Review Blog

Apr 28 2020

The yellow bird sings by Jennifer Rosner

cover image

Picador, 2020. ISBN: 9781529032437. 294pp., paperback.
(Age: Upper primary/Secondary). Historical fiction. Sniff, sniff (wipes tears away from eyes).
What a captivating and emotional tale about the love between a mother and daughter with a wonderful connection to music and how far a mother would go to save her child.
The yellow bird sings is a wonderfully written debut novel from Jennifer Rosner.
Poland 1941, Roza and Shira manage to sneak away as Nazi soldiers are rounding up Jews in their home town. They find safety in a dirty old barn hiding in the hayloft. Here in the hayloft the aim for Roza is the wellbeing of Shira her 5-year-old daughter. She nurtures, educates and protects her as much as she can. Roza invents a story based on a little yellow bird to keep Shira occupied. Shira is a musical prodigy who hears entire passages in her head but she cannot make a sound while she is in hiding. This imaginary little yellow bird helps keeping her safe.
The early chapters tell us the story of living in the barn with the help of the farmer Henryk and his wife Krystyna but there is a price to pay. Then due to dangers a decision is made and both Roza and Shira are separated and are at the mercy of unknown dangers.
The yellow bird sings is an emotional historical fiction book based around true stories of Jewish children being hidden during WWII. We learn of some of the atrocities committed against Polish Jews and glimpses of the Resistance movements with not too much graphic details, so it's a bit safer for students to read.
I loved reading The yellow bird sings and think it's a great addition to a library. If you enjoyed The boy in the striped pyjamas I'm pretty sure you would love this.
Maria Komninos

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