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A Night Divided
by Jennifer A. Nielsen


Overview - With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home.  Read more...

 
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More About A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
 
 
 
Overview
With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.
But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780545682428
  • ISBN-10: 0545682428
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Publish Date: August 2015
  • Page Count: 336
  • Reading Level: Ages 9-12


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Thrillers & Suspense
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - General
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - Europe

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-06-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

Eight-year-old Gerta awakens one morning to a fence cleaving her family in two—her father and one of her brothers were on a trip to West Berlin while the rest of the family became trapped in the East. Four years later, the Berlin Wall has become a harsh reality, but a secret message from her father, hidden in a silly dance, gives Gerta hope and a plan for escape: tunneling to freedom. Like Anne Frank before her, Gerta is small but mighty, a hardheaded heroine who dreams up big ideas and refuses to give up in the face of adversity and danger. Nielsen (Mark of the Thief) evokes the constant unease of life in a divided Berlin through Gerta’s sober narration, as she struggles with death, lying to survive, and underground obstacles like burst pipes, but the family never loses sight of the power of humility and forgiveness. As the architect of her family’s freedom, Gerta memorably demonstrates that survival is possible even in the bleakest of circumstances. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Aug.)

 
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