I asked the authors (a mother-daughter duo) how they chose to write a book about this topic. I thought you'd like to hear their answers:
Lydia says: "When I was researching the events of World War II in France, I came across a book about the aid workers (almost all young women) who rescued Jewish children from the camps, and later, took them out of other dangerous situations to places where they could be safely hidden. I was so impressed by the courage and devotion of these young women, that I wanted their story to be told, alongside the story of the town of Le Chambon, which had first inspired me to begin this series. That was my inspiration for inventing the person of Paquerette, who embodies something of the experience of many of these aid workers."
Heather says: "After Mom asked me to be her co-author and revamp How Huge the Night (our first book) for her, and that worked out well and got published, this sequel was the second manuscript she had that needed a rewrite. So for me it was a question of "Here's this story, do you want to work on it?" Well, I wanted to help Mom, but there was more to it. The plot was good, and the history was truly fascinating. I found it interesting that you have these women doing this very heroic thing but the day-to-day actual work of it is largely childcare--as opposed to the usual strong & heroic girl character in fiction who's not considered impressive enough unless she fights. So I liked the chance that gave me to play with some interesting themes. And then there was Magali herself. I didn't like her at first--I identified more with the shy friend she's kind of mean to, actually!--but she just had this voice. I was out weeding strawberries one day and she just started talking to me. She said, "I just didn't know war was going to be so boring," and I had to go write it down. That settled it! I wrote Mom and said I'd do it."