle of the book and got a lot more exiting; overall this book was a very good read.

Luke

Tenbury Page Turners

I have enjoyed this book! This book illustrates the Resistance movement of the Grand mosque of Paris and how it saved so many Jews. Saffiyyah is the main protagonist: she is a curious girl who is obsessed over maps and is caring. Her curiosity has led her to join the Resistance, helping many others in the movement against the Nazi occupation. This book contains themes of hope and resilience, and the emotions allow you to connect with the characters. Generally, I loved it!

Haniya

Plashet School

'Safiyyah’s War' by Hiba Noor Khan was a great historical fiction book. When I think of World War Two, I don’t think about how the Jews were persecuted in Paris, France at this time, and this is where the story was set. It’s a story that illustrated the hardship all races endured during the war - curfews, the lack of food and goods and the fear of being arrested at any time. Life could not go on as normal and Safiyyah’s learning took her on a new path; one that was dangerous, scary and life altering. Safiyyah’s friendships/relationships in the book were very strong and made you know what sort of person she was - kind, caring, selfless etc. She looked after the old and the young and if she could make them happy, with the little she had, she tried to. Her desire to help others, and not following instructions, got Safiyyah in trouble with her father a few times, But in the end her determination to help was what enabled others to be free.

Mrs Lucas

Marshland Readers

'Safiyyah’s War' is a beautiful book which talks about what Paris was like during the occupation in WW2. The main themes running all through the book are friendship, bravery, family and love. The way the author has expressed these themes all the way through is amazing and it makes the whole book all the more heartwarming.

Lena

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

The novel, Safiyyah’s War, by Hiba Noor Khan tells the fictional story of Safiyyah, a young muslim girl growing up in Paris during the second World War. Throughout the story the character of Safiyyah really progresses and her bravery reaches a climax when she begins to help the Jewish people of France with the use of her Mosque. Although this story is fictional it has dashes of real history spread throughout and touches on the heart-wrenching events which took place within the war. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it has everything from thrill to heartache to friendship. Overall, this is an excellent book and a lovely read for readers of any age and interests.

Sophie

TTS Readers

I really liked this book as reading about occupied Paris was interesting, I loved the cats, and it’s very realistic, it doesn’t just have a completely happy ending like some books of the sort do. The only thing is it took a little bit too long to get exiting in my opinion. 9/10

Eleanor

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

When war hits the streets of Paris and begins to change Safiyyah's life, she starts to wonder if there really is something her family is doing to help those in danger. It's not long before the ones she love start to leave her one by one, and her family begins to live in fear of the soldiers. This novel tells the brave story of Safiyyah and her family during the war, and how their resistance work begins to change many lives for the better. I loved this book and I was amazed at the bravery Safiyyah has throughout. I found it fascinating to learn about lots of different perspectives during the war as I did not know much about those attending mosques and resistance work during the war time. It would have been more interesting if the story was written from the first hand perspective of different characters throughout, for example chapters written by Safiyyah, Baba and Timothée to get a feel of their point of view as the story developed. Overall I would rate this book 8/10 and aimed at readers aged 9+.

Lola

PGHS Shadowers

Safiyyah's war was amazing. I think it was aimed at slightly younger readers than me but I still found it a pleasure to read. The plot was really interesting following a young Muslim girl who faces the terrible, frightening aspects of war. She enjoyed her life a lot with calm but then the war came. Her best friend left and only occasionally did she give Safiyyah letters and pressed flowers which she preserved with care. As the book goes on, a true historic theme is carried out by the dangerous work that the people of the mosque that usually is forgotten. My only complaint is that all the characters were really kind to each other and didn't really have a hidden meaning except the German soldiers. The root of a small tree can portray everything in your life that can be saved or you've already lost. I enjoyed this book a lot and would definitely recommend it as it has just the right balance between historic pieces, sweet pieces, really sad ones and the ones that tie it all together. Overall, it was great.

Hanna

BSG

I absolutely loved this book. The storyline was inspiring and extremely historically accurate. Not only is this book entertaining and heart-warming, but educational too. Through this book, I've been able to understand the complex history of WW2 Paris and new cultures that I have no experience of this. If you enjoy history and unexpected heroism, you will love this book. 10/10.

Imogen

Open Book

This book was so entrancing due to the fact that it was so well written, and that it was based on real life events, it enhanced my knowledge of communities such as the Islam community in this book and how they supported people like refugees during the War. In total it was a very captivating read.

Swan

Denbigh Shadowing Group

The story is about Safiyyah, a young girl in Paris during the war. When her brother goes to fight and people begin leaving the city, Safiyyah is determined to save her best friend. One of the main things I really liked about this story is how Safiyyah really likes books and her dedication to her friendship - her bravery to protect that friendship. I found it made her character quite relatable. I think the writer did a good job of making the war relatable to the reader, it helped me to understand the past - making it an interesting book. (4 stars out of five).

Romeela

Rockwood Reads

I really enjoyed this book. I found it quite upsetting that Safiyya's friend had to leave her. The description of the mosque made me feel very calm and transported me to Morocco.

Milo

St Martin’s Bookworms

Safiyyah’s War was one of the best books I have ever read. Filled with hope, trust, adventure and most of all, kindness, this book was all about World War 2 in Paris. Although I have only ever learnt about World War 2 through lessons at school, this amazing book has sent me back to it, to have a taste of the world back then, better than any history lesson would have ever. What an enchanting story!

Ayzah

To Read Or Not to Read

Paisley

Free School Readers

Despite it's slow start, Safiyyah’s War turned out to be a rather enjoyable read and I got to explore an area of history which I've read, watched and learnt about countless times, but this time, from a completely different perspective which added to the enjoyability for me. Although a creative and interesting book, I do feel that there were a few too many characters to follow and I hardly felt connected with anyone apart Safiyyah and her grandmother, which was an adorably touching intergenerational relationship which I found relatable to me and my own grandmother.

Maddy

Carnegie Carnage

Safiyyah's War might be one of my favourite books I've read. The plot was amazing and the pacing was great, so you weren't left reading pages and pages without anything happening. Most war-time books and documentaries focus on the trenches and British/American soldiers, so it was really interesting to see what it might have been like in France and how other races would have been affected by the war. Overall, I think it was very well-written and I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

Piper

LSST Library Shadowers

Safiyyah's War is an amazing read. I have read many books about WW2, but none of them have covered Paris or how it affected the Muslim community. Safiyyah is strong-minded and a bold character who is beautifully written. However, there wasn't much of a plot line, and most of the story was just Safiyyah's life during the war. The story still had a lovely message about helping someone no matter the consequences. Overall it was an interesting read but with a slightly basic plot and didn't really have a bold impact on me emotionally, with no tense sections or shocking plot twists.

Emily

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Ella

Waldegrave School

This book is set in Paris, World War II, and it's about a brave Muslim child joining a resistance and helping Jewish people escape from Paris. Even though it is a fiction book, there was a secret resistance against the Nazis in Paris in real life during the war; the author, Hiba Noor Khan, wanted people to know about and admire the bravery of the people of Paris that stood up to the German soldiers to help Jewish people to stay alive. I found this book interesting and I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it yet.

Dylan

The Marlingtonians

I found this book quite interesting however, there were many parts that were unnecessary and did not need to be there. At the end some parts made sense, but there were still a lot of parts that were not needed. This book could be a lot shorter. I feel like the concept/idea of the book is great but the author often went on tangents. I also feel like it was not very different to other war books, it did not really have a unique part to it. I did like how the book put a light on how Muslims coped during the war, as this is not often looked at.

Chloe

Burford School

I am a complete sucker for any WW2 historical fiction and loved this text and a chance to read about a niche perspective of the occupation of Paris. I loved Safiyyah as a protagonist: feisty, confident, but also full of emotion. I thought she was written beautifully. I will absolutely be recommending this text to my KS3 classes.

Miss S Yeabsley

Lionheart24

Izzy

BFS Umbra

Good book about ww2 and how Jews escaped the terrors.

MuyangD

Ermysted’s

The book “Safiyyah’s War” is very interesting and it includes the life story of a Muslim girl named Safiyyah who became trapped in Paris because of WW2. In this book she helps her father and uncles save many many Jews from being arrested or killed. She tackles many obstacles along the way such as having to deliver forged documents to Jews without getting caught by the Nazi’s ad supplying refugees with food and water even though her own family was barely eating . I enjoyed this book a lot because it presents Safiyyah being courageous and smart against the Nazi soldiers who have invaded Paris. She also has to go through losing her grandmother and the pain of her best friend leaving and not knowing where she would go, so the book includes themes such as abandonment, courage and hope. I rate this book a 7.5/10

Mia

The Lotus Readers

I liked this book because it was a really well written and heartfelt story. What I liked most about it was that it had a fantastic story-line while also showcasing real life events and the horrors of world war 2. I liked how Safiyyah always had a positive attitude and always tried to make the bad things feel better. Overall I thought this was a good book and I would definitely recommend.

Robin

Ermysted’s

Equal Parts exciting, emotional and educational. Set in Paris during the second World War, this book is about something that I was not aware of, the fact that the Grand Mosque of Paris saved 1700 Jews, smuggling them out through underground passages. The main character, Safiyyah, is a young Muslim living in Paris with her family. She finds herself having to grow up extremely fast when war is declared. When her family begins to keep secrets and people start fleeing the city, Saffiyah is determined to find out what is going on. I absolutely loved this book; Hiba Noor Khan has a way with words I cannot even describe. It was difficult to stop reading and made me cry more than I would like to admit. Safiyyah, although fictional, is a strong character that can easily be imagined in this role, and her sense of duty to her family and friends is unwavering.

Srivarsha

Watford Girls

The book starts with when world war II the war is creeping across Europe but has not yet reached Saffiyyah and her family. ​ Safiyyah feels helpless as she witnesses the impact of war. And later, the shortage of food and introduction of draconian laws against Jews.​ She saved over 2,000 Jews when it was war.​ I recommend this book because Saffiyah did not care which religion she helped. Because she has a kind heart .

mellissa

Lionheart24

This book really helped me understand what it felt like for people who lived during World War II, you're not taught this perspective at school. It's an emotional story of a girl who helps the Resistance in saving Jews.

Francesca

St. George’s Dragon Readers

Honestly, an amazing piece of history with a brave heroine and a variety of different relationships. I adored reading about some history I had never learnt about before.

isabella

Brooke Weston Book Busters

I really enjoyed the storyline. I loved the story's ending; out of the ones I have read so far, this one is by far the best. I would rate this a 10 out of 10.

Sarah

Open Book

Out of all of the shortlisted books, this one needs your help to stop a mostly forgotten part of our all our history from vanishing. The exquisite novel shines a light on the bravery, courage and empathy of the altruistic people that saved countless lives during WW2. Safiyyah is a character that now stays with me wherever I go, her overwhelming passion for caring for others always present I truly believe she will do the same for you. Hiba Noor Khan is an outstanding author and her first book will reach out from the pages and into your heart. Safiyyah's war is a tribute and a saviour to a part of all our history that is fading before our very eyes. Please don't let it dissipate before yours, as only you have the power to save it.

Taya

Book Squad

This was such a beautiful book. I loved Safiyyah's War. It was so amazingly written and so descriptive I loved getting to hear the war from a child's perspective. The book has made me a lot more aware of what people had to go through, it was so intense and detailed. Hiba Noor Khan made sure to keep readers hooked till the very end. The book was so descriptive I could watch every chapter play out in front of me it made me feel like I was almost part of the story. It adds a whole perspective to different people during the war; the characters were distinct and none the same. It brought me so much joy to hear a story like this.

Mansuni

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This is a WWII story from an unusual perspective. I'd never heard of any assistance given to Jewish people from Muslims. Researching this, there is little evidence from the Association of the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France, but either way it's a nice story. Safiyyah is a strong, brave and kindly role model and I especially liked the way she supplied others with the library books she values so much. She was also strong enough to discard as rubbish, children's changing views at school concerning Jewish people. Libraries and knowledge are central to the book and it definitely promoted the idea that people who read are more likely to be free thinkers and much less likely to be anti-semitic.

Jacqui

Weavers Inklings

This is one the best books ever. I love historical fiction and this is a really good example of the genre. It is a really good example of one religion forgetting their differences and helping those in need. It is something that is really important to be known with wars happening all around the world, especially with the conflicts between Muslims and Jews. It is also incredibly important to see situations like these. Lots of examples of other religions, like Christianity, are seen helping Jews during their persecution in WW2, but examples of Muslims helping are rarely told. Excellent book. Definitely read it.

Tim

St. George’s Dragon Readers

This book was absolutely amazing, one of the best books I have ever read. The descriptions were amazing, however, it feels like it takes so long to read. 9/10.

Dylan

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

I started this book thinking I was not going to like it, but slowly began to realise that it was actually very good. This book made you empathise with the characters and feel the horrors of the war they went through. The plot was based on real people who are real heroes and helped Jews escape the country.

Emily

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

I didn't read the whole book though I loved the detail in how she talked about food and how it was set in Paris. I don't like books that are set about war but the first stating pages were quite full on about the information of the characters over all I did enjoy reading it .

Tilly

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

Great book, my favourite character was Safiyyah, my favourite part was everything but I think there could be more cliffhangers.

Amy

Herts and Essex

I enjoyed Safiyyah's War and I felt like the story was incredibly moving. The perspective of Safiyyah being a Muslim girl in Paris during World War Two is an under-written about topic and the fact that the book is based on true experiences is moving. However, I do believe that the book is aimed at a slightly younger audience and that due to this the ending is stereotypically 'happily ever after'. In the context of the history around this book, it feels slightly unrealistic that everything worked out so well.

Ava

Camden School for Girls

I quite enjoyed this book and continued to read it because it was quite interesting but at the same time i think this book was aimed at someone a little younger then me.

saamia

Camden School for Girls

I thought this book had a very original idea. I loved the writing style and I think the opening was very immersive but I think it was aimed at a younger age range and I would have enjoyed it more in year 5 or 6. 8 out of 10.

rita

Camden School for Girls

This book provided a new perspective on the second world war. It was seen from the view of a Muslim in occupied France which I have never seen before.The story took a while to get started but once it did it was very interesting and showed how the Nazis persecuted all religions and minorities.

Sayuru

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's war is about a young Muslim girl who lives in a mosque in Paris during the Second World War. Once the Germans reach France, many of her friends including her bestie Isabelle, is forced to travel with her family all the way to England. As the war gets worse, Safiyyah is caught in the blast of a bomb (to no harm of course :) whilst she was travelling to her beloved elderly friend Monsieur Cassin who later has his house raided by the Nazis due to being Jewish. This book is a very sad yet eye-opening experience showing the different effects of the Second World War. I would advise a ‘trigger warning’ if you are someone who is sensitive to war and ultimately sad books.

TJ

HHS

It’s good but not my favourite. It didn’t really have a fun story and it was really slow but it was okay it just wasn’t my favourite.

Naomi

Herts and Essex

World War II has broken out onto the streets of Paris and Safiyyah's life changes forever. Most people at school have fled and the bombing begins, making her terrified to leave her home, the mosque. She begins to see changes in her family and soon becomes part of the secret resistance work, helping Jews all over the city. Nazi soldiers soon suspect something and Safiyyah has dangerous responsibilities across the city. With more Jews coming to the Mosque every day, Safiyyah is tired and stressed and trying hard each day to hep the Jews. Soon Safiyyah must lead a group of helpless Jews to the docks through dark, underground passages with no-one to help. My favourite character is Safiyyah as she is brave, courageous and curious. She always wants to know what is going on and want to help. She knows what she has to do and is not afraid to stand up to the Nazis to do what is right for the city and the Jews. This book was very exciting however it was also a bit upsetting to hear about how rough the Jews had it and how Safiyyah's family suffered to take care of them. I would recommend this book for ages 9-15 years as it needs an understanding of religion and French. I would rate this book 9/10 as it had a good plot and I enjoyed it.

Flo

The Fitzharrys Shadows

'Safiyyah's War' showed the roughness of Nazi soldiers (mainly towards Jews) during WW2. I loved it when the author describes how the father is part of the French Resistance and how Safiyyah wanted to join. I also love when the reader finds out that the father helps to smuggle Jews out of Paris using underground tunnels. When the author writes of how a Jewish girl was found and that girl turned out to be Safiyyah's friend, it was very emotional. Hana, a Jew, would barely ever talk since she was traumatised by the Nazi soldiers. The author was able to take the reader back in time, in the middle of a terrible war, and also to communicate the suffering the Jews went through, and the love that was shown even at the darkest times.

Lucia

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This book is inspirational and moving because it is all about even through unimaginable hardships, someone will be there. The main character Safiyyah is a brave, adventurous soul who is thrown headfirst into war. After her best friend leaves and her cousin joins the army, she is distraught. However when she hears about the resistance she finally finds a way to fight back…

Adam

Corsham Shadowers

This book really gave me the feeling of what people living in war and losing loved ones feels like. This was a great insight into other peoples lives.

Maya

Herts and Essex

Paisley

Free School Readers

Once, Paris was a peaceful, vibrant city in which young girls like Safiyyah could live happy, carefree lives. However, as the shadow of war looms over all of their lives, Safiyyah knows she must do everything she can to help those in need, despite being afraid to even leave her mosque. Using her love for maps and her enormous heart, she vows to do whatever it takes to help her Jewish friends to escape the terror of the Nazis and keep her beloved family safe. But then the Nazi soldiers start to become suspicious of activities in the mosque… In this beautifully constructed story, Khan draws her audience in with amazing, well-formed characters who you can really root for. Safiyyah is an incredibly likeable girl whose joys and fears are felt by the reader through the author’s wonderful story-telling. Additionally, the plot is full of twists and turns which are thoroughly enjoyable to experience and really build the world of 1940s Paris around the reader. Also, the ideas behind this book are very creative, as the role that Muslims played in saving Jewish people from arrest is not widely recognised, therefore this book makes for an extremely interesting read, allowing you access to information you never knew before! The seriousness of the war and the Holocaust is perfectly balanced with the joy that the characters radiate, making this book a very accessible, entertaining read. Personally, I believe that this book is incredible, from the amazing characters to the beautiful cover. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about world war two as it offers a new perspective on what life was like at the time and the hardships that people had to face. Also, I would recommend it to people who don’t particularly enjoy reading or to those who wish to read more as, while some speech can occasionally be a little stiff, on the whole it is a very easy and enjoyable read. The only thing I wasn’t particularly happy with was how much of the story the blurb gave away, however this was balanced out by how interesting the story itself was and how amazing the experience of meeting each character and getting to know them and their situations was. Overall, I would rate Safiyyah’s War 4.2 stars out of 5 and would definitely read it again!

Emma

Glossopdale Readers

The book ‘Safiyyah’s War’ is about a girl called Safiyyah whose life changes drastically for the worse when the Germans invade her home- Paris. She begins to notice strange behaviour in her father and the other leaders of the mosque where she lives. She starts to investigate what is going on and eventually discovers that everyone in the mosque is help the resistance. It is dangerous work but she believes that every life is worth saving. This is a really interesting and exciting book that shows how terrible war can be. Although it does take some time and focus to read, it is really enjoyable and hard to put down. I would recommend it to people who enjoy historical fiction and are 9+.

Hannah

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This was a gentle read about a brutal period of history. I am a massive fan of historical fiction as I enjoy finding out about other cultures and times. The story was interesting and the cooperation between Muslims and Jews was a welcome break from the current news from the Middle East. However, I found the characters lacked complexity - they were either good or bad, I'm not sure that this reflects the world in which we live. I also found that the story lacked moments of real drama and was rather predictable. Overall nothing hate, but not much to really love either.

Mr Jurd

Herts and Essex

I have only read the first chapter and so far i think that it would suit someone who enjoys war themed story’s as well as it being quite adventurous and hooking.

Maddie

Malvern St James

The story of Safiyyah starts with her being an average Muslim girl in the city of Paris. Her bright, young mind is casted to the reader with her impeccable knowledge of the geography of the world and her vast knowledge of the catacombs in Paris. Her best friend Isabelle is forced to move out of Paris, and this sends Safiyyah into shock. However, WW2 strikes and Nazis slowly take over Paris, limiting her to no explorations and no freedom to walk without the atmosphere of fear. Her mother Yemma is always afraid that something will happen to Safiyyah if she travels or goes out on the contrary to her words. As the war develops and becomes severely dangerous for Jews in Paris, Safiyyah realises her father and entire family are very suspicious of something, but the secret remains anonymous, until she tries to discover the mystery herself. Eventually, she finds out this secret and is shaken. The support from her grandmother Setti, really helps Safiyyah with all her explorations. Tragically, another misery has come upon Safiyyah, regarding her grandmother. Through the toughness of it all, Safiyyah has to persevere and help her father with his secret mission in the catacombs under Paris. Using all her knowledge of geography skills, she safely completes the mission without her father’s assistance, giving her pride that she had finally helped a community and used her abilities to the most after being almost quarantined from her skills in the time of the war. Main characters in the book include: Safiyyah, the main protagonist which becomes a hero, Setti, Safiyyah’s intelligent grandmother which had immigrated from Algeria to Paris and has the warmest soul, where she gives care and spreads her positivity around, Yemma is Safiyyah’s mother, in this book she is seen as very paranoid and worried for Safiyyah as well as having trouble to calm down at times. Her father owns a mosque, where he did all his mystery work to help save communities in Paris. In my opinion, I think all these characters worked really well with some other characters like Hana, a girl which Safiyyah and her dad helped, and a farmer boy which had recently come to Paris and decided to help Safiyyah on her quest. The plot was very interesting, giving insight into the perspective of people in the war and the “mischief” done during the war. The storyline gives us insight on how the war affected people’s lives, from rich, mouth-watering oranges being taken away for ration during the war. The author used some very nice detailing techniques, I really felt like I was indulged into the scene. The beautiful description of plants, touch really helps with imagination and I believe that people that have trouble with making up places from description will really flourish with making an image in their head. Although, I believe what can be done better is the storyline. The storyline was a bit confusing for me at times as it flitted between Safiyyah’s personal life and her work life.

Liuba Mrs.Egan’s class

Sidcot Shadowers

The story in itself is eye-catching, just by looking at the cover it gives you a misterious sort of look but also adventurous in a way. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who loves adventures and they would enjoy the plot of the story.

Sian

Malvern St James

The life of Saffiyah was destroyed by war from a very early age but the perseverance and effort of Saffiyah and the people around her shows us how much hope we still have in humanity. The Muslim community in Paris show's us that despite the difference in our religions we must not fail to help others. This is a book that uses the mistakes of the past to address the problems of the future. It teaches us about diversity, love and, lastly, courage. I think this book is a must read for everyone especially our younger generation.

Irewamiri

Reading Without Limits (Lancaster)

I enjoyed reading Safiyyah's War as I found Safiyyah to be a interesting and relatable character, watching her navigate her life after the nazis invaded France was really captivating.

isabella

Carnegie Festival

Safiyyah’s war was probably one of my favourite books that I have read during my lifetime. I think that it was a very emotive and powerful story about a girl who is trying to fight for her country. I love how the main character, Safiyyah is so brave and willing to do anything to save the Jews and help them get to safety. In my opinion Safiyyah’s war is an interesting book that has many ups and downs but I’m sure many of you will love it! This book made me realise that people keep declaring war but no one ever wants peace anymore. So my overall opinion of this book is really good and I recommend it to the people who love heart racing stories!!!

Manu

Chiswick Carnegie

I loved Safiyyah’s War right from the first page. It seemed right up my street, historical fiction and set in France as well! The book is also about people who don’t get talked about enough. Most of the WWII books that I have read are based in London, so it was refreshing to read something not based there! The character of Safiyyah is amazing, even though she doesn’t always know what to do, she always does what she thinks is right, no matter the consequences for her. This book is also really good because it represents a religion that doesn’t get talked about enough in the context of the Second World War. This book was over all very upbeat despite the hard subject matter and some really sad moments. It was really well written and I found it to be a lovely book to read.

Susannah

SHSK Shadowers

I realy enjoyed this book as it shows how Safiyyah is scared of the bombs landing in Paris ,but as the book goes on she learns to be brave and courageous. One of my favourite parts of the book is when she steals Monsieur Cassin's book back. I thought this bit was good as it was very tense and you didn't know if she would get caught or not. I think that everybody should give this book a go.

Leo

Fiction Addiction

I loved this book because it shows bravery through hard times like when family members die and the loss of friends. I enjoyed how it shows a point of view in a real time. I have learnt a lot about how she lived in this time. This book shows how if you work together anything is possible and how you can always make time for others. I liked how it shows that children can work as hard as adults and help out.

Grace

Going Places

Shreya

Perse Carnegians

It expresses many types of friendships and was a really good book for people that enjoy mysteries, but I felt it was alright and a bit boring in the middle and confusing near the end of chapter 20. I'd give it a 3.5/5

Varadha

Watford Girls

'Saffiyah's War' was the first Carnegie book that I read and I have to admit that I had very low expectations. It was aimed for 9-10 year olds (though it made me cry more than I would like to admit) , so I thought that it would be boring and simple, but I was pleasantly surprised! It is set in WW2 Paris and is from the POV of Saffiyah, a kind and lovable girl who lives in a Mosque with her family. As the war breaks out, she looses her best friend, and is distraught. She helps her family to run dangerous errands around the city, helping Jews and those in need. She creates unexpected friends, challenges the prejudice views of her peers , and finds her identity. This book was very perilous, exciting and well thought out, with adventures and tragedy around every corner. I absolutely adored this plot, although it was not to ridiculously high-octane, I thought it had a nice balance of calm and emotions and danger. I thought that the theme was a stand- out feature of this book. It told a WW2 story from a very different POV and it was very special. It talked about immigration, the Nazi movement in France, and how religious groups and young people viewed it. 'Saffiyah's War' was written beautifully in a way that created brilliant images of the Mosque and the streets of Paris. It is appealing to a younger audience through more simple words, but written in a way that is appealing and stimulating for a wider audience. It is comparable to 'The Last Bear' by Hannah Gold (in writing style) which was my all time favourite when I was about 9/10 and gave me a fuzzy feeling of nostalgia when I read it . The characters were lovely. They were all very sweet and caring, so it was very easy to enjoy. Although, my only complaint was that none of the characters were particularly complex. They were all just nice, but that wasn't particularly interesting. Overall I really loved this book as it was exciting, beautiful, a unique telling of WW2 and something that I would happily recommend to friends and family.

Lucy

BSG

Safiyyah’s War, by Hiba Noor Khan, is a great book about a caring girl called Safiyyah and how she copes with the German occupation of Paris in World War II. I especially loved how Khan made the characters, like Safiyyah and her best friend Isabelle. Also, it gives real insight into the true lives of the Jews who were not in concentration camps. Additionally, Safiyyah was a very likeable character. Overall, it is an amazing book with lots of twists and turns, and I would highly recommend that you give it a try!

Zachary

MTS Northwood

Safiyyah's War is a historical fiction set in the second world war about a Muslim girl named Safiyyah. This is a well written book but lacks much of a plot near the beginning and only gains one later in the book. I also think that Hiba Noor Khan did not make the most of the characters that she introduced. Despite this, it is a well written book and takes a normally unseen side of the second world war into light. Overall I think this is a well written book with a few flaws that prevented me from fully enjoying the book.

Simon

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book is about a girl called Safiyyah she is is a happy and bright young girl who is obsessed with maps and loves her family. War is creeping across Europe but it has not yet reached Safiyyah and her family. For the moment, Paris is still a free city and life at the Grand Mosque is ordered and calm but then the war comes. What will happen next? This book is amazing. I loved it so much, and I would recommend it to children 9 and above . My favorite bit is when Seti is very close to dying and Safiyyah brings an orange from the black market to help restore her happiness and joy.

Jemima

Sandroyd Bookivores

I really liked this book and when I was reading it, it was really hard to put down. I felt as though I was really there and watching everything. I felt happy and sorry for all of the characters and I could imagine them in my head when I was reading the story. It made me feel as though the story was right there in front of me. However the story was a bit boring for me at the start and I didn't want to pick it up. By the end though I was finding it hard to put it down. I loved the plot and found it easy to follow what was happening. There were lots of unexpected twists that took me by surprise and I always wanted to find out what happened next. I highly recommend this book.

Freyja

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

Overall,I really enjoyed this book as it derives from both history and imagination, a very unique genre which is hard to be creative with as you are challenged to have a strict plot.This book however really explored the boundaries as it showed an Algerian girl in a thriving country(France) and the struggles of war during the 1940s. It also was bittersweet at the start since Saffiyah's country was colonised by France and she and her family were fighting for it. Saffiyah had to also deal with separation from her best friend, her cousin leaving and her having to help Jews. A story of true courage,bravery,determination and resilience.

Rajin

Ermysted’s

This book stands out to me for it’s powerful story and beautifully written characters that I could connect with. It also made me try couscous for the first time it was lush I would recommend

Samantha

I Forgot the Name of the Group

When I first picked up this book, I was unsure on what to expect. Would I enjoy it, would it intrigue me would I not enjoy it, but within the first chapter I knew this book was going to be a very enjoyable read. It was very attachable once I started to read and I was trying to get a glimpse or short read every chance I got. I felt the book built up really well into the finale and it was easy to follow the plot. Another thing I enjoyed about this book was I learned a lot about the Muslim culture and how life would have been for not only Jews in Nazi reign but also Muslims. Safiyyah the main character is a memorable character from the start and her courage builds up throughout the book eventually leading to her leading a group of Jews to safety which ends the book off. As much as I enjoyed this book some of the sentences felt dull. There was a few simple sentences that could of been explained a bit better but other than that I thought this book was very enjoyable and one I won’t forget

Vincent

TTS Readers

I rate this book 8/10. I liked the last 3 chapters because it is when Safiyyah saves the Jews using the catacombs under Paris to bring them to safety from the Nazis.

Connor R

Ermysted’s

This book I didn't completely like, as it was too slow at the start and wasn't really my genre. Although, the book had redeeming qualities like the plot. I think this book would be good for some, but wasn't really for me.

Miley

Killy Krew

Safiyyah's War is an extraordinary book that took me by surprise. I really enjoyed the theme of the story, having had no prior knowledge of the realities that the book was based on. However, I felt that there were places where I'd have liked the story to have a different pace as it felt a bit stilted.

Miss Berrow

Appleton readers

I have been so interested in the Nazis since I learned about it in history and also a bit about it in English so this was a really entertaining.I really liked Safiyyah and her family because of the way they stepped up to help others. I loved how a mosque was willing to help the Jews at a time they really needed it the most, this really shows how much we need equality and respect for other religions, race, culture and even the different lifestyles and beliefs we stand by. We really need that togetherness in today's society.

Esther

Plashet School

I think that this was a very good book as it showed the nazi invasion from the perspective of a child. This is imaginative and a very good way to teach children about the nazis because most adult books about it are very somber and grim. It showed perfectly how powerful young people can be and will certainly make the children who read this be more courageous and independent as Safiyah has bucket loads of those qualities.

Konnie

DCGS1624

I enjoyed this book however found its blurb misleading because she only moved the masses of Jews in the very last chapter. Additionally it was slow to start with and shows how life was under Nazi occupied territories and the sad brutality of the Nazi occupiers. But in general it was a well written book. I rate it 6/10.

Ambrose

Chippy Chapters

This book was fantastic; it balanced different emotions of a wide range, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of tension, love and sadness. One of the many things I enjoyed reading was the brilliant French/Algerian culture. This was a brilliant read which I definitely had to give my vote. I was sad to finish this book but I hope the author has many more fantastic books to come.

Omar

Bennett Memorial Book Club

This was such a good book, and especially since we are learning about Nazi occupation in history at the moment, it was very relevant. It was very gripping and intense and lets people see the war from the view of someone younger and closer to our age. It also helps highlight the people during the war who had their own small rebellions, who might have been forgotten, died, unknown or not deemed important enough to go into history textbooks. I would definitely recommend this book to other people, especially if they were looking for a historical fiction book in particular.

Emily

Perse Carnegians

It is very interesting and educational as it enlarges my historical knowledge of the WW2. It shows how the tow religion should be like.There is so much emotion, which is done really well, and each character feels individual and vivid.

Ming

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah’s War was a compelling, captivating and inspirational book. Revolving around Safiyyah, a Muslim girl who lives in a mosque with her family, it shows the horrendousness of WWII. As the persecution of Jews is increasing Saffiyah finds herself in a dangerous position. Could saving lives potentially ruin Safiyyah’s? I really enjoyed this book. Highlighting the issues of war and the treatment of people that are so called “different” this book helped me delve deeper into the historical perspective of WWII. My favourite character in this book was Setti. A brave, brilliant Grandma she represents the massive part that grandparents can play in your upbringing. Additionally, I found it interesting how this book represents how people in society are treated “differently”. Due to their religion Jews were persecuted. I think this relates back to modern society and how some people can be pressured and persuaded to change their beliefs because people are mean and might think them not “normal”. The only thing I dislike about this book was that you didn’t find out what happened to other characters in the end like Timothee and Madame Odette. I would recommend this to readers aged 10+ and rate it 8/10.

Orla

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book is incredible, it’s an extremely fascinating book of the view of Parisian’s in world war 2, the fact that people had to face these horrible soldiers, and being treated horribly is terrible, and you really get a view. This book is good because it involves many characters.It goes through all the stages of the war from them just invading a part of the border to the soldiers controlling their city and taken them under control, it includes detail and is well written.

Alice

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This book is set when the Nazis take control of Paris [World War II], and how it forever changes Safiyyah's life. She is a brave girl who loves reading and maps, and wanders around the streets of Paris with her friend Isabelle. However, her friends start to move away when the Nazi invade. Jews are starting to be persecuted and her grandmother (Setti) has passed away. This is really emotional as Safiyyah always had a strong bond with Setti. Her father is also arrested for working with the Resistance and this leads to Safiyyah having to do dangerous mission by herself. I find it truly sad that this is based on real-life events. It is such an emotional book, with raw feelings and thoughts. I give it an 8.5/10

Shreya

Perse Carnegians

When Saffiyah, a young Muslim girl living in Paris, finds herself in the middle of the Nazi invasion of France, she has to become accustomed to the new lifestyle of living in a military occupation, but when she discovers her father is secretly working for the French Resistance, helping Jews escape the city, can she help him save these innocent people. Saffiyah’s War is a gripping tale, filled with rapid action and suspense, but at the same time tender emotion. I really enjoyed the character arc of Safiyyah, from young innocent, to more serious, aware of the horrors around her, and I thought the characters around her helped to accentuate the different steps in her journey, such as her loyal friends and caring family, and the people she rescues and bonds with, such as Monsieur Cassin. Although I did find the character arc very interesting, I found the naivety of Saffiyah at the beginning of the book frustrating, to the point where she seemed selfish, but I am glad that this was resolved at the end of the book. In conclusion, I found Saffiyah’s War a very engaging story, with interesting characters and a refreshing new take on Nazi occupation and those who resisted it.

Alexander

Perse Carnegians

This was a wonderful book filled with lots of surprises. The story has hints from history, which made it a very interesting novel. I particularly enjoyed Chapter 35, as Saffiyah's navigation through the Souterrain was well described and long awaited. From early in the book, I could imagine the pain and sorrow Saffiyah experienced, particularly from her relationships with Monsieur Cassin and her friend Hana. I was thankful the author completed the book on a happy note.

Isobel

The Bentley Woodlanders

This inspiring novel, written by Hiba Noor Khan is set during the second world war, when the Nazis have taken over most of France, including Paris, where Safiyyah and her family lives. As the Nazis become increasingly brutal towards Jews and people of colour, including Monsieur Cassin, a dear friend of Safiyyah, she decides to find a way to resist this dreadful new regime and joins the Resistance, an undercover group that help Jews escape France. However, as the Nazis grow more and more suspicious, she is forced to undertake a terrifying mission, that could save many lives... She manages to find the courage to do this, and helps a large group of Jews find safety. In my opinion, this was quite a good book, but I felt like it lacked structure which led to it being a bit confusing at times, and could be boring. I also felt like the words Khan used were a bit childish. However, I thought she really captured how the war must have felt for not only adults, but also children and the horrors it brought into their lives. As well as this, the first bombing was explained so vividly, I could feel Safiyyah's terror and pain. I also really like the insight into life at the Mosque, and how it was to be muslim during the war. In conclusion, I think that the plot itself was really good and well-thought out but it went all over the place and could be hard to follow.

Leonie

Euro Bookworms

eleanor

Waldegrave School

this book is good for schools but im not a huge of it its about a family who arrive in paris when the nazis are there and theres a war saffiyahs life changes for ever

ellie

CTA Book Club

A wonderful story of the bravery and tenacity of a young girl forced to do what she needs to do to survive. The plot builds wonderfully and keeps the reader engaged throughout. A story for all time.

Mrs Parr

Appleton readers

Personally, I had really high hopes for this book. However, I have not enjoyed it that much. I find that is doesn't really have a plot and hasn't captivated my attention that well. Even though the story line is not that interesting to me, it still hooked in some scenes. Some parts I found quite emotional and shocking, I also feel like it reveals how it really was in the war for Jews and other religions. I feel like they isn't really any stories that show what is what like for other religions so this book is slightly different to other war books for me.

Chloe

Burford School

Safiyyah’s war was a very emotive, empathetic book full of surprises and sad moments. This book really shows life in Paris during conflict in intricate detail, making the story more interesting and intriguing. Although Safiyyah’s war is a fictional story based on real events, it felt as if it was happening right there as I was reading it. This story was very powerful and emotive as It told the story of a normal girl going through life, hiding secrets, having secrets kept from her, losing friends and gaining new ones along the way. It just really shows how one small family with big hearts can help so many people. This is a really nice, empowering book that I would recommend and really enjoyed.

Grace

Chiswick Carnegie

I really enjoyed this book as it showed how Jewish people were being treated in the world war 2 by the Nazis. It showcased a lot of emotional scenes as well like when Saffiyahs dad was arrested. Overall, a very interesting book!

Hamza

Ermysted’s

I enjoyed the parts that I read of Safiyyah's War. I loved the main character because I agreed with her views on life. I liked the setting however I just couldn't get into it and i only got up about page 160 . I think the reason I couldn't get into it was I didn't like the way it was written .

grace

OLSB Shadowers

This book is really good and some parts are actually pretty sad. It talks about relationship and how important they are. It covers also that even though you're in a different religion, you can still help others. If you love history this is a definitely go to book.

Sonia

EJM Carnegie Crew

I really enjoyed this book as it was very gripping and excited. I could not stop reading it as it had one exciting plot after the other. I really loved all the twists and plots that happened and it made my heart jump into my throat when Saffiyah's father got arrested. I could not put the book down as I was very eager to see how Saffiyah and her family would persevere on with their mission to rescue the poor Jews. I would love to read another book like this by Hiba Noor Khan!

Janani

The Abbey Readers 2024

Ava

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd

This story was such a beautiful one with a very likeable heroine Safiyyah. Safiyyah has wants and dreams like us but because of the war those thoughts and feeling have been repressed. As you read on you can see how Safiyyah brings hope to the people of France. I believe her story is truly inspiring.

Phoebe

Herts and Essex

I think its a really good book and I like how it shows the effect the Nazis had on the Jews

Leighton

OSSMAORATORS

Maddison D

BFS Umbra

Immy

BFS Umbra

Max

BFS Umbra

I really liked the book as it showed us parts of the war in which we didn't know. It gives us a perspective of how people were spies and keep it a secret from their family.

Dylan

OSSMAORATORS

‘Saffiyah’s war” is an outstanding story of an Islamic girl overcoming the difficulties and challenges of World War Two, away from her best friend.

Meira

Going Places

Saffiyah is so brave she is truly my role model she loved going to the library which I also love doing and with the help of the maps she has been learning about at a very tender age, she saved a lot of people by her intelligence and bravery. I want to recommend this book to people who think they can't do things at a young age. If they are brave and they have the passion to do it then they can achieve it . I hope that other people who read this book also enjoy it as much as I have.

TINUOLA

SPS Shadowers

I loved how this book explores the bravery of Muslims in Paris during WWII, noting their role in helping Jews escape the Nazis. Despite being fiction, the book contains true events, for all people to read to learn about the bravery of the Muslims. It's a strong book and I wouldn't be surprised if it won! 8/10

Shara

Plashet School

Safiyyah's War is really well thought and planned before being published. This book is set in World War II, when the Nazis take control of Paris, and changes Safiyyah's life. Safiyyah is a brave girl who loves reading books and maps, and wanders around the streets of Paris with her friend Isabelle. But when the Nazi started taking over, Safiyyah's friends moved away, Jews started to be persecuted and her grandmother (Setti) passed away. Safiyyah always had a strong bond with Setti and her death caused many to mourn. There were many parts that were very emotional, and I can't believe that this is based on real-life events. I think that this book has deeper meanings, such as helping those in need and even making a subtle difference can make a big change. I love how Safiyyah loves maps, and that knowledge helped her and many others. So far, it is my favourite book!

Mila

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This book is set in World War 1, I believe, when the Nazi's invaded Paris and were trying to persecute the Jews. I liked this book since it tells us about how people felt as the Nazi's were taking the Jews as prisoners and also mentions key words related to Islam, which I found really helpful in understanding the story. However I do not recommend the book to people that are very sensitive to things related to violence and war crimes. Overall, this book is really amazing and I would recommend people to read it! It really changes your perspective on situations so you develop sympathy for others that experienced this.

Sarina

More Readers

The book Safiyyah’s War is based around the life of a girl who lives inside a mosque in Paris during the second world war, and whose life changes drastically. She learns how to see and understand the suffering of those around her and whilst finding comfort in the ones around her. This book has kindness, pain, grief and love and shows them through the lense of somebody our age instead of the usual old historians. This book has helped me realise how many hidden, forgotten stories everybody who took part and experienced the war have been discarded or have been written off as unimportant, when in reality it affected almost everyone's lives, including the ones of ‘nobodies’, like for example children, librarians, teachers and religious leaders. This book also reminded me to remember and be very grateful for how free we are and that not everyone - even today- has the right to voice their opinions or beliefs, or even have a proper education. It made me more aware of how suppressed and how so many people are still fighting for their voice in a country or region which still hasn’t realised the injustice of suppressing specific communities or groups of people. We must always be mindful of what we have and what others don’t have - especially when something we take for granted, like an education or uncontrolled social media, isn’t allowed for everyone in the world.To conclude, this book made me be more appreciative of the things I have and made me remember to always be thankful and be more aware of people who don’t have all the rights and privileges I have.

Stella

Euro Bookworms

I think that this is a really powerful book about standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It takes us through the powerful story of the great mosque of Paris, it's a really sensational book about when the Nazis occupied Paris.

Ben

St. George’s Dragon Readers

it was a good book and I liked the plot but it didn't keep my attention for the whole book

Grace

Saltash Sprightly Scholars

This book was very interesting,and i learnt a lot about world war two. The storyline was clear and exciting, and it was very adventerous.

lottie

Brighton Shadows

Really good book! I loved the world war context and everything that Saffiyah would do for her loved ones.

Benedict

Chippy Chapters

this book is about a girl that lives in Paris during WW2 she doesn't think the Germans can come through the French defences until her best friends family moves to London. A few months later the Nazi step foot into Paris. Her family are Muslims and live in a Mosque. They believe that saving one life is like saving all of humanity. So her dad starts working for the Resistance by handing out forged Muslim certificates to the Jewish families. But then her dad gets arrested by the Nazis so the girl called Safiyyah has to do her job for her Dad until the war ends so her dad can be freed and her brother who fought in the army can travel back safely

Rajanp

Ermysted’s

An amazing story of World War two and how Jews were treated by the Nazis. It incredibly showcases how tough life was for Jews in Nazi controlled areas. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it explored compassion and kindness well along with thoughts of maintaining patience.

Lola

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

I really enjoyed the WWII France setting and the perspective of a young Muslim girl. The story was powerful, but also feel-good in a way that war books often aren’t. However, I did think it was overly-emotional and too sentimental at times. I also didn’t think the book was structured very well, it felt quite disconnected. And some aspects of the main characters aren’t mentioned enough. Still, it was fun to watch Safiyyah become braver and come into her element. Not my favourite Carnegie, but still worth a read.

Grace

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

War is approaching and is about to change Safiyyah’s world forever. Her best friend is leaving and Jewish families are being found and destroyed in front of her eyes. Moreover, the Nazis strict controls and a bombing raid make her scared to leave her mosque which she calls home. She then finds out about her father’s resistance work and wants to help. She runs errands for them with a boy called Timothée. But in the end she is faced with helping hundreds of people escape out of Paris. Can she be the brave girl that everyone thinks she is and help? One way to know that a book is good is not only when you feel with the characters, it’s when you start to feel the emotions they are feeling, and start to cry like them. This is what happened to me. Just the description of a family house being bombed, Safiyya walking past and seeing it made me cry. Another good sign for an author is that people ask questions. They want to know more of the backstory, more about the characters feelings and actions. This is what makes a book exciting to read. Overall a very good read.

Elsa

Euro Bookworms

In my view, Safiyyah's War was an excellent read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. This book is all about the life of a Muslim family at the time of World war ll. It is set in Paris 1939 and Safiyyah's family is helping Jews escape from the Nazis. My favourite character in this book was Safiyyah's cat Bonbon. I liked this character because he was so cute and comforting. Certain parts of this book made me feel empathetic because of what the characters were going through. Hiba Noor Khan used a factual story and weaved in her imagination to create a masterpiece. I would highly recommend this book to all sorts of readers above the age of 9.

Husayn

Perse Carnegians

Very complex and layered plot, very moving and provided historical insight on unspoken events in UK history lessons. Additionally very interesting to see the perspective of someone in an ethnic minority, similar to myself, in such a different space of time. The story also included many themes of reading and libraries which I enjoyed.

Verena

The Book Club with No Name

i love this book because it shows that if u work together things are always better and also how kindness always goes a long way

sara

The Book Club with No Name

The author has written a book about a subject that a lot is not known about. How Muslims in Paris helped the Jews escape from the Nazis in WWII. Even though it is fiction there are a few true events. An educational book for all people to read to learn about the bravery of the Muslims.

Michelle

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

Book review of Saffiyah’s war The book, called Saffiyah’s war, was set in Nazi occupied Paris around 1940. It is about how members of The Rebellion risked their lives to get jews out of the country and into safety. This book includes unlikely friendships, daring and bravery in the face of adversity. The main character is a Muslim girl called Saffiyah who lived with her family in the Mosque that they run. She has two friends who are with her throughout the story. One is called Timothee, he runs errands for the Rebellion and another is called Isabelle who fled down south away from the Nazi. The last friend is called Hana and she is a Jew fleeing from the Nazis that killed their parents. Overall I thought it was very interesting and that it was suitable for 11 to 12 year olds. The writing style and language used was appropriate for that type of book. But I don’t think the ending was as exiting as it could have been.

Arthur, Ms Cody's

Sidcot Shadowers

This was one of those reads- the ones where you pick it up and don't want to put it down. I cried a total of three times throughout my reading of it- I rarely find books which invoke that sense of emotion from me. It truly is an extremely good read, the descriptions of despair from tragic events in ww2 definitely struck a chord in my heart, for example, when Paris is bombed, and when the Jews are assaulted, threatened, and arrested by the Nazi soldiers. This was highly impactful on me as a person, especially imagining how those people must have felt being targeted in such a way, and to be able read from the perspective of an outsider, struggling themselves, but still seeing the distress and wanting to play a part in helping in some way. The book as a whole certainly hits in a new way, too, when you recall the fact that this is an event that did truly take part during the war. You can tell the author took great pains to get the smaller details correct, especially when you take a moment to read the afternotes. On another subject, the way hope was described in the book was incredible, the undertones of migration from Safiyyah's grandma, Setti, who came from Algeria, finding hope even in the most dire situations- when faced with her own death. It was a bittersweet and touching moment when she passed, especially seeing the effects of grieving on Safiyyah, on top of everything else going on. Overall? I believe this to be the best of the Carnegie books I've read so far- truly a perspective-shifting story, that has had a definitive impact on me.

Jasmine

St Augustine’s Challenge

Saffiyah’s War was vivid and emotional. I enjoyed the story and the message. The characters were quite interesting and seeing deep issues and themes of war and persecution from a young Muslim girl’s perspective was engaging for me, even though the book was aimed at slightly younger readers. My favourite parts of the story were the descriptions about the food and welcoming serenity of the mosque, and the heart wrenching moments when people close the main character were fighting for survival or in danger.

Rosanna

KEVICHG

This book is such an amazing way to tell a story set in WW2 that isn’t often told. Safiyyah’s story is such an interesting one, because it shows the bravery of the heroine that can never be doubted. When her family sells fake passports for Jews and harbours British Soldiers, Safiyyah doesn’t need a second thought for her to be a hero worthy of this amazing story that will truly have changed your heart by the end.

Greta

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan was a great read it is about a young muslim girl in world war 2 who helped the jews escape from paris. I liked this book because it was very interesting and you never knew what was going to happen next. I would definetly recommend it.

Rosie

Carnegie Festival

This was an amazing book it felt like you were actually in WW2 and it also made the plot have weight and made it feel even more realistic not to mention the amount of detail which made everything feel even more real. My only criticism is it starts off a bit slow.

Luke

Plumites

Safiyyah's war is a WW2 themed book about how Muslims were affected during the war. While the point of view idea is really interesting as it isn't one that is explored much in media and literature, I found the book itself quite difficult to get into, and more like something that I had to finish. I think many people might enjoy this book, however I found that it probably wasn't intended for me.

Somi

Burford School

1. The world introduced in "Safiyyah's War" is a vivid portrayal of Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. It's a time of fear, uncertainty, and oppression, where violence lurks in the streets and the city's once vibrant culture is overshadowed by the brutality of the regime. The setting is both familiar, as it's rooted in historical reality, and strange, as it presents a perspective often overlooked in World War II literature, the experience of a Muslim girl navigating the complexities of identity and resistance in a war-torn city. 2. The main character, Safiyyah, is a courageous and determined young Muslim girl who grapples with the moral dilemmas and dangers of living under Nazi occupation. Despite the risks, she is driven by a strong sense of justice and empathy for others, particularly her Jewish friends. Safiyyah's internal struggles and her journey to uncover the truth about her father's actions make her a compelling and relatable protagonist. 3. Throughout the book, Safiyyah experiences a range of emotions, including fear, anger, frustration, and determination. She grapples with the feeling of powerlessness in the face of oppression, the guilt of being unable to help her persecuted friends, and the conflict between her desire to resist and the need to protect herself and her family. As she delves deeper into the underground resistance, Safiyyah confronts the harsh realities of war and the sacrifices required to fight for freedom. 4. Reading "Safiyyah's War" evokes a mix of emotions, including empathy for the characters' struggles, admiration for their bravery, and a sense of urgency to learn more about this lesser-known aspect of World War II history. The book's impact lies in its ability to immerse readers in the experiences of individuals living under Nazi occupation and to shed light on the diverse stories of resistance during this dark period in history. 5. At its core, "Safiyyah's War" is about resilience, courage, and the power of resistance in the face of oppression. Through Safiyyah's journey, readers gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of identity, the importance of standing up for what is right, and the enduring human spirit that perseveres even in the darkest of times. The book invites readers to reflect on themes of justice, empathy, and the strength found in unity and solidarity.

Ronald LI

4Shadowers

This is such an enjoyable book! There is so much emotion, which is done really well, and each character feels individual and likable, especially Saffiyah! The story is really compelling and exiting, and develops smoothly. It gave a very different perspective on the war that I never really thought about or knew about before. I also thought the culture was really nice to see, and didn't feel forced at all! Overall I loved Saffiyah's war!

Edward L

Ermysted’s

Izma

Lionheart24

The book starts with when World War II began in Europe. The main character is Saffiyah, because she finds a solution that she should let the Jews stay at a religious place. She saved 2,000 Jews during the war. I recommend this book because Saffiyah did not care which religion she helped because of her kind heart.

Anita

Lionheart24

I love how the writer has included the fact that animals really help people calm down and how paper origami can help clear minds and telling us the incredible story of the different religion coming together and helping the Jews. I also like how it shows the people of Paris resisted against the Nazis which I was also unaware of.

Chloe

UoBS Bookworms

I enjoyed this book because it taught me a lot about how Jewish people were treated in WWII. You could also feel the moment. I think this book would be great for people who like slow-paced books.

Habib

UoBS Bookworms

It was a nice descriptive book showing how hard life was when the Nazis took over France. Also, how some people sacrificed their lives to protect Jews but the pace was slow and the plot was predictable. I loved the cats and the bird.

Hannah

UoBS Bookworms

I thought that this book had a great atmosphere and a very individual story line. The characters and surroundings were very well described, making it an hard book to put down. I would definitely recommend this for ages from 10+ as it had some sadder scenes within the book.

Edie

St Kaths

3/5 star read. I loved how this book revealed how some people resisted against the Nazis even though there wasn’t much they could do.

Olivia

Riverside Readers

Arthur

Tractor

Safiya lives in the mosque with her family in Paris day dreaming of travelling the world and looking at maps but as the Germans finnaly break through You will be gripped to the edge of your seat As her and her family start forging fake birth certificates hiding British soldiers and sneaking Jews out of the country

Mariama

CTA Book Club

Saffiyahs war is a good book for people who like history this book is based on Hitler. I would recommend it for people who are interested in war and conflict the writer mentions madame ottre a lot so as you can tell she's a main character she's the key . This book is educational so I definitely recommend it for all schools and all age groups

Ellie

CTA Book Club

I loved this book! I didn't think I would at first but as you read along it gets more and more exciting. The story is about a 10 year old girl called Safiyyah. Her whole life gets turned upside down when the Nazis take over Paris and her best friend's family leaves. I like how it shows the untold stories of the resistance and demonstrates what life would be like in Paris in World War 2.

Harriet

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

I picked this book first because my imagination was captured by the idea of delving into the Paris catacombs. This fascination / trepidation was satisfied later in the book...and didn't disappoint! In a time of such horror and chaos in Israel at the moment, it restored a bit of my faith in humanity to watch this beautiful Muslim community literally risk their lives to save Jewish people. I was even more delighted to learn that this really happened in WWII. Safiyyah is an idyllic teenager in a way that I believe we need in fiction - she is selfless and compassionate and a role-model for us all. I highly recommend this book.

Ms Best

Dallam Bookclub

‘Safiyyah’s War’ was particularly enjoyable. Although WW2 has been a common theme for writers, ‘Safiyyah’s War’ was unique because it explored Muslim influences in WW2 which is much less common. Additionally, unlike other books, it shows the reader life behind the trenches and shows the power of those who were considered unable to fight. Haba Noor Khan uses butterflies to symbolise hope throughout the story and explores the theme of trust effectively. A key element of the story was relationships, particularly with friends. For example, when Safiyyah loses Isabelle, Haba Noor Khan effectively considers loss and separation. This book also has historical significance and contributes to education on the horrors of war. Overall, I have really enjoyed reading this book as it was entertaining, and celebrated the human characteristics of kindness and compassion for others.

Sophia

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This was a very interesting and emotional book about a young girl and her family as they get through World War Two. I was always engaged in this story, wondering what happens next. This leads me my next point which is that the story always lay a new mystery and challenge but the only way in finding out how it was tackled was by reading on. As a result of this intelligent technique by the author (Hiba Noor Khan) I was always exited to finish another chapter of her story. Also, throughout this book as a reader I experienced a mix of feelings as I read on. For example when things begin to go well for Safiyyah and her family a sudden tragedy may occur leaving you in complete shock or perhaps the opposite could happen and you are in great relief. This made me feel a connection to the protagonist and always wanting to stay up to date with her life. However, what caused me to not absolutely love this book is that it was a bit too serious for me and always had a sense that something could go wrong. But I understand that the genre of this book was war so these features do fit the topic although I just think that I enjoy a different style more. Overall, this was a great book that I would recommend to many others. If you love mystery and fictional stories then this is for you! 7.5/10 from me.

Tom

Bookwizards

I greatly enjoyed reading this book. However the start of the book didn't really hook me in when you start reading more the story line slowly pulls you in to the point where you cannot put it down. I admire how the author managed to include many accurate historical events while still being packed with emotion and vocabulary that could send you to tears. Overall this is a gripping and thrilling read, I would recommend .

Alice

Corsham Shadowers

I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the fact that it was about a young girl living through the war, who faced many challenges. This book is really interesting and I am really glad I got to read such a heart-warming book. I would give this book a 7/10

Isla

Rebel Readers

For me, this was a very good and heart-warming book about world war 2. It's set in Paris and for most of the book the Germans are occupying Paris. Safiyyah discovers that her dad is doing secret resistance work and she wants to join in. She finally gets her chance when her father is arrested and cannot complete the secret work anymore. She is just able to keep running the secret project to help the jews in Paris. There are some very close calls but it works out alright in the end. At the start, the book was slightly slow-moving but I read on and got the part where everything starts to get interesting. In the end, I really liked this book and I would rate it a 9/10.

Sebby

Going Places

The story is about a girl named Safiyyah, who lives in Paris. Suddenly, Paris is being bombed and her father is arrested by the Nazis. Now she needs to find a way to lead people to safety. When reading, I think this book connected with me, as a Muslim girl myself, I really liked the message near the end; "whoever saves a single life, it is as if they have saved all of humanity". I really like this, because it creates a sense of peace for me. I also like how the book represents Muslims and Jews together. The only area in which I think this book could be improved is perhaps with some pictures because, as a reader, I found it hard to visualize some of the scenes. However, overall, I think this book was excellent and I would recommend it to others (Five Stars).

Nusaybah

Rockwood Reads

This book was a good book. I liked how it took a real life event and turned it into a fictional story. It was very clever. The mix between culture and religion was beautiful. I am not a fan of war related books but this was a good book!

Ayyub

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Safiyyah's War is a moving story of a Muslim girl and her family, a part of a resistance in World War 2. It has almost brought me to tears and ends on a heartwarming note. I recommend this book to everyone and have loved every second of it. Hiba Noor Khan has truly outdone herself. Every word seemed to have emotion strung on it and is outstanding. I loved Setti and Hana, both Ammos and Monsieur Cassin, Yemma and Baba and Fatima, and the main girl herself, Safiyyah, more than I ever thought I would imagine. It is a tale of love and loss, hope and despair and growing up at the beginning of one of the worst wars in history. I thank whatever compelled me to choose this book, as this is an experience I will never forget. Thank you, Hiba Noor Khan, for writing this absolute masterpiece. Read this. Just do yourself a favour and read this.

Jhanvi

SHSK Shadowers

Safiyyah’s war is one of the most heartwarming and interesting books I have ever read. This book tells a different story that is not as well known about the horrors of world war 2. A mosque hidden in the twisty roads of Paris helps millions of Jews escape nazi capture. They escape in the buried catacombs under France to the docks and Saffiya is forced to make a drastic decision whether to help for the last chance. One of the best parts about this book is the gripping cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. As some might say they save the best for last at the end of the last chapter. If you like world war 2 or cliffhangers this is THE BOOK FOR YOU!

Ruth

Euro Bookworms

Safiyyah's War was an amazing book to read. In my opinion, it deserved to be shortlisted because it portrays bravery and heroism for me. Though I was hoping it would have an exciting ending to it, I still enjoyed it. I highly recommend this book! It was amazing!

Afreen

Skipton Shadows

'Safiyyah's War' is a children's novel detailing the story of Safiyyah, a young Muslim girl, who finds herself deep in the underground resistance movement in Nazi occupied France. The novel, although coming across as preachy at times, is very engaging and an interesting story of all the unsung heroes of WW2. A bold and curious protagonist, the messages of love and resilience in hard times is appealing and heart-warming, with the glossary of Arabic words included very much appreciated.

Lara

Carnegie Carnage

Izma

Lionheart24

If there was one word i could use to describe this book it would be moving.This book had so many amazing meaningful and relatable scenes.I would 100 percent recommend!! :)

Bella

Waldegrave School

Bella

Waldegrave School

eleanor

Waldegrave School

Saffiyah's War is a beautifully written story based on a serious real event. It is set in WW2 and follows the life of Saffiyah. She lives in the Grand Mosque in the centre of Paris. When the Germans invade France, Saffiyah is thrown into a world of terror.

Rahel

Junior SBSJs

In Paris' Grand Central Mosque Saffiyah lives with her family and friends. A war has broken and the Nazi occupation begins. This changes everything for Saffiyah. The Jewish community is in deadly danger and the Muslim community risk a lot to save them. Events take place which draws Saffiyah into danger.

Noah

St David’s Bibliophiles

I am currently reading this book (I am on chapter nine) and so far this book has been all right. The front cover is very attractive and has been designed very well. However, I am struggling to get into this book. I have found the first couple chapters quite boring and not very eventful, making it difficult to really get stuck into this book. So far, I am enjoying the concept of the book and, as it is based of the world war, I do believe that it will become more interesting the further I read. So far, I am really enjoying the variety of characters and have found them all interesting in their own unique way. Once I get further into the book, I believe I will thoroughly enjoy this book.

Chloe

Burford School

Personally, Safiyyah’s War for me wasn't the most exciting book. I really like the ideas and storyline-I really enjoy reading WW2 fiction. I think the ideas for this book are even better as I have never really read any book with the same story to tell. When you read fiction books about the same event it can sometimes be boring but because I had never read a book with the same story within WW2 it was interesting history-wise. However, I just couldn't get my head into it. I wasn't gripped. The story was good but it didn't really make me feel any emotion or want to read more. If I had been gripped I think this would of been an incredible book. I like the idea of Safiyyah going to the library and looking at the maps, as I also find maps really interesting. I just couldn't click with it. Overall, I think Safiyyas's war has a really good story but needs to have more emotion in it to grip the reader more.

Anabelle

Burford School

Safiyyah's War is a mesmerizing novel on the Shortlist for the Carnegie Medal, bringing true tales of the War from Paris to pages full of descriptive imagery and accurate details about the struggle of the Parisian civilians. Safiyyah is a young girl lost in the beauty and mystery of maps, lines of latitude and boundaries. As a curious child, Safiyyah often found herself in the company of Madame Odette's sweet bonbons and an ancient treasured map. When War emerges like thunder through the streets of Paris, Safiyyah's life once full of lying down underneath the blazing sun in the courtyard of the Mosque, tracing around the edge of Peru, Brazil and other countries, is thrown off her axis suddenly. Powering through the hardships of War, Safiyyah finds comfort in her community. This book highlights the importance of religious tolerance and the impact of well-known historical events on young children significantly. Once I started reading, it was hard to put it down and to pull myself out of the inspiring storyline. The author, Hiba Noor Khan explores the themes of unity, power, faith and community to write the plot of Safiyyah's War beautifully and vividly. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all prospective readers of all ages, especially if you enjoy reading about tales of true bravery, war and power! This novel is a heart-warming addition to all libraries!

Prisha

SCD Pageturners

Saffiyah's War is a book that explores the time of the Nazis in France, through the lens of a young girl named Saffiyah. This is the story of the Islamic community within a mosque in Paris. It shows how war can change a young person's life. Her religion is explored in the story, with her faith helping to cover up a big scheme going on in and around the church. I found the strong bond between her and her grandmother Setti to be very heart-warming. Throughout the book, new friendships are formed, with old friendships being left behind when her best friend moves away. I would rate this book a 4/5 it was good but nowhere near amazing.

Ruthi

SCD Pageturners

Safiyyah's War is a heart-warming story about a girl and her rising up to the occasion and subsequently saving many lives. While destruction goes on around her, her life changes immensely, Safiyyah tries to keep some normality of her life. Eventually the war affects her but the story is all about her growing up and rising to the occasion. Overall, I really enjoyed the novel and I can't think of anything I would change.

Chloe

SCD Pageturners

An inspirational journey of a young girl helping to save Jews during WW2. I really enjoyed this book as I enjoyed the backbone of hope the book was supported on. I also liked how it gave you an insight into the true realities of WW2. However it was a bit slow as the climax only happened in the final 2 chapters. It wasn't my type of book but I really enjoyed it once I got into it. The historical note at the end has a really good quote that sums up the whole book perfectly, it is a Jewish and Muslim saying: "For whoever saves a single life, it is as if they are saving all of humanity".

Lily

Chiswick Carnegie

I really enjoyed reading Safiyyah's war. It was gripping and a thrilling read. I especially liked how this book handles Safiyyah's trauma after being attacked by the nazi soldiers.

Martha

Fortismere

Safiyyah's War was a lovely book to read as it had a heartfelt moments between many of the characters as well as incorporating lots of important facts. I loved reading this book as it gave me a different view on World War 2 and I found it very interesting as the author managed to balance fiction from truth. This book follows a girl called Safiyyah before the Nazis enter France and until they are in the capital showing us how her family risked their lives by helping the resistance forge identity papers and give them to Jews who were in danger of prosecution. It also delves into the other ways Jews escaped the Nazis in Paris especially via the catacombs. The book also focusses on the heart of resistance being friendship and love for everyone. This is shown between Safiyyah and Hana and how their bond of friendship hardens in the face of danger, as well as that Safiyyah helps many others and we see her bravery grow within the book. Safiyyah's War also highlights that secrets within family and friends can not be kept long and shows that survival is not only about putting yourself first but mainly about working as a team. The messaged behind this book are so important and I love how the author made these evident. Overall I would recommend to people who don't mind sad, heart-breaking books as some of the topics are very heavy. I would give this book a 8/10.

Jemimah

KES Bookworms

Safiyyah's war is about a young girl who lives in Paris during the outbreak of the Second World War. She helps a Jewish classmate, Hana, survive and escape the Holocaust. I found it a very good read and it broadened my knowledge of the Holocaust and the Nazi occupation of France. I like Safiyyah's curious and caring character and her family's resilience in resisting their Nazi occupators. It could be quite emotional at times and I often felt for the characters throughout the story. I would say, 9 out of 10.

Joseph L

Bookwizards

I really enjoyed this book and I found the story to be enthralling and very interesting. I was really surprised to find this book was about things that actually happened during World War Two as I had never heard about the part Muslims played in helping Jews escape. I felt the book had a good range of emotional and joyful scenes. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers.

Benjamin R.

Ermysted’s

I really enjoyed reading the book because the characters showed bravery and resilience in the toughest of situation. For example, when Safiyyah went and bought from the black market even though she was scared of doing it alone. However, what was even better was that there were also some patches in which her emotions were very raw and sincere and I found this contrast very nice to read. Furthermore, the over looming sense of danger gave a sense of suspense. For example, when the Nazis were in the synagogue and stopping her father from guiding the Jews to safety. This part really had my heart racing as I though, “Would they find the Jews? Would they find the Jews?”, and I think that they created the sense of suspense very effectively.

Yixuan

Perse Carnegians

This is a really deep book that follows Saffiyah's experiences as she navigates the challenges and dangers war, including air raids, rationing, and the evacuation of children from the city. She finds courage and strength and makes a friend called Timothee and they face the uncertainties of war with bravery. I would give this book an 8/10.

Rashad

Brooke Weston Book Busters

Safiyyah's war is an educational book based on true events in World War 2. It is a very fascinating book with interesting characters as well as a meaningful message about the struggles of Jews in Paris at the time of WWII. This story is absolutely soul-crushing, nerve-wracking and tear-jerking in every way and is a wonderful piece of literature dedicated to commemorate those from the Grand Mosque of Paris who sacrificed their lives for Jews' safety and well-being in such a terrible time.

Emilie

Euro Bookworms

This book had excellent flow and i could not put it down. It covered a lot of harsh topics but you could see the feelings of the different characters experiences shine throughout the book. The main character in the book portrays a strong sense or courage and hope that fits with the setting.

melissa

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

A young adventurous, courageous girl in Paris, France working for the Resistance and discovering new things along the way. My favourite character is Safiyah because, despite losing the people she loves, she stays hopeful and resilient. My favourite bit was when Safiyah led the Jewish people to safety. It's my favourite bit because it shows that there is always a way if you try to find it. I would recommend this book because it can influence you and show that, in the darkest of times, there will always be a light guiding you.

Yihui

Coop Academy Manchester Book Club

A young adventurous, courageous girl in Paris, France working for the Resistance and discovering new things along the way. My favourite character is Safiyah because, despite losing the people she loves, she stays hopeful and resilient. My favourite bit was when Safiyah led the Jewish people to safety. It's my favourite bit because it shows that there is always a way if you try to find it.

Yihui

Coop Academy Manchester Book Club

This was a fantastic read and I was laughing and crying at many points in the book. I would love to go visit the mosque it sounds amazing! I would suggest this book for anyone who wants to learn more about the French Resistance. Definitely 5 stars!!!!!

ottilie

Sandroyd Bookivores

I found this book quite slow and hard to follow so unfortunately I didn't end up finishing the book. However, it was quite factual.

Samuel

Waddesdon Shadowers

This book was a good book. I have rated this book 5 out of 5 because it told me how close a bond can be. It made me upset when Safiyyah's father and uncle were hiding the fact they were in the resistance. The Grand Mosque sounds like a beautiful place.

Hayaam

The Reading Queens

This is the story of the Moslem community of the Central Mosque in Paris, helped Jews and others persecuted by the Nazis at the beginning of the second world war. It is based on true events, and some of the characters mentioned were real people. Saffiyah's family, community and her faith are described and explained , and the book tells how they all felt and responded during a time of uncertainty and danger. It is told gently, though not all the events were in any way gentle. This is a book that suggests that unity between people of different faiths is more than possible, and that goodness will prevail.

MrsMidge

Balcony Bibliofans 2024

I found it a really good book, it’s based on the life of a young muslim girl living in Paris during ww2, and the book as a whole is really moving. The message behind it was about compassion and persevering, and it was portrayed really well, especially through the characters. The characters were well developed and i just enjoyed the book a lot.

Olwen

Horsham BOok HUNTers

War happens in Paris and Safiyyah doesn't want her best friend to leave, her Dad gets arrested and her family are keeping secrets. I liked this book because it's very adventurous and it talks about what happen in occupied Paris during WW2. I found it sad when her best friend fled Paris with her family.

Michelle

VISTA Academy

A lovely, touching story that I, as a lover of historical fiction, loved. I would also recommend 'Safiyyah's War' for anyone who prefers books written from a younger perspective.

Holly

Carnegie Carnage

I really enjoyed this book as i haven’t read one like it in quite a while. It is set in France during the war (i cant remember which one). I have only ever read wartime books set in England so it was nice to get a new perspective. There are a lot of sad scenes but also lots of happy ones and i felt like i didn't want to stop reading. I loved the character development and how some characters get more and more detail as you go on. Safiyyah bravery during rebellion is an inspiration. I like how it mentions so many different groups of people coming together and helping one another. This book was quite exciting and i could feel the tension in some parts. I would recommend this book to most people as it does not go into too much detail with sensitive topics, while mentioning a great deal of important issues from during the war. Most books i want to know what happened to the characters after the end of the novel but this book has that which i was pleased with.

Georgia

LSST Library Shadowers

This book was amazing and might even be one of my all time favourites. The biggest reason for why I loved it so much is probably the way it is written because it got me engrossed and didn’t want to put it down but I also loved the plot. There wasn’t anything about it that I disliked so I will definitely recommend it but maybe not for people younger than 8 or 9.

Elise

Bramcote College Bookclub

The story follows a girl who lives in a mosque and sees the world change around her as the Nazis invade France. Although it helped me learn a lot more about the battle of France, it was a little hard to keep up with the new information. Overall, I really enjoyed the book as it was interesting and gained me knowledge I have when I started reading it.

Victoria

SHS On The Same Page

This book is amazing because it is full of adventure showing Safiyyahs bravery.I couldn't put it down and became immersed in a story of love, kindness, bravery and friendship

Betty

St David’s Bibliophiles

This book is fantastic because Saffiya is such an amazing and brave character. i couldn't put it down and wanted to read it again. It is so good that stories like this are told because I would never have heard about this otherwise

Scarlett

St David’s Bibliophiles

this is a amazing book about a brave group of people who stand up and help those in need

Eve

Fortismere

this book is heart breaking due to the fact that it is based on reality. I am so glad that I have read it and sorry that i didn't know about it sooner. It is an amazing story. i could sit and read it all day as it was so enthralling

Georgia

St David’s Bibliophiles

This book is really adventurous book and I think Safiyyah is very mystified to find out why her dad is acting really weirdly in different situations. I really enjoyed reading this book because Safiayyah is really desperate to try change the world from the difficulties coming from war and invasions. I would recommend this book to someone who is loves adventurous stories because it is full of suspense.I really enjoyed feeling like I was on an adventure myself trying to save the Jews from being captured. I think the author put a lot of effort into this book because there was realism which really inspired me to keep reading the pages over and over. The author probably is really proud of herself and I am so glad that Carnegie recommended this book to me! :)

Liliana

St David’s Bibliophiles

When you think of war do you think Paris? No because it is a beautiful city, but the thing is war can be anywhere. Safiyyah is all alone because her best friends family have fled. I rate this book 8.5/10

Ailise

Rebel Readers

i love this book the character is very brave

moeezA

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah is a brave, kind and selfless character who really encapsulates what it means to put others before yourself. The ideas presented in the book regarding religious differences and the threat posed to individuals because of this is so relevant to our times today - Safiyyah, her family and her community are role models for us all in sharing what we have and understanding that it is our moral duty to aid those in need, regardless of our differences to them. Such a touching story!

Miss Bajrami

STCCG Shadowing

This book is a truly heartfelt book. Every scene is described so perfectly and every sentence in this book has so much meaning. All the tiny details in this book really make it come to life. It is a tale of true bravery and real events. The book is excellent and I would definitely recommend it.

Daisy

Going Places

“Safiyyah’s War” by Hiba Noor Khan is a truly brilliant book. It follows a young Muslim girl (Safiyyah) during World War 2 in Paris as the Nazis invade France. It is a story of bravery and courage by people attempting to resist the Nazi’s regimes. It is very engaging and I found myself on many occasions, not able to put this book down. I was pleased when I found out that it is based on true events which made this story even more special. I think the book is written in such a lovely way, where it has a great mix on happy and more emotional scenes (which, I have to say made me shed a few tears at some points). I love books that follow stories of historical events and this book certainly fits in that category. This book has to be one of my new all time favourites! I particularly enjoyed the way in which it includes and represents people of many different nationalities and ethnic groups. I really cannot find any negative comments to say about this amazing book and I will definitely be wanting to read more books from Hiba Noor Khan.

Eaden

Marshland Readers

Safiyyah’s War is a fantastic story of courage and bravery. Set in Paris as the Nazis close in and invade the city it follows the adventures of a girl called Safiyyah, her family, friends, and the staff at the Grand Mosque, where she lives. They are unsung heroes quietly standing against evil, working to help those being persecuted. The story is fiction but based on the real life work of those at the Grand Mosque. I really enjoyed the book because it opened my eyes to events during the war that I was unaware of. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys history and adventure novels. I would give the book 5/5 stars.

James

Larkmead

Safiyyah's War is a story that illuminates a section of history which has been largely forgotten. The book is centred around the values of tolerance, bravery and hope which are shown in how Safiyyah, as a young girl living in Paris, endures the brutal military occupation set in by the Germans in World War Two. Safiyyah is disgusted by the abhorrent treatment of Jews and other minorities and decides to stand up to the Germans, helping to deliver fake identities to Jews. The story serves to remind us of the role which the Grand Mosque of Paris played in French Resistance efforts, by helping Jews escape through the soutterrain and Sidi Abdel-Qadir Ben Ghabrit who also played a vital role in helping the Muslims resist the Germans. Throughout the story shines a powerful element of tolerance and helping others, no matter our differences, which still is a strong message even in today's society and world.

Mohid

Bookwizards

Safiyyah's war is set in Paris during the Second World War. It is about a young french, Muslim girl called Safiyyah who wants to fight back against the invading Germans. With her family, she helps Jewish people escape the city to find a safer place. In my opinion, this book started off a bit slowly but then as the story progressed it became a lot more exciting. One of the reasons I found this book interesting was that it told the story of the war from a French perspective which I hadn’t come across before. I would recommend it to people who like history but it would also appeal to people who like a good story.

Nat

Larkmead

The book was an enjoyable experience, with a good main character and an amazing story. What the Grand Mosque in Paris did during WW2 really intrested me, and the death of the grandma nearly made me cry, which I do not do often for books. I would definitely recommend this book to other people due to the compelling and great story. The German-accented loudspeaker was a historical accuracy and really showed how the writer, Hiba Noor Khan, did her research. All in all, I would rate this book a 9/10, a good read for teens and above.

Lauwie

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Safiyyah's war is set during the start of world war 2 Paris, it follows the life of Safiyyah a young 12 year old muslim girl and hers and her family's efforts to help Jewish Parisians . Her father and other high up people at the mosque do this by forging muslim papers so the Nazis won't torture and kill them. Safiyyah is assisted in secretly dropping off the Muslim papers by her friend Timothée who is a refugee. I found this book amazing and addictive. I couldn't put it down ! I found the character of Tarek who is Safiyyah's cousin character because he wasn't in a lot off the book but he was a very brave character going to fight in the war. Safiyyah's father was very mysterious and intriguing because before he told Safiyyah what he was doing he was sneaking off every night. He also has a very interesting back story because it barely talks about his time in the war and whenever they did talk about it he got very emotional.

Hugo

Bookwizards

‘Safiyyah’s War’ is an inspirational story about how hope and friendship can shine through the darkness of war. Set in Paris during the invasion ( led by the Nazis in May 1940 ) and occupation of France, this book follows Safiyyah - a young Muslim girl navigating the changes in her life as her Jewish friends flee the country and soldiers roam the streets. She is sucked into a world of fear and chaos brought by the Nazis but still has to live her life as if soldiers weren’t arresting her neighbours; as if half her class had not turned up at school in weeks; as if she hadn’t noticed the Jewish people appearing in her home; as if she was still a clueless little girl. Seeing WW2 from a child’s view has opened up my mind on how even in the darkest times, there is always hope - whether that is studying maps in the library or eating oranges with Setti ( her grandmother ) there is always dots of light across the chapters. Safiyya, as a character, is written beautifully in this story loosely based upon reality, created by an author who could craft words like no other, Hiba Noor Khan. 9.8/10 - would recommend reading!

Hope

The John Mason Shadowers

This book is one of my favourite carnegies! It relates back to the 2nd world war with a girl that bravely adventures into the unknown and dares to help those in need. The book had me in its grip and if you read it I am sure that you will love it!

Jennifer

GreatB00ks

This book was really reflective and good, one of the best books i have ever read. It touches on religion as saffiyah is muslim which is a religion i havent heard about before. (Ethnic sides). Also, the main plot of the book is the war that hits france. From that, it makes me feel really lucky and appreciate the life i have, living without worry. At somepoints it really touched my heart when she saw isabelle once again.saffiyah is brave and courageous which makes me look uo to her. Its good because she is about my age so its like you are experiencing the story and on the adventures aswell. I also have a baby brother like saffiyah so she is quite similiar to me. I really advise reading this book ❤️❤️❤️

Rosie

GreatB00ks

This book was very emotional and resulted in me not enjoying it. When Seti died, it was very sad and emotional. This book could have been better if the author did not go into as much detail about the war that happened at the same time. I would recommend this book to people who like books that are about war and in history.

Phoebe

GreatB00ks

I enjoyed the setting and historical accuracy of this book. It showed what living in war was like from a unique character's perspective and had it's fair share of uplifting and heart-wrenching moments. Overall touching and emotional book.

Mahalah

Plumites

This eye-opening story had me gripped from chapter one; from plot twists to anticipated heart-breakers, Hiba Noor Khan has brought it all to the table with this heart-warming read. ‘Safiyyah's War’ is a beautiful novel that had me laughing, crying and gasping along with the bumps and turns as the plot (set in World War Two) overwhelms the readers emotions, merging them with the well-developed characters. I really enjoyed this book because I loved that the characters not only had very intricate personalities, but also had contrasting and complex relationships with one another. One of the characters who I felt like I could relate to was Tim. He emerged into the book by chance, and I’m really glad that he did; he came into the lives of everyone at the Mosque and ended up really helping out everyone with the new skills he could offer. I feel like I can really relate to this character because he originally feels like he has nothing to offer, yet with the right nurturing and encouragement, he slowly rises to the challenge and becomes a quiet hero! I was also super excited to read the extra detail at the end of the book, which explained how everything worked out over time. Although the start of the book is quite slow and boring, I highly encourage you to push through as the second half is well worth it. Overall, a really great read that I would highly recommend for any history-fiction fans like myself, or anyone looking to push themselves or discover a new author, this is the book! 9/10

Hollie

The John Mason Shadowers

"Safiyyah's War" This book was extraordinary. The heart break , relief and warmth you felt for the characters was proof that the author has real talent. This tale which is based on true, harrowing events gives the reader a somewhat first hand experience. This emotional rollercoaster of a book is perfect for people who like semi-non-fictional books! Safiyyah was not my favourite character but i really think the bravery she portrayed complimented the other characters really nicely. My favourite character was Setti. The author created a really believable image of her in my mind. She felt like the light in the darkness . Although I really liked this book I found it slightly hard to start off, it was quite bland to begin but after the first few chapters I was intrigued to know the next part of the story...but with that aside it gave a great representation of a Muslims life in occupied France and the strength people would have had. Overall I would give this book an 8.7/10!

Ava

The John Mason Shadowers

A fantastic book that combines a real event with very interesting characters. Because the story and the characters are so realistic and interesting it drives the narrative on. Exciting, riveting and a great read

Paul

St David’s Bibliophiles

Safiyyah lives in a mosque in Paris with her mum, dad, grandmother and younger sister. She dreams of exploring the world and studies many maps in the town library. The story is set during WWII when the German army has invaded France. From the start of the invasion, she has noticed footsteps in the night and suspects this is her father, as each morning he is looking more tired. When she hears what he and others are doing, her normal life changes forever. She must help resist the Germans by helping Jews or risk everyone's lives. Safiyyah is a bold, brave and kind girl who loves her family and would do anything to save them. I find her a character who acts like a real hero should behave. The writing makes me see what is being described in my mind. The more poignant parts are portrayed with sadness but also hope for what will happen in the future, making me able to really understand the feelings of the characters in the story.

Artie

Going Places

Safiyyah’s War is a comforting and memorable book. The way of writing is easy to understand and is not confusing, I’ve also learned a lot of facts on WW2 and there’s a lot of nice quotes as well. My favourite character from this book is Setti, I love how calm she is despite everything that’s going on and I was shocked when she died. My favourite quote from the book is “No matter where they are, it is the same moon that glows above them” and I’ve always thought about it ever since reading this book. Overall I would say this book is mostly good, its only flaw is that I want to know if Safiyyah meets Hana again.

Kimberly

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

“Safiyyah’s War” by Hiba Noor Khan is a truly brilliant book. It follows a young Muslim girl (Safiyyah) during World War 2 in Paris as the Nazis invade France. It is a story of bravery and courage by people attempting to resist the Nazi’s regimes. It is very engaging and I found myself on many occasions, not able to put this book down. I was pleased when I found out that it is based on true events which made this story even more special. I think the book is written in such a lovely way, where it has a great mix of happy and more emotional scenes (which, I have to say made me shed a few tears at some points). I love books that follow stories of historical events and this book certainly fits in that category. This book has to be one of my new all time favourites! I particularly enjoyed the way in which it includes and represents people of many different nationalities and ethnic groups. I really cannot find any negative comments to say about this amazing book and I will definitely be wanting to read more books from Hiba Noor Khan.

Eaden

Marshland Readers

'Saffiyah's War' is a captivating and thought-provoking book that takes readers on an emotional journey. The story follows Saffiyah, a strong and determined leader, as she navigates through the challenges of war and fights for what she believes in. The author's vivid descriptions and powerful storytelling kept me engaged from beginning to end. The book explores themes of resilience and courage. I highly recommend 'Saffiyah's War' as it is a compelling and impactful read.

Philippa

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I loved this book, I thought it was absolutely beautiful watching Safiyyah grow and mature in a world that no one should have to endure, least of all a kid. I liked how Hiba Noor Khan showed the reader how you can still love someone even when there are far away, and how missing someone hurts so much and is a long process. I especially like the quote “The darkest part of every night is just before the sun rises. The bleakest point in winter is just before we turn into spring” as I feel like that is such an important and powerful message.

Jenny

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah’s war is a book about a young Muslim girl growing up in the heart of Paris in the early months of WW2 . Her family live in the Grand Central Mosque but the German army soon become relentless and arrest Safiyyah’s father . With her father gone , responsibility falls on Safiyyah to protect her family and the Jewish people taking refuge in the Mosque . Focusing on the experience of a group of individuals Saffiyah’s story shows resistance as she helps hundreds of Jews’s to safety in WW2 via underground passages from the Grand Mosque . This story was an intriguing , fascinating read and honours heroes who retaliated against the oppressors because their sense of justice outweighed their own concern for safety .

Hafsah

HHS

I rate this book 8/10 because it is really detailed and it is the type of book that I read.

Vanessa

Eltham Hill Book Club

It's absolutely brilliant. They way in which Hiba Noor Khan sets the whole seen of the book in Paris. It is a very emotional book with the understanding of how the Nazis tried to take over France with the resistance team. It gives a sense of how life in that time period, how life would have been so difficult Jews in Paris as well as everywhere. The beginning starts with everything as it usually is: adults going to work, children going to school and people just living their lives. Safiyyah and her best friend Isabelle hang out after school every day, playing tag in the park and dressing up in Isabelle's mother's expensive clothes! One day, out of nowhere, Isabelle must leave town with her parents to go to the south, and that's when the Nazis enter the story. This novel has impacted my mind in the most positive way that it even changed my perspective on certain things in life. The main morale of the story is about how you should never give up even in the darkest of times. You have to stay strong just like Safiyyah and the resistance team. Over all it is a great book.

Dev

Carnegie Dragons

I personally found the book inspiring as safiyyah was able to see hope when all was lost. as when she lost her best friend as her parents thought that paris is unsafe and also safiyyah lost her cousin as he went to fight in world war 2. After all she went through she was able to make her happy ending

Diana

OSSMAORATORS

Loved it! Set in Paris in the second world war, about a Muslim gitl called Safiyyah. She lives in the Grand Mosque of Paris, which has it’s own grounds, with her family. War arrives and it’s how her family and the people in the Mosque help the Jews. It would be an excellent history book, as it is about a part of WW2 that I wasn’t aware of. There’s a lot of themes in it – family, history, religion – for discussion. Safiyyah is a feisty little girl, who is only 11 but quite mature for her age. Loved it. Perhaps even more than I Must Betray You from last year!

Carolyn

Avril and Aldham

I got to read this book as part of the Carnegie medal shadowing. I really enjoyed it and thought it had a great perspective on what life was like in World War II, in a Muslim mosque of all places! Although it was slightly too young for me, I thought it had intricately descriptive scenes and unique and varied characters. I really loved how they incorporated animals and nature through the book to support the characters emotions and make them feel at ease in times of danger. But I did think the book peaked too late. The climax or dilemma came further on in the book than I would have liked, I was constantly waiting for the excitement that was mentioned in the blurb. I also thought the cover was really beautiful and full of colour, it really catches your eye and hopefully will entice others to pick it up and have a read!

Lara

Team Berko

This historical novel is the kind of book that stays with you for ages after you have finished reading it. It succeeds in making you feel incredibly sad through its vivid depiction of some of the terrible events that happened in the Second World War, yet at the same time it makes you feel so much admiration and awe for the actions of so many heroic and brave people who made a difference and fought back against the Nazis. I did not know anything about the role that the Grand Paris Mosque played in the Second World War, and I found this story about the Muslim resistance in occupied Paris fascinating. The author paints a vivid picture of Paris before and after the arrival of the Nazis. The happy, vibrant life that Safiyyah, the protagonist, leads at the start of the novel contrasts starkly with the grim hardship and terror she and her family face after the Nazis invade. One of the most powerful passages of the novel for me is the moment when the sirens first sound and the first bombs drop, and Safiyyah experiences paralysing fear, isolated from her family and friends, and saved by the kindness of a stranger. Safiyyah is feisty and thoughtful, brave and kind, and a great friend, especially to Hana. Her kindness and courage are inspiring. I loved reading about all their small acts of defiance against the Nazis, and the author very cleverly uses such moments to increase the tension, as you fear that at any moment Safiyyah or someone close to her will be found out. The imagery in this book is rich and carefully chosen: the language evokes the scents, tastes and textures of food wonderfully (you can almost taste Setti’s juicy orange segments or Madame Odette’s powdery strawberry bonbons!). I loved the relationship between Safiyyah and her wise grandmother – Setti is one of my favourite characters - as well as the deep bond that Safiyyah has with her father. Safiyyah’s War is a beautifully written book, although I must admit that I did find the pace of the story quite slow to begin with, and it took a while before I was hooked. Occasionally I thought a phrase or image (along with some of the punctuation) did not work, and every now and then I felt that a passage would have been more powerful had some descriptions or sentences ended sooner, allowing the reader to work out what characters are thinking without being told. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone, teenager or adult, not just because it is a beautifully written story, but because it is an important piece of history that everyone should know.

Arthur

Tractor

This book took me through an emotional yet exciting journey leaving me speechless. I loved reading this book!

Martin

TBGS Readers

I think Safiyyah’s War is a captivating dystopian book with some plot twists which were surprising. Throughout the book, Saffiyah forms friendships and experiences losses, but in the end she still remains strong, I find her resilience inspiring.I also thought that the friendship between Safiyyah and Isabelle was very admirable. Overall, I thought Safiyyah’s War was a good book.

Jacey

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I enjoyed getting to know Safiyyah and her family very much. I have never heard about the Grand Mosque and the involvement in the Resistance and the fight to help Jews flee Paris during the Second World War; this was an eye opener. The book is a gem and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Mrs F

County Shadows

I loved this book. I found it surprising, enlightening and fascinating. It is a brave, moving and original story which inspired me to dig deeper into this little-known history and into the life of one of the real-life characters who appears fleetingly in the book. The story is beautifully told and brings a different time and place vividly to life. As a librarian I was captured by the opening sentence: 'it is only in holy places of worship and libraries that you have to whisper, for they are both sacred in their own special ways.' From this moment I knew that this was the book I had to read first! I wasn't disappointed. There are so many stories within this story. It is an absolutely riveting read!

Mrs Eastwood

Free School Readers

i loved Safiyyah's War. it was much lighter than previous carnegie books i have read but very interesting, with a lovely theme of friendship, courage, and kindness.

Shyla

John Masefield

I read the book called Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Kahn. It is a historical novel set in France in WW2. At the start of the book a girl, Safiyyah, is happy and in the warmth of a kind, loving family in a normal and stress-free world. This has been the case for years until the Nazis came along and began to invade everywhere. When her family first heard about the Germans, they were not that worried but over time the stress levels rose until they were right on their doorstep-looking for Jews. Her family and the rest of her mosque society realize that they must do something to help the Jews in danger. They start to smuggle Jews out of France through a series of secret tunnels and onto boats heading to England. They must avoid near capture and freezing winters to complete this impossible task. This book shows the value of cunning and determination and what it can do. I would recommend it to readers 10+.

Zack WF

Ermysted’s

This is a brilliant historical representation of what it would have been like for some people during World war two. It is an emotional and inspiring story that resonates with your soul.

Amelia

Reepham Readers

This powerful novel is about a young girl and her life/journey in Paris, her home. The beginning starts with everything as it usually is: adults going to work, children going to school and people just living their lives. Safiyyah and her best friend Isabelle hang out after school every day, playing tag in the park and dressing up in Isabelle's mother's expensive clothes! One day, out of nowhere, Isabelle must leave town with her parents to go to the south, and that's when the Nazis enter the story. This novel has impacted my mind in the most positive way that it even changed my perspective on certain things in life. It is so full of quotes and tips for life that I could only capture a quarter of them. The most interesting thing I've observed about myself after reading the book was how quickly my emotions changed, but also how strong they were to remain in my mind long after reading. I've felt nervous, guilty and hopeless, but I also felt strong, proud and fearless. This book also taught me some things about Islam that I didn't know before, and now thinking about them makes me feel stronger. Some of the book's most outstanding quotes and themes are: Friendship: "No telegram nor postman, pigeon nor loudspeaker could carry her message of love and concern to Isabelle, and so she turned to the seas". Bravery: "Ultimately she just wished the war could be over, but what nourished and kept her going even when there was barely enough to eat, was the knowledge that she was doing something meaningful. " Wisdom: "If you were to look at bare soil after a few days of sunshine and watering, give up hope and walk away, it would be tragic! Each time you're kind and patient and giving with Hana, you are watering and shining light on a seed. Have faith that miracles are happening, slowly but surely, even though you might not be able to see them. " Strength: "She has begun to love wrapping her hijab before leaving the mosque; those few moments spent folding and tucking soothed her a little. She reminded herself of her conversation with Sumayyah, and felt strong and much safer with it on. Somehow, it felt like she was wearing armour." This book is a miracle.

Hulya

ICS London’s Literary Lounge Crew

‘Safiyyah’s War’, written by Hiba Noor Khan, is a story set in the gruelling time of World War II in Paris. We meet a young Muslim girl who goes by the name of Safiyyah and who lives in a mosque with her family. Her interests are maps and the geographic world she lives in. Her family consists of Fatima, her younger sister, Yemma, Safiyyah’s mother, Baba, her father and Setti who is her beloved grandmother. Her life with her family is peaceful and relaxed until the thought of Nazis attacking them turns to reality… The plot of the book is not fixed as there are many events and ideas that are brought forth multiple times in the story including the bombing of the city and the personal life of the protagonist Safiyyah. Nevertheless, each part of this book is gripping and likeable for any reader. Also, I sometimes felt that some of the events were not fully finished, leaving questions as to if there will be a sequel coming. Overall, the book was absorbing and fun to read. It helps readers learn about the way that Muslims helped Jews during the Second World War, which is something they might not know about. As a result, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested and who is able to read it. Percentage Rating: 78%

Alex

Bookwizards

I really enjoyed Safiyyah's war. It has well written relationships, hopes and fears that I feel would be truthful to the time. I think that the author has done well to manage to create characters emotions so well. I would recommend this book to most people that like to read.

Amy

Bramcote College Bookclub

It is a brilliant book, I was hooked from the first page. It's a fascinating story of Nazi occupied France. The main character Safiyyah is caught up in a terrible situation in Nazi occupied Paris, as her grandma tries to protect her, she does her own digging.

Alex

Bramcote College Bookclub

This is a really beautiful book. Set in Nazi-occupied Paris during the Second World War, the story centres around Safiyyah, a Muslim girl, who finds herself becoming part of the Resistance against the Occupiers. A family focus is at the heart of this book - Safiyyah has her immediate family, but the Jewish people she helps also become part of her family. At times she is just an innocent school girl, with big dreams, whilst she is also incredibly brave, secretly working against a dark oppressor. This book is a must read, and a real page turner. It gives an insight into Muslim resistance during the Second World War and the role of the Central Mosque in Paris in this.

Mrs Grundy

Greenford High CSG

It was a great book. It gave an insight into the life of Muslims during the Nazis occupation France. It was factual but also had a great plot. I did cry at one point because you get so close to the characters so you feel bad when something happens. It was a great book.

Amy

Horsham BOok HUNTers

This was one of my favourite books because I liked that it is from a perspective I hadn't really thought about World War II before, and it helped me understand more about the French resistance fighters, what they did and how the Muslims helped. I would definitely recommend this book as it was very interesting and had a great plot.

Isabella

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I really liked the setting of Paris in this book, and the inclusion of a library was amazing. The characters as well were good, Safiyyah’s love of travelling places flows throughout. The story was so powerful, I loved reading about it and expanding my knowledge on different religions and cultures and a big historical event.

Holly

Herts and Essex

Safiyyah's War is a wonderful, and intricately woven book! I loved how the captivating narrative delved into the enduring power of hope in the face of adversity. Even though it was aimed for a younger age range I still found it delightful and impossible to put down!

Yusra

KEVICHG

I have rated this book a 3/5 star rating. I really enjoyed Safiyyah's War, it grabbed me and I couldn't put it down. The main character Safiyyah is courageous and brave. This book was a tale of tolerance and hope . A book that grabbed me with its very heart, it filled me with despair and joy. However, there are reasons why I didn't give this book a 5/5 star rating. One of the reasons where that at the start of the book the author made it a bit bland and dry and boring but as the book went on it became better and better. Another reason is that the author gave details in the blurb that I felt should have been kept secret for the reader to find out. Thirdly, the author has skipped important parts in the story towards the ending but overall this was a good and good book.

Summaya

The Reading Queens

I relly liked this book and it was very interesting to read what safiyyah went through

darcy

Holmfirth High Yoto Crew!

Safiyyah’s War was a highly insightful novel on the auspicious attempts at smuggling Jews from occupied Paris via the soutterain. Moderately-paced and abundant in rich, vibrant cultural and metaphorical description, the plot revolves around an age 11 girl and practicing Muslim named Safiyyah. This book sheds light on the role of the Grand Mosque throughout World War II which otherwise would have been left in the shadows. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed each page and was able to greatly empathise with the protagonist as I share a similar age range. Despite being slightly unrealistic/predictable at times in her geographical memory and overcoming of adversity, Safiyyah’s character was a bold representation of standing against prejudice in a particularly masculine and authoritative environment. To conclude, the relationships and experiences of those within the book form a highly relevant message of equality that, beside an intricate storyline, create an utterly poignant and provocative read.

Lily-Rose

Fortismere

This book was emotional yet intriguing. I enjoyed learning about the forgotten history and will recommend this book to anyone looking for a heart-warming story.

Emaan

The Bentley Woodlanders

I found this book fascinating as I hadn’t heard about the Great Mosque in France before and I didn't know of the role it played in the resistance. This book taught me new things about WW2 (which is one of my favourite parts to learn about in history) and I love how the characters are portrayed as brave and do what is right, even through a tough time like this. Also, I enjoyed that this book was equally exciting and emotional.

Lora

Fortismere

This book conveys the importance of the Grand Central mosque in occupied Paris during World War II and how it helped so many Jewish families escape to safety. The story follows a young Muslim girl, Safiyyah, and how her life changes when the Germans invade Paris where she lives. She lives within the Mosque community and, after a short while, she discovers that her father may be part of some sort of resistance. Using her expert knowledge of cartography, she helps the resistance evacuate countless Jewish people and saves the day when the adults can't. I really enjoyed this book because it showed a different insight into Word War II that I think many people didn't know about before. It also has the message of 'Even if your small, you can still make a difference. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt as though it was building to something great and it just stopped with some loose strings left. Overall, this book had a great message of hope and triumph and it was a joy to read!

Saskia

Fortismere

I really enjoyed reading this book. I found the plot very interesting and exciting. It sort of felt like I was going on an adventure. The main thing I liked about it was the fact that it was showing people that no matter what religion you are you can still help people and at the same time you can be the help. Throughout the book I felt mixed emotions which I feel is a good thing. I feel that the author used the correct techniques when they were needed.

Ivy

Kingdown 24

I really liked this book, as it showed the Holocaust in a new light. It taught me a lot about Paris in WW2, while giving me a really good adventure. 10/10

William B

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah’s War is a book about a muslim girl called Safiyyah who lives in Paris when the Nazis take over Paris in WW2. In the book, Safiyyah and her family help many Jews in Paris by forging fake identities to protect themselves from the Nazi soldiers. When this eventually starts to get more suspicious to the Nazi soldiers, Safiyyah’s family sail Jewish people to the free side of France via a secret way from the mosque with the assistance of Wine Merchants. Part of this story is true and is how many Jews escaped the captured part of France to the free side of France. I quite enjoyed reading this book and it hardly kept me bored. However, there are a few things I would suggest to improve this book. Firstly, during speech between characters, it was sometimes unclear who was saying that statement and with a few tweaks it would be more easier to understand. As well as this, I thought the ending was sightly rushed and if the author had taken more time towards the ending, it would be more enjoyable. Also, at the end of the book, I was wondering if Tarek, Safiyyah’s cousin, was okay and safe. Therefore, I will give this book 4 stars and I would recommend it to people who like history, a bit of non-fiction and adventures.

Manas

MTS Northwood

Honestly, I seriously love this book for I loved the style of writing and how it flows, and I love the perspective of a side I, personally, haven’t seen about WW2. Also the Grandmother is iconic and I love her character (she’s amazing and the books worth the read, just for her).

Sophie H

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

Hiba Noor Khan’s novel Safiyyah’s War is an adventure of an eleven-year-old girl living in Paris during World War Two. When Paris falls to the control of the Nazis, all hope seems to be lost in this grim, dreadful world, until Safiyyah discovers a secret resistance in which her family and multiple trusted people are involved in. Their aim is to rescue as many Jews as they can from being tortured by the terrors Hitler and his men bring to them, and now that Safiyyah is a member of this secret organisation, she must do everything she can in hopes that she can save as many innocent people as possible, but at the same time, not revealing the secret society for they could all end up arrested. Safiyyah is an ordinary schoolgirl who dreams of one day becoming an explorer due to her love for geography. She lives in a closely knit community of families in the apartments within the Mosque, who normally congregate during prayer and holy celebrations. Safiyyah is a strong-willed girl, whose bravery and compassion for others lead her to her mission in saving the Jewish people from being persecuted. I admire her qualities as she is always putting others first despite the challenges she may face, and no matter how tough situations could become, she always follows her heart which then leads to a wonderful outcome for both herself and those around her. However, in some cases, I disagree with her choices of venturing out into places which she is restricted from for her own good, because she always tangles herself into trouble in the end. The author’s choice of language enables the reader to fully emerse themselves into the journey of young Safiyyah because of its vivid description, and each chapter flows cohesively to the next. Her writing is engaging for the reader because of the intriguing vocabulary used and the range of moderate pacing to fast pacing used to create relaxed and dramatic effects throughout the story. The atmosphere throughout is portrayed as gloomy, suspenseful and occasionally joyful, and through one of the chapters near to the end, the mood is portrayed as very emotional. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel Safiyyah’s War because it truly reflects on the emotions a person would have felt in those circumstances, and despite the world seeming to be falling apart, there is still a light through it all for those who strive to find it. All the adventures and daring quests Safiyyah had faced are all entertaining for the reader, and the hopes that Safiyyah would be able to fulfill her ambitions through thick and thin keeps the reader hooked onto the story. Readers would be inspired to have large goals and to always be determined to achieve them because of the fact that Safiyyah had managed to become an explorer in the end which shows that anyone can fulfil their dreams if they work hard towards it and never let go. Therefore, the book Safiyyah’s war is a truly touching novel, and after having read the story, I had been left with a world of emotions and a spark of joy.

Christina

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

It’s Paris, 1930. A young Muslim girl named Safiyyah’s life has changed dramatically. The mosque where she lives has become highly active in helping Jews. Can Safiyyah help save the Jews by leading them through the catacombs underground? This book is about the role that the Grand Mosque in Paris played in helping the Jewish community in WW2. It tackles stereotypes shown about Jewish and Muslim people whilst at the same time being a very emotional and engaging book based on real events that took place. I thought that the book made you emphasize with Safiyyah a lot when Tariq and Isabelle left and especially when Setti died. I liked the scene with the kittens and Timothee, as that showed another side to the story rather than the same old fear and war. But on the other hand, I found Safiyyah unrealistic despite this book being fact based. How can she be 10, an academic genius and lucky with her circumstances? However, I thought it was a terrific book worth reading. 5/5

Sulayman

Perse Carnegians

Safiyyah's War manages to create a thought-provoking experience while still captivating a wide range of readers. This book combines history and geography (the writer's favourite passion), making the ending fulfilling but still allowing the reader to ponder what comes next. The writer has made the reader connect with the book, making it an amazing read for all.

Max

Reepham Readers

Saffiyah's War is an interesting window into life at the time of WWII, with a relatable story to keep young readers interested. The book's beginning is particularly intriguing, immediately demonstrating the protagonist's love for exploration. Saffiyah is a character that the target audience will understand, being close to the same age as readers might be, and worries and attributes which she demonstrates are identical to those who are her age today. Coming up to the invasion of the Nazis, the tension built across the family before it breaks at their arrival in Paris. Some issues in the book are relatable to all readers: the pity taken on a starving parrot and quartet of cats is a heartwarming moment for anyone picking this book up. Antisemitism is a crucial issue addressed in the book, with Saffiyah boldly contesting someone who challenges a Jew for being who they are. Baba is an interesting character to watch, concealing all emotion and hiding from the world until the arrival of the Nazis. Additionally, Saffiyah's premature experience of the bombing helps give a stark foreshadowing of what is to come. The storyline is immaculate: the only thing to contest would be punctuation, and that pales into insignificance under the story's brilliance. This is an edge of the seat tale of a near-historic event, which I wholly recommend.

Oscar

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Saffiyah's war was a very good book and was about the effects of WW2 in Paris. She is a Muslim girl who helps her father and her Ammo smuggle jews out of the country and give them false muslim identities. I felt that the book did not really start until around the middle although it was a really good book.

James W-B

Ermysted’s

I loved this book so so much and is one of my all time favourite reads. This book has suspense,excitement and creativity all in one book. It is about this girl called Safiyyah who has to lead her friends and family into adventures whilst a raging war is going on. She also has a lot of friends who need her help to lead them through the mosque (her home) into safety. I would 100% recommend this book to any avid readers who love a good read and are looking for an inspiration ( like Safiyyah). Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Isabella

SPS Shadowers

Beautifully written story about a young, Muslim girl's role in leading the French Resistance against Nazi Germany. Powerfully shows that each of us can play a role in being upstanders against hate and prejudice.

Bobbie

Wycliffe Readers

I thought that book was very well thought out as the book was set in ww2 and every detail was very spectacular and great. My favourite part of the book was probably when Safiyah was entering into the 'dark pit' and saw many Jewish people just stranded there. This made me feel that jews were especially persecuted and sad as they were the 'least wanted'. This was a great book.

An C

Ermysted’s

6/10 Summary: This book is based in 1940 Paris and is about a young girl named Safiyyah. Safiyyah's family were hiding Jews, who were hated by the Nazis, in their mosque. My opinion: I found this book quite boring because there wasn't much action. Tarek's fate was not revealed in the book (or I missed it somewhere) The Nazis in the book fail to inflict fear in my mind because their cruelty was heavily softened. They mainly just stole someone's book (although Safiyyah recovered some of it). They don't seem like the terrifying and cruel army they were in 1940, although they did try to arrest the Jews at the end of the book. On the good side, all the characters seem to have a unique and likable personality, and the book does show that food was quite scarce in the town since the Germans prioritized feeding their troops. This book explores the themes of tolerance, discrimination, and hope, and I would highly recommend this book.

Herman

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This book really has a lot packed into it with lots of unexpected surprises and turns. The book Saffiyah's War (in my opinion) is quite a heartwarming and a book that can really transport you because of the amount of detail that is described by the author. Which leads me to what I liked about the book. As I stated, the author went into a great deal of detail, which led me to believe that the characters were truly alive and speaking to me. The action in Saffiyah's war definitely kept you on the edge of your seat. It is usually the build-up of the story that I find most enjoyable as you truly get a feel for what is happening in the story. The tense scenes were particularly written well diving so deep into the tiniest of moments, with the amount of description made me feel the book was alive whenever I went to read it, I was there for a long time. Even though this book felt perfect with the right amount of happy and tension I wouldn’t pick this book as one I would read. So overall not my favourite. In my opinion I rate this book 3/5.

Carrie

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I thought this was a great book that gave an interesting insight into the characters lives. It was well written and had great characters. I didn't think it was my sort of book but I liked it all the same.

Hannah

Killy Krew

I found this book interesting, as I did not know what it was like to live in a mosque before. However, I got very confused about who was who in Safiyyah's family. I feel like there were too many characters, and that the important ones were not featured as much as they should have been.

Dylan

TBGS Readers

Safiyyah's War is a heartwarming book. I love it because it shows you and tells you about a different culture which makes it feel more special. The story of it compelled me in and when it ended I just wanted more. It uses different words like baba and yemma (dad and grandma) and tells you what it means at the back of the book. I would recommend this book to almost everyone as it shows how much people can struggle and also how much they sort it out.

Amelia

Skipton Shadows

Hiba Noor Khan's "Saffiyah's War" is a moving and emotional novel that immerses readers in the experiences of its young protagonist, Saffiyah. It's a historical fiction set in Nazi-ruled Paris; the horrible things that the Jews were subjected to and the lengths people went to, to free them. Khan vividly allows the reader to feel the extreme fear, anguish, and resilience that Saffiyah felt as her world was destroyed by the brutal war. The narrative takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey, and the author conveys the depth of Saffiyah's losses and the deep emotions throughout the family. However, through beautiful metaphors of peace, hope, and oranges, Saffiyah's unwavering determination is conveyed wonderfully. The book follows themes of hope, loss, and optimism in dark times. 'Saffiyah's War' leaves a mark on the reader's heart and mind, a great book in contemporary literature.

Archit

MTS Northwood

'Safiyyah's War' is a book about WW2. It tells a story of an 11 year old girl called Safiyyah helping her dad go undercover and offering Jews ways out of Paris and away from the Nazis. Although Safiyyah is only 11 years old, she has experienced separating with her friends and watching a member of her family die due to WW2. This book is based on true history, so I would recommend it to history lovers, and also people who are looking for historical novels which are easy to read.

Hanming (Sophia)

PGHS Shadowers

I loved this book! It was a great story and gave a whole new perspective on the war. I really liked Safiyyah as a character and I just thought that it was a really great book. It had a beautiful story with beautiful writing. I give this a 9/10!

Elliott

Ermysted’s

Safiyyahs Army is a fascinating tale about courage, resilience, and bravery set against the devastated and battle-scarred landscapes of Paris, written with thoughtfulness by Hiba Noor Khan. The book follows the story of a young woman (Safiyyah) and who becomes a lifeline for many Jewish families across Paris. Safiyyah's father has been smuggling Jews out of the country and supporting them in any way possible with the imam of the mosque that Safiyyah lives next to. Saffiyah gets suspicious and decides to look through her dad's office. Eventually, she finds out about the helpline her father is running. With no excuses left, her father decides to tell her, and from there on out Saffiyah helped her dad's cause in any way possible. This story identifies themes of loyalty,sacrifice and resilience to show that during dark times a single spark can cause a fire. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to read an extremely thought provoking text. 8.5/10

francis

Fiction Addiction

This book gave me a new idea on what happened throughout the war for different people. I felt like I was living in the time with sapphire. It has truly amazed me due to the extensive detail.

James

SHS On The Same Page

A well written piece of hidden history based on real events highlighting the role Muslims and the Great Mosque in Paris played in helping the Jewish community escape persecution during the Second World War during the occupation of France by the Nazis. I also enjoyed reading about the relationship between the protagonist Saffiyah - a brave, young Muslim girl who helps lead the Jews to safety, and her wise grandmother. Overall, great story telling and an important story to be shared about the power of community, faith and hope.

Mrs Mann

Brooke Weston Book Busters

I found this book amazing apart from the first part of the book which was a bit boring the rest was action packed, suspenseful and made me want to read more every time I had to stop. This book based in World War 2 made a great book . 9/10 .

Saul

Ermysted’s

This book was about Muslims helping Jewish people living in Paris in the second world war. I thought it was good and it had quite a bit of action in it. I have read many books about world war two but this was the first to have Muslims helping jews

IsaacJ

Ermysted’s

I think this book was very interesting because it was about a group in Paris during WW2 ( the story is mainly centred around the mosque ) who attempt to rescue jews through the catacombs under Paris and then smuggle them on a boat. I would give this book 9/10.

Ben P

Ermysted’s

A very good book that sheds a light onto the lesser known events of the Second World War. This book shows to what great lengths people went to help those in need to escape the Nazi occupation of Paris and go to live better lives. Especially the lives of the Jewish community who were widely persecuted during that time. The bravery of people like Safiyyah and others like her should never be forgotten.

Sam S

Ermysted’s

I found the book a bit boring to start off with but the pace did pick up later on and I began to feel quite hooked. The premise was very unique - it often feels like there's no new ground to cover as there's such a wealth of literature about WW2 but Khan does a great job at providing new and interesting perspectives. I did think that the writing style was a bit too young for me and I would have appreciated it more several years ago. Safiyyah's resilience and courage make her a likable and well rounded main character. However, the ending did feel a little unrealistic as I didn't think it would have worked out so well.

Ella

St Kaths

This is certainly a unique book especially considering the perspective and era as I personally have seen little about the experiences of the Muslim community during WWII. It has a very powerful commentary set in the heart of Paris just as the Germans come to invade, and Khan's writing style is simultaneously incredibly poignant and earnest. However, I found the protagonist, Safiyyah, to be quite unrealistic, and the character dynamics to be rather off: how is she ten years old, a geographical genius and so academically powerful? Overall, not a terrible book, but could be more realistic.

Lara

PGHS Shadowers

Safiyyah's War is a brilliant story about an unexpected hero (Safiyyah). It is a thrilling tale and I really got stuck into it. Not only was this book entertaining but it was also very educating, as I had never known before that people would start a resistance and help Jewish people to escape from places where they would be taken to jail if Nazis found them. the heartfelt connection of Safiyyah and her grandma was also what made me really enjoy the book as I also have a very strong relationship with my Nana too. Furthermore, the book had a lot about the horrors of war as well and helped me to see those horrors but from a child's point of view. In the book, what was quite interesting, was that in the school that Safiyyah attends there is a boy who talks about Jewish people very rudely and disrespectfully and Safiyyah gets very mad at him causing her to nearly hit him with rage. This just surprised me that even a simple child attending a simple, supporting school would say what the Nazis were saying to Jewish people and no one would stand up to them and tell them that it was not okay, or so I thought. This was truly a phenomenal book and I am not surprised that it was shortlisted for the Carnegie award because it really lives up to that name.

Evelyn

Fortismere

I really enjoyed reading this book set in WWII, Paris. It was very interesting to see how the mosque helped the Jews in Paris. Safiyyah was a good character and I loved her relationship with Hana and her family, as well as Isabelle! It seemed a really horrible time for the family, but I liked the fact that in the epilogue she followed her dream. Her work for the Resistance was exciting and I thought the book ended well. Overall, a really good book.

Aidan M

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's War is an exciting, beautifully written story, with rich descriptions and near-limitless depth to each and every character... The sorrowful turns in the story, then the moments of hope, and everything in between, are all well-expressed, whether by both narration and dialogue. All in all, it is truly an interesting, unique, extraordinary story.

Leyla

KEVICHG

This is a story of love , hope and helping others . When war comes to the streets of Paris many flee but Safiyyah and her family remain . But when people start acting suspicious can Safiyyah uncover the truth ? I loved this book because the story itself was amazing and taught me lots about Safiyyah’s culture . There isn’t anything I would change about this book as it has a little bit of everything, mystery , friendship and adventure . I would recommend this book to anyone that likes historical fiction , mystery and also enjoys stories that are heartwarming.

Holly

VISTA Academy

Safiyyah's war is a book that covers the difficult and sensitive topic of war, however it is also a book of kindness and bravery. This story is one of a young girl, a Muslim, living in Paris, whose life is changed when the German soldiers invade France. Things just get tougher for Safiyyah as her friends all leave the country in an attempt to find safety. It is up to her to run dangerous errands to save as many innocent lives as possible. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others.

Alba

Bookiewookiedoodaas

This was a very good book, and I haven’t read any other wartime books about the role of the mosques in WW2, or about a child who works for the French resistance. I like how it doesn’t launch straight into the action, with it building up to the war and then slowly building up to Saffiyah’s resistance work. A very good book in my opinion.

Huxley

Fortismere

This book is based in world war 2 and is from the view of a 10 year old who is very interested in travelling and was for some of the book quite upset about her Jewish friend having to leave because her family thought it was unsafe to stay in France. I thought that the book went of on a pretty rocky start because of it taking a while for all the action start which did make it quite boring however after the first hundred pages I think it started to get a lot more intense and interesting with her father at the mosque. But I did find that the protagonist was quite unrealistic because she managed to be amazing academically and also extremely lucky with her circumstances. However I loved how the small child comforted so many hearts when they were dealing with loss. I also loved how the author kept the book quite formal like the situation of the main characters. Overall I would give this 4 stars because the first half really threw me off the book but it did redeem itself in the second half which all the suspense.i hope that this review gives you a good idea of the book.

Leela

Macaulay Book Club

The book was amazing! The author developed the main character well and it was easy to related to how she felt. Although I normally prefere more exciting books, the gradual increase of suspense and risk for the main character makes it a great read. It was also really nice showing a side of the war not normally writen about.

Ben

Fortismere

Safiyyah's war was an interesting read, starting off weakly but slowly building up until at the end where the author showed her true finesse. Though not my favourite book, I still greatly enjoyed reading this novel due to the insight on world war two from a Muslim perspective. The way the story is set out makes it seem like it would be written from a Jew's point of view but the author (being Muslim herself) has steered away from what would be the obvious option and gone for something a bit more unorthodox. My personal opinion on Safiyyah, is that she is too unrealistic a character as she is terrified of things at one point in the book which she confidently brushes past in another and for her to change her attitude towards something that fast ,even under the given circumstances, is pretty absurd. In addition to this Hana was given too little attention in this book and did not develop enough as a character because of it. Although Safiyyah and Hana did not impress me, Setti (the wise mentor who speaks in riddles) did, as she fit the role well and she made me feel more sympathetic towards Safiyyah. Her death was rather unexpected as I think the book could have easily continued on the same level with Setti still in it. I guess she just impressed me as a character which led to me wanting to keep her in the story. Whilst reading this book, I thought that the plot was going to be fictional and the only real thing about it would be the mosque but once I had finished it and read about the history behind the story I realised how wrong I was. This was probably my favourite part of the book as it was extremely interesting to read about the history of the mosque which was an area of world war two which I would probably never have learned about had I not read this book. Overall, this book was interesting but if I did not have to finish this book I would not have as the start was incredibly slow. Score: Characters:15/20 Plot:17/20 Inspiration:19/20 Total:41/60

Sevan

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's War was a brilliant, page-turning book, with lots of twists and turns, anticipation and excitement. I could barely put the book down. It especially reminds me of Malala, a true story of a young girl fighting against war; like that, Safiyyah helps Jewish people in their time of need in the war. In particular, one of my favourite characters in Safiyyah's War is her Setti (grandma) because of how calm and reassuring she is ever in times of disaster. She enjoys the simple and little things in life. As well as this she pushes Safiyyah to be the best she can be and adds a lot to the story. Overall, I loved this book and I think it is an amazing representation of many peoples' hardships and battles during World war II. I give it a solid 9/10 and will definitely read it again.

Violet

The John Mason Shadowers

"Safiyyah's War" is a well-written feel-good, anytime one feels sad they have to just read a few pages of this book and they'll feel ultimately better. This book is a flower of emotions, mostly good. I am highly confident that this book will become a classic in the future.

Yuvan

CRGS Book Society

A brilliant story of bravery, resilience and having faith and hope in adverse situations which cause grief and hardship. It superbly brings together people of different cultures whereby they are able to acquire wisdom and knowledge from one another in order to overcome.

Angela

Greenford High CSG

Honestly, in the beginning this book was boring but the gradual increase of the plot made it really good. I loved how Safiyyah was strong on her opinion in the beginning and knew she didn't have to leave this place. I loved most of the characters and how Safiyyah decided to help out the Jews and do some dangerous risky tasks. However, I couldn't bring myself to finish this because personally books about war aren't really the type of thing I would read but despite this it was an amazing book! I really loved how to represented Muslims in the war especially because I was always so interested about what could've happened to them and what they would've done and this brought it to life! If I would rate this, I would give it a 7/10. It was definitely not the type of book I would read, but I would recommend it to people who are around the same age or younger than me.

Ghumaysa

Plashet School

This book is about Safiyyah, an 11 year old Muslim girl living in Paris at the local mosque. She loves to explore and look at maps in the library, but this all changes when the Nazis arrive. As the danger draws closer more and more people leave to get to safety, but Safiyyah is stuck in the city hoping she can keep her secrets while the Nazis sit right on her doorstep... In this book about the suffering endured in WWII, tiny specks of hope are added making it a wonderful and amazing to read. I felt like I connected with the main character Safiyyah’s thoughts and feelings throughout the book, as parts would send my heart racing while in others, I felt her pain or her joy. This book really showed me what it was like in WWII, the pain the Nazis inflicted on the Jews and other families with their new rules like curfew at 8pm or the amount of fabric you were allowed to use in clothing. It showed the oppression faced and the resistance efforts against the uninvited new authority. It was interesting to see the home and school life of someone around my age in a different culture and how they coped with the dark clouds hanging above their heads. Overall, this book was such an inspiring piece of writing that showed me there is always a light in the darkness and some things will get worse before they get better.

Holly

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Wow. There are so many things I can say about this book. Firstly I think that the protagonist is well written and her emotions are relatable. It makes her seem material and real. The story is a beautiful commentary on the struggles of families and friends in WW2. It's a truly astonishing and heartfelt book that constantly twist and turns leaving you bewildered and anxious on what will happen next. I would happily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a feel good read. 10/10

theo

VISTA Academy

I personally adore this book. The characters are so well written and I must admit it's refreshing to have a main character that's Muslim as most books I read never have a character like that let alone have them as the main character. Truly a welcome change. I find the book was written at a nice pace and the plot is gripping and kept me reading for hours. (who needs sleep when you can read?)

Melanie

Kingdown 24

The sentiment and overall plot was enjoyable and the representation of other sides of this certain period of history was important. However, I thought the way the younger characters acted wasn't realistic as they acted slightly older, more emotionally mature, than I think they should be. Taking in account the circumstances they were in and the time period, I still think the younger characters were unrealistic and hard to connect to.

Olivia

Kingdown 24

This book has a great story line, its interesting and unique! I've only read the first 10 pages but its already a beautiful book! 10/10!

Meredith

Kingdown 24

This is one of the best books that I have read .

Humera

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

I liked this book. It was really good but also sad because she go into trouble every time she would get home late from the library.

Haleemah

The Reading Queens

Safiyyah’s War is a gripping and powerful novel that centres around the life of Safiyyah, a young woman who finds herself torn between duty and desire in war-torn Syria. As the conflict escalates around her, Safiyyah must navigate the complexities of love, loss, and survival in a world fraught with danger and uncertainty. Hiba Noor Khan does a fantastic job of capturing the emotional depth and turmoil of her characters, drawing readers into Safiyyah’s world with vivid and evocative prose. The novel is both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking, shedding light on the harsh realities of war and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Safiyyah’s War is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the human cost of conflict and the strength of the human spirit in the most challenging of circumstances. Khan’s writing is both poignant and powerful, making this novel an unforgettable and moving read.

Aza

Reading Rats

I loved this book as it showed an insight on what WWII was like for Jews. Safiyyah's War clearly shows the hardships as the boy that bullied Amelie and Hana, Henri and Phillipe were rude to them just because they were Jewish. Safiyyah's determination to help the Jews to evacuate out of the city was a main point of the book as she showed no fear and believed in doing what was right and true. Safiyyah's family all worked hand in hand to help people that were probably at vulnerable and terrified points of their life and to see that help would have meant the whole world. I also loved Safiyyah's relationship with her grandmother, Setti as they were both lovers of the oranges that setting had grown from her homeland, Algeria. It was quite sad as Setti died near the end, but Safiyyah had nice dreams for Setti and prayed for her. Overall, I rate this book 5 stars as it was very interesting and emotional.

Amira

STCCG Shadowing

Throughout the book Safiyyah’s story is compelling, (sometimes a little sad) and always exciting. I loved every bit of it from the first few words to the last page. It described the how safiyyah experienced the war in such a way that you could definitely feel her feelings. I could barely put this amazing book down.

Helena

Herts and Essex

Well... This book confused me. Was there more than 1 author? I thought that the first half was incredible naive style of writing "... and then 'X' happened... and then 'Y' happened, and then 'Z' happened..." very young style of writing - certainly not a book for 11+. However, just over half way through they style of writing seemed to change. The writing was much more fluid, much more realistic, much more STORY! I enjoyed the story and the conversations in the tale. I appreciate, at the start, that the author was setting the scenes of this very difficult time in human history, but it was disappointing, clumsy writing. So much more potential, I thought.

Mrs Allsopp

The Reading Queens

Whilst I liked the original idea and concept about a Muslim girl helping Jews in World War 2 Paris, as it was aimed at younger readers I didn't particularly enjoy it. I love the empathy displayed in the book but it did not particularly grip me or make me want to keep reading.

Eve

St Kaths

I think that 'Safiyyah's War' is a really great book and it really makes me think about the wars that happened at the time. I also really liked the character Setti as she was very kind and wise. Furthermore, I always felt hungry reading the descriptions of the oranges.

Hannah

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

I really enjoyed reading Safiyyahs War. I have always liked reading historical fiction that is based on real, inspirational stories, and found this a very good way to diversify my reading. Safiyyahs' story really touched my heart, and I found her bravery uplifting. The way she faced her fears to help hundreds of people despite the danger from the Nazi soldiers. I think the ending was really effective, and hope to see Safiyyah and the mosque again in a sequel 🤞 I rate this book 9/10

Emma

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

This was my favourite book. I really liked the ending and thought there was nothing wrong with it.

Hasan i

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan is a gripping tale of resilience, courage, and the pursuit of justice set against the backdrop of conflict. Khan weaves a compelling narrative around Safiyyah, a young woman thrust into the chaos of war, who discovers her inner strength and determination amidst adversity. The author's vivid prose and skillful character development breathe life into the story, capturing the reader's attention from start to finish. With its powerful themes of survival and redemption, Safiyyah's War is a captivating read that leaves a lasting impression, showcasing Khan's talent as a storyteller.

kieran

Fiction Addiction

This book was so gripping and I couldn't put it down. I loved every bit and it is a story of bravery and kindness. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading.

Mia

Skipton Shadows

This book is great so far and describes things well which makes it fun to read.

Rhys

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

Saffiyah’s war is an extraordinary book that brings attention to the forgotten heroes of ww2: the resistance that saved between 500-1700 Jews by helping them escape Paris via the mosque. I think that it us a really good book that re-tells the story really well. I like it because it leaves a lot of questions unanswered: What happens to Hana and Monsieur Cassin? Did Timmothéé’s dad get better? I like this because it makes me wish for a sequel. My favourite character is Timothéé because I like how he helps the resistance out of kindness, he didn't have to, he could of left it alone and looked after his sick dad. I wish he had a bigger role in the story though.

Caiden o

VISTA Academy

Safiyyah’s War is a book set in Paris France when the Nazis were at large. It is about a Muslim girl called Safiyyah who lives in a Mosque with her Dad, Mum, little sister, and grandmother. As the war goes on she starts making discoveries… I really enjoyed reading this book because each chapter ended on a cliffhanger so I couldn’t but it down. Also, I like that the author included a historical note about what she found when she was researching about World War II in Paris France, so it includes some real facts. My favorite character would probably be Safiyyah because she was determined to help people, so she is a great example of kindness. Also, she really likes maps and books and is knowledgeable about the city she lives in, Paris. What I disliked about the book was that it was a bit confusing because the characters all had rather similar names and were a bit hard to pronounce. But that on the contrary is also a positive because it means you must be paying attention to understand, that is the only negative thing I can say. I would read this book if you like adventurous books with lots of cliff hangers and dangerous decisions but, older children over 9 because it may be a bit disturbing for younger kids. To add to that, I would recommend it for people who do not only like adventurous books but people who like fictional but with a bit of history. If I could rate it out of five it would have to be five because how it shows how hard it was for people in Nazi France but how there was still happiness just not as much, but also how there was a struggle for survival.

Sophia

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I really liked this book. It was an amazing book that showed courage and bravery that made it hard to stop reading it. I think that Safiyyah is an amazing character and I admire her a lot especially because she stood up for people who needed help.

Roisin

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Safiyyah’s War is a beautifully written story based on real life events. It is set during World War II and follows the life Safiyyah, who lives with her family in a mosque in the centre of Paris. When the Germans invade France, Safiyyah is suddenly thrown into a world of terror. She discovers her father has been helping the Jews flee with his secret Resistance work and when he is arrested by the Nazis, it is Safiyyah’s job to run errands for her father. But with several Jews coming to the mosque to seek safety, will Safiyyah be able to help the Jews escape when it is all down to her? I thought Safiyyah’s War was an incredible book: I really enjoyed it! I thought it was very interesting that this novel explores a side of history that isn’t often talked about, or, in my opinion, you don’t typically find in many other books. This story maintained my interest throughout – there was constantly things happening and I never felt like it became boring or repetitive. I think the part that surprised me the most was the pivotal moment where Safiyyah finds out about her father’s work. During the book, you feel sympathy for Safiyyah as you learn about the constant fear and worry she had to deal with every day. My favourite character is Safiyyah because she is resilient and bold – I feel like she does not give up. Also, I really loved the fact the author added a small section at the end that showed a glimpse into Safiyyah’s future, 10 years later. The only thing that I would have wished is that the second half of the book explored Timothee more. Personally, I felt like he was a character that kind of disappeared and he wasn’t really talked about much towards the end and I thought there was a bit of a mystery over what happened to him or his father. To summarise, I think that Safiyyah’s War is a wonderful novel that is unique, original and extraordinary. I would strongly recommend this book to avid readers aged 10+ and potentially people who are interested in history.

Lucy

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Saffiyah's War is a realistic portal into the darkness of World War I in France. Throughout the story you experience a wave of emotions as though you are in the mind of Saffiyah herself. The book keeps you hooked until the very end and gives you a valuable insight to the many struggles of war. The story teaches you compassion and gratitude and I frequently cried throughout the story. The story teaches to show kindness and love to all, no matter their race, background or belief for after all we are all humans. I loved the story and the morals behind the story and would strongly recommend it to young readers.

Khadija

Sharples Shadows

Saffiyah’s War is an amazing book that shows how terrible and horrible World War 2 was. It follows the life of Saffiyah who was a Muslim helping the Jews escape the Nazis in Paris. Saffiyah’s War highlights how hard it was for the Jews during the period of Nazi rule. The book shows how, as good humans, we should always be kind and compassionate no matter the circumstance. This was a fascinating book that gives an insight into the traumatic events of Word War 2 from the perspective of the people helping the Jews and the danger of helping them. This was an inspiring, page-turning book!

Stanley

Reader Leaders

I liked this book because of the of the setting in ww1 and how the book is really tense when she was leading the Jews through the catacombs. I rate this book a 6/10

Baasim

Ermysted’s

Safiyyahs War is INCREDIBLE!. I loved every little detail about it the happy ending was really nice and the final part was quite scary and heart racing material. I would recommend this to ANYONE who likes reading.

Mahiba

The Reading Queens

I really liked the writing in this book i thought it was eloquently written and has a deep resonance to todays conflict

Stirling

Ermysted’s

I really liked this book and the new angle it came from. With embarrassingly little knowledge of WW2 outside of UK/Germany-based history lessons, it was interesting to learn more about the experiences people had in other countries as they became occupied by Nazi armies. I particularly liked Safiyyah's point of view and how her religion was an integral part of who she was and how others saw her. The characters in the book as a whole were well executed and made for a heart-warming and engaging read. However, I felt the plot was a bit predictable in places and I was misled by the description in the blurb and was therefore disappointed by the late climax in action. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and the story it told, especially because of the information in the historical note at the back that related the events and characters to real-life ones.

Rosie

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I liked this book. I think the premise was nice and thought that Safiyyah was amazing. I think the point of the book was important and Safiyyah was brave and kind for protecting and helping anyone who needed it.

Laura

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This book was an excellent read, and I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The story is so original and extraordinary. What I think is especially interesting about this book is the characters’ backgrounds. Stereotypically, a wartime book wouldn’t follow an ethnic minority as this book did. But where it gets better, is where, not only did it follow a group of Algerian Muslims during the War, but included their culture throughout the book - whether that would be more obvious, like the fact they live in a mosque, or more subtle like when the characters prayed in times of need. Another great part of this book was the historical accuracy. The book reminds us that people of different faiths will have come together in the past to help each other - with the example in the book being Muslims helping Jews during Nazi reign. Even though it was nice to see a change of viewpoints of WWII, I think the religious parts of the characters, albeit a very important part of the book, was unnecessarily dragged out in some bits. Someone who was completely unaware of practices in Islam, would probably have some difficulty understanding some parts of the book. However, on the whole, I think this book is spectacular and gives a whole new insight into WWII.

Muadh

Ermysted’s

Safiyyah's War is a beautiful, elegantly-woven story about a young Muslim girl in the French Resistance. The vivid descriptions and unique perspective make for a sorrowful, yet remarkable tale of the untold bravery of normal people, fighting against conflict and oppression. Throughout the book, Safiyyah grows into a courageous, awe-inspiring young woman, and her understanding of the world around her changes. I would definitely recommend this book, as it volunteers a special and unconventional viewpoint which is really interesting and unique.

Hidayah

KEVICHG

This book uncovers the story of the Grand Mosque in Paris in WWII in the form of an entertaining novel. Saffiyah's War retells the true events from the perspective of a young girl whose father was involved in the French Resistance. After reading the fascinating story, it was surprising to learn that the Grand Mosque's efforts in the Resistance were real. I definitely enjoyed the book, even as someone who primarily reads fantasy. The characters were brilliantly portrayed, the scenes described excellently - the words became images in my mind, playing out as a film in front of my eyes.

Aashaz

Ermysted’s

The fictional character of Safiyyah tells us the remarkable story of how hundreds of people were saved from the Nazis by members of the Great Mosque of Paris. Although most of the characters in the story are fictional, the story itself is based in fact. Many Jewish citizens were secretly given aid, shelter and an escape route by members of the Great Mosque. This is an inspiring story about community, friendship and doing the right thing, no matter how hard that may be.

Mrs Wright

Turnbull HS

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. So much happens in such short time. First Safiyyah finds out that her dad is forging fake reports to show that Jews are Muslim and when he gets arrested she decides to take on his work. Later her grandmother, Setti, dies which deeply sorrows her. And at the end of the book she has to lead a group of Jews through some underground tunnels to the sea so they can escape. The amount of responsibilities she had to take on are astonishing. I would recommend this book to 10-14 year old and rate it 8.5/10.

Bassit

Ermysted’s

Best one so far because I really liked the tense atmosphere that developed throughout the book. The retelling of a lesser known story was very refreshing and provided a new perspective into Nazi occupied France.

Aaron

Ermysted’s