A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen

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Title: A Night Divided

Author: Jennifer Nielsen

Published By: Scholastic (2015)

Synopsis: With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. 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? (Taken from Goodreads)


I LOVED this book! This was one of those books that reminds me how good historical fiction can be. I especially love juvenile historical fiction novels—they always have such a sweet and touching message to them—and this was no exception. It felt just like a child telling the story—which it was—but not in a negative sense; it was written beautifully.

I thought at times the plot was a little bit dragged out, but it didn’t feel watered down and oppositely had me turning pages all the faster. It was historically accurate as far as I could tell and certainly explored in a new, more vivid way!

Negative Content/Notes:


Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Recommended to: Ages 10+!

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