Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Night Divided


TITLE: A Night Divided
AUTHOR: Jennifer A. Nielsen
RELEASE DATE: August 2015
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
PAGES: 317 pages
GENRE: Historical Fiction

SUMMARY: Gerta was eight when the Berlin Wall went up overnight separating her father and middle brother from her mother, oldest brother, Fritz, and herself. Four years later, Gerta tries to follow the rules of East Berlin, tries to stay out of trouble, tries to live like an obedient twelve-year-old girl, but its difficult. How can you control what a person thinks? Then one day, on her walk to school she sees her brother, Dominic and her father, on a platform on the east side of the Wall watching her. Its then that she knows she must risk her life for freedom.

FAVORITE QUOTE: "I pulled my curtains apart, expecting the worst. But when I looked out, my heart slammed into my throat. Not even the darkest part of my imagination could have prepared me for this. It was Sunday, August 13, 1962, a day I would remember for the rest of my life. When a prison had been built around us as we slept."

WHAT I LIKED: I loved that this story was based on a real event: life in East Berlin during the construction of the Berlin Wall. I've always heard about the Berlin Wall, it came down when I was young. But reading this book really made me dig deeper into the history; how and why it was constructed. I did a lot of research on the Berlin Wall, it covered 96 miles of Germany and was up for twenty-eight years. I also read about a lot of the true stories of escape, people jumped out of buildings, dug tunnels, one family even built a hot air balloon. It was a truly terrible time, but looking back on it now and seeing the mistakes of our ancestors is truly important to make sure we don't make these same mistakes in the future. 

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: There is not a single thing that I did not like about this story. I do feel like it needs one those those, "Ten years later..." as a follow-up to each character after the Berlin Wall comes down. I'd like to think that Gerta and her family had a big part to play in the coming down of the Wall.

READALIKES: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

BOOK TRAILER: link to Scholastic's Book Trailer for A Night Divided as described by author, Jennifer A. Nielsen

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