A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2015)

515PBGS4vJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A quietly tense historical fiction drama that sheds light on life in Soviet East Berlin.

Recommended grade level: 4-7

Pages: 317 (for ISBN 9780545682428)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, international, Europe (Germany)

Tone/Style: bleak

Pace: moderate

Topics: the Berlin Wall, Communism, separated families, escape plans, digging

Themes: freedom, trust, when to take risks, family, defiance of government, oppression

Summary: 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. Continue reading