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A Thunderous Whisper

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  357 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Ani believes she is just an insignificant whisper of a 12-year-old girl in a loud world. This is what her mother tells her anyway. Her father made her feel important, but he's been off fighting in Spain's Civil War, and his voice in her head is fading. Then she meets Mathias. His family has just moved to Guernica and he's as far from a whisper as a 14-year-old boy can be. ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2012)
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Middle Grade Novels of 2012
88th out of 297 books — 669 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,241)
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Fernanda Escobar
Nov 09, 2015 Fernanda Escobar rated it it was amazing
It was amazing. How a friendship that strong survived. I hope Ani and Mathias see each other again. And I only read the book in a day
Kody Ravenscroft
Apr 04, 2016 Kody Ravenscroft rated it it was amazing

Personal response: This book from the start intrigued me. It kept a firm hold on that throughout the entirety of the book. The relationship between Ani and Mathias captured my interest right from the beginning as it seemed as if there was more to it than just friends at the start. Ani’s school mates attitude towards her surprised me as the only things they ever said to her were teasing or otherwise hurtful. I wasn’t surprised that when Mathias invited Ani to watch a movie that he had an ulterior
Apr 25, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Reviewed on blog - 10/22/12
Gonzalez does a great job of describing her setting. Guernica comes to life, especially the area around Ani's favorite tree, the schoolyard, and the beautiful old theater. Ani's character is also carefully written. She slowly comes out of her shell as she learns about herself. She is not suddenly brave and different but events reveal her inner self and we are taken along with her. Mathias, on the other hand, is more of a sketch of a boy with everything spelled out. We
Susan P
Jan 07, 2013 Susan P rated it liked it
Shelves: j-fiction, committee
Historical fiction during a unique time period and setting: Spain during their civil war in the 1930s. A Basque girl and a half Basque/half German boy meet and become friends. Then their small town of Guernica is bombed and both suffer terrible losses. Can they help each other to survive and move on? Based on experiences of the author's relatives. This is one that could easily inspire additional research. It starts off a bit slow, but keep going!
jo mo
Jul 31, 2012 jo mo marked it as dropped
Shelves: reviews
look at that. isn't that ..?

yes, it is:

it's pan's labyrinth's ofelia played by ivana baquero with a nose job on the book cover!
Jan 04, 2015 Kalindee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A very powerful and interesting book, I found myself clinging to every word until the very end!

Also, the end left me a bit unsatisfied, but I can't help but feel that's the way it's supposed to be...? Mixed feelings??
Jan 08, 2015 Rose rated it it was amazing
The book that I just finished reading was called A Thunderous Whisper. The book is 309 pages long, nonfiction, and its wrote by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. This book is about a girl named Ani and her friends Mathias. Ani has lived in Guernica her whole life, but Mathias just moved there. Ani and her mother are the Sardinia's of town, and that is what Ani is known for. It's just Ani and her mother at home because her father is working in the kitchen at the war. Mathias's parents own the town's movi ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Jenny rated it it was amazing
This book wasn't like any other. I've not read many Nazi related books, although the topic interests me. Ani one of the protagonists has created a voice for the character herself as I read the book. And of course having created a voice you know this book is first person view. And I personally LOVE first person view in a book. It creates a view for what and how the character goes about in her story, and it's amazing what it can do. This book created many scenes in my mind and that's what caught m ...more
Fazil Abbas
I recently read a book called A Thunderous Whisper .It was a good book,but it had a little room for improvement. I think the author was repetitive he used the same sentence structure. A Thunderous Whisper is about a girl named Ani she lives in Guernica during World War 2 her father is fighting in the Spanish civil war. Ani wants to make a difference in the world she gets no chances until , a boy named Mathias moves to Guernica his father is part of a spy network. Ani and Mathias help deliver mes ...more
Wow. I was overwhelmed with this powerful story set in Guuerniica during the time when the Germans were beginning to attack parts of Spain. Mrs. Gonzalez beautifully wove a story intertwining pieces of her personal family's history with the fictional characters she created of the Basque people. I was captivated from the first page to the end and could barely put the book down. I love a book where I have to do research to learn some pieces of history that I never knew of, and this book was just t ...more
Melina Castillo
Oct 24, 2015 Melina Castillo rated it really liked it
"A Thunderous Whisper" is a heart warming story about a young girl who discovers that she is not insignificant. Everything in this book is very well described. I love how Gonzales adds bits of Spanish and Basque language here and there to help the story feel real. I wish I could have known a little more about some of the characters, but an event in the story did not further allow it. With the vivid details in this book, I was really able to make a map in mind of where everything was which helped ...more
Evan Pelerine
Apr 30, 2013 Evan Pelerine rated it it was amazing
a bbook about a gril during the holicast this book dos a nice job shoing teh other side of ww2 my farvet part of the book was wen ani the gril in the book bmets he soon to be best frend maithis.
Sep 09, 2015 Avery rated it it was amazing
Ani is just a small whisper of a girl in a loud world. At least that is what her mother has told her for years. While World War II is raging the only person who made her feel special is her father but he is off fighting in Spain's civil war. Until Mathias comes to town. He seems far from a whisper of a boy. She thinks he is more like lightning, until she finds herself helping him deliver secret messages across the country. Finally she thinks she means something. Until her world comes crashing do ...more
a fairly accurate, if lightly treated, historical YA novel set in guernica. you know what's going to happen already right? right, franco's nazi buddies carpet bomb the small town to ash. the book center's around ani who is trying to live and grow during spanish civil war, she meets a boy, her dad is away at the front, her mom gets bombed, and the kids work on the republican/basque independence side. so affecting but facile with some of the complexity and facts glossed. won some awards. needs map ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Fatimac rated it it was amazing
I personally liked this book because I think that it was interesting to read about someone that survived in a war during that time. This book for some reason made me feel like reading more and more. I think that if anyone read this book they will want to keep on reading it. The writing in this story id beautiful. One thing that I noticed is that when you get to the middle of the story it will make want to read more. I would recommend this book to a classmate because if I enjoyed reading it I thi ...more
Feb 03, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Ani is the Sardine Girl, invisible to her peers and enduring the harsh reality of being a poor sardine vendor's daughter in Guernica while her father is off fighting in Spain's Civil War. She meets Mathias, who is her polar opposite--outgoing and fearless despite his hobbled leg. The 2 become spies for the rebel forces, using Ani's sardine customers to pass information. The city is bombed to obliteration by Nazis in April of 1937, and Ani's world is shattered not only through the death of her mo ...more
Thomas Do
Dec 01, 2015 Thomas Do rated it it was ok
This novel is a somewhat fascinating novel. So that is why I chose that rating. I do not like much of the warfare because it shows the amount of casualties that are happening in the story. There are important events that happen during Spain's civil war. I must not read it again because it has things that do not interest me, and with the violent warfare, I did not feel like this was serious. For some people who are interested and take this seriously, because it tells about Spanish life during the ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1000000000000 STARS!!!!!!

Christina Diaz Gonzalez amazes me once again. After reading and loving The Red Umbrella, I was ecstatic about picking up her other historical fiction novel, A Thunderous Whisper.

It was better than The Red Umbrella.


I smiled my way through the first half of the book, sobbed my way through the second half, and I think getting stabbed through the heart would have been less painful than the epilogue. BUT I ENJOYED EVERY HEARTBREAKING MOMENT.

I loved our prota
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
Ani lives in the small town of Guernica, with her Mother and Father. She goes out every day to sell sardines with her Mother, who makes a living at it. Ani is teased and ridiculed by her classmates, has no friends and desperately misses her Father who is fighting in the Spanish Civil War that is raging around her. Also going on at this time is WWII, so Ani and her neighbors also gave to worry about being bombed by the Nazis. When Mathias moves to town with his parents who take over management of ...more
Ms. Yingling
Oct 12, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
Ani has trouble fitting in at school in her town of Guernica in 1937 because she is the daughter of the local sardine seller and always smells of fish. Her mother is demanding and unpleasant, but hardworking. Her father is off serving as a cook on the front lines during the Spanish civil war, so the two have to work even harder just to survive. When Ani meets Mathias, whose family has moved from Berlin because his mother is Jewish, she finds it hard to believe that he really wants to be her frie ...more
Ani lives a life of isolation in Guernica, Spain, 1937. Other students know her as Sardine Girl, since she helps her mother sell sardines to make a living after school. This doesn't win her popularity points. One day, she meets Mathias, a German-Jewish boy who has recently moved to the city with his Basque father and German mother. When the two inadvertently discover a spy ring, they begin to carry secret messages with sardine deliveries. War is brewing in Guernica, and Ani soon discovers that s ...more
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Despite the character impersonator, I do like the cover. It's simple and not all that exciting, but it indicates a possible historical fiction, and the map indicated - to me, at least - a possible WWII novel.

Characters: Ani wasn't bad. At first, I didn't especially like her, because she was too quick to take offense to even the most gentle teasing, which gave her a bad temper and something akin to The Attitude. She doesn't exactly improve as the story progresses, and she
Mary Louise Sanchez
When the author saw Picasso's famous painting, Guernica, she wanted to learn more about this sad period in Basque history in the 1930s,and about her own Basque heritage. The protagonist Ani believes she is insignificant,and is reminded about this when she's teased by her classmates, who call her the Sardine Girl, and by her own mother who is preoccupied trying to earn a living while her husband, Ani's father, is away fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
Ani meets a new boy, Mathias, who she learns
Oct 25, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Ani is twelve, and the world around her is falling. Though she believes she is safe in her small village, she is very lonely for her father, who has gone off to war. She has no friends and her mother is a hard working woman with little time to mother Ani. Then Mathias comes along and they form a strong friendship, an important bond, which is needed during these war times. Because war comes for them and their lives are changed forever.

Thank you, Christina Diaz Gonzalez. The last few books I've re
Aug 24, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it
Ani hates being "Sardine Girl." Her mother says she is just a whisper in a loud world, but Ani isn't satisfied with that. She wants to make a difference. And one day, she meets a boy name Mathaias who'll help.

The two work together to help in the fight against the Germans by delivering messages. That is, until the Germans bomb their town and Ani's mom and Mathias's parents are killed. Now all Mathias wants is to get back at the Germans, and Ani isn't sure that's the kind of "difference" she'd lik
Apr 17, 2013 Lahari rated it liked it
Historical Fiction
309 pgs

Ani lives in Guernica. She's a girl who's pretty much invisible to everyone, except her father. But her father went off to fight in Spain's Civil War. Then she meets Mathias, who recently moved to Guernica. Mathias is nowhere near invisible, and soon Ani finds out that his father is part of a spy network. Ani and Mathias find themselves delivering messages to other members of the resistance. Everything seems just fine, until the bombing. Nazi airplanes bomb the sleepy li
(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)

No matter how loud the world gets, sometimes a single voice can be heard.

I was first interested in this book because it's about World War II, and because someone said it is like The Book Thief, which is my number 3 most favorite book of all time. And when someone makes a comparison like this, I couldn't help but feel the need to check this book out, as it could be the next best thing that would happen to me for all I knew.

But it wasn't. It's no
Ms. Ramsborg
May 21, 2013 Ms. Ramsborg rated it it was ok
Book Title: A Thunderous Whisper

Lexile: 660
I liked this book because it is historical fiction, which I enjoy, and I learned about the Spanish Civil War and Basque culture. Before reading this book, I didn’t know anything about the Spanish Civil War and the book discusses that the Basque people joined the Spanish Civil War to protect their cultural traditions. The main character is the daughter of a woman who sells sardines (a sardinera) named Ani, but her classmates call her Sardine Girl because
I need to give a standing ovation to Christina Diaz Gonzalez. She managed to deliver a story in such a way that I thought impossible.
"A Thunderous Whisper" is a story about war. From previous books about wars I read before like the Book Thief or Code Name Verity, even though a story depicting war was deep, it's always heart wrenching. Finishing the books, I've always felt drained and slightly depressed. Because of that, I can't think how to make a story about war that is deep without it ended up
May 27, 2014 Drucilla rated it it was ok
Shelves: g
Actual rating: 2.5 stars. This is an interesting story because it sheds light on a cultural event that, unless you're up on your Spanish history, you probably don't know anything about. However, the pace is very slow for the first half of the book and I was very disappointed in the epilogue. (view spoiler) ...more
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Christina grew up in a small Southern town in the Florida panhandle, but she's always been in touch with her Cuban heritage. She loves having breakfast with pan cubano and Southern style grits-- the best of both worlds!

She is the author of the award-winning novels, The Red Umbrella and A Thunderous Whisper (both published by Knopf) and the upcoming action-adventure novel MOVING TARGET (Scholastic
More about Christina Diaz Gonzalez...

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