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Facing the Lion review by Claudia Licona

San Antonio, TX

Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe

Simone Arnold Liebster

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well-written autobiography. I was captivated by every detail. Every emotion from rage to despair, from a jovial heart to the depth of sadness, was stirred within me.

I have been deeply touched by this inspiring family and by their self-sacrificing friends. It has moved me to become a better person, a better wife, a better daughter, a better friend, and above all a better mother.

At times in this fast-paced world I find myself too often overlooking the smallest details that in reality if taken away would cause great loss and emptiness. Simone has helped me, however, to appreciate the true value of friends and family. And to steadily pull back the reins on time, to thus relish each moment we’re granted. She has also brought awareness of how life with all its comforts can suddenly turn bitter. Thank you, Simone, for revealing to us your heart’s most intimate cache filled to the very brim of pain, sadness, and loneliness.

In profound amazement I question how such a small child can possess such convictions. But as I ponder her life’s experiences I soon discover the strong influence of her parents and that of her true friends. In the early chapters one discovers their meticulous and careful placement of each seedling (encouraging words, sage advice, and values) sown into her little heart that would serve as the foundation of her ultimate courage. This is an important lesson for all parents. Recognizing how strongly we can influence our children to make wise choices is important; but consistently helping to shape their character is key.

I will read this book in its entirety with my own 11-year-old daughter. I have already shared a few of Simone’s experiences with her which have helped in her own daily struggles among bullies. With a lot of reasoning and communication she, too, has been able to hold fast to what she believes is right.

I encourage each and every parent to read this book with their own children. I’m certain it will help them to keep true to their own values and convictions now and for years to come.

Merci beaucoup, Simone!

Claudia Licona
San Antonio, TX