A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Image Courtesy of Amazon.com

“I didn’t want to be angry but sometimes it was the only emotion I understood. I missed my father singing to me at bedtime and the earthy smell of his coat before he left for work each morning. Sometimes, he snuck a kiss from my mother when he thought no one was looking and it always made me giggle. I even missed Dominic. The way he used to tease me and hide my dolls and jump out from behind corners to scare me – those were good memories now.”

Nielsen, Jennifer A. A Night DividedScholastic Press. 2015. 317 pages. Hardcover. $16.99, ISBN 978-0-545-68242-8

What would you do if you woke up one morning and found a fence dividing your country? That’s exactly what happened to Gerta. The East German government built a fence in the night to divide East Germany from West Germany. If that wasn’t bad enough, Gerta’s dad and brother Dominic were in West Germany looking for an apartment and a job so that the family could move. Now, they can’t get in and Gerta, her mom and brother, Fritz, can’t get out. Fast forward four years.  Times are not good. There is a food shortage. The Stasi, a secret police force, have bugged Greta’s house and have files on her and Fritz. Fritz is going to be forced to join the military. But what can they do? Those who have attempted to cross the fence have died trying. One day, Greta spots her brother, Dominic on a viewing platform on the other side of the fence. Later her father appears. He’s acting out a song he used to sing to her when she was young. He is emphasizing the digging part. What is he trying to tell her? Will this be the answer Greta and her family have been looking for? Read to find out. I think you will like this book. I did!


Link to WorldCat .org listing 

Link to Amazon.com listing (Available in Hardcover, paperback, Kindle and Audible)

Image Courtesy of Amazon.com

Jennifer Nielsen’s Website


  • 2016-17 Tome Society List
  • Top 2015 Mighty Girl Books for Teen and Tweens List
  • 2015 AML Finalist
  • 2015 double Whitney Award winner for Best Middle Grade book and for Best Overall Youth Novel.
  • State List nominations: California Young Readers Award (17-18); Illinois Rebecca Caudil Award (17-18); Maine Student Book Award (16-17); Maryland Black-eyed Susan Book Award (17-18); Missouri Truman Award (17-18); Nebraska Golden Sower Award (17-18); New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award (16-17); Oregon Battle of the Books (16-17); Texas Lone Star (16-17); *South Dakota Young Adult Readers Award (16-17); *Utah Beehive Book Award (16-17); Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award (16-17); Middle School Virginia Readers Choice (17-18); *Wyoming Indian paintbrush Award (16-17) *Winner
  • 2016 ILA-CBC Children’s Choices List

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© Chris Peeler 2013

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