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A Night Divided

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  16,010 ratings  ·  2,775 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

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
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Scholastic
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Evelyn I wouldn't call it sad. It is more of an exciting, thrilling book. It might scare you sometimes. It was a frightening part of history.

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4.33  · 
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 ·  16,010 ratings  ·  2,775 reviews

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Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: his-fic
[Read this review on my blog!]

So APPARENTLY I've had this book on my tbr shelf for a year?? CLEARLY THIS IS A CRIME. Once I finally picked it up, I easily devoured it in about a day. It's one of those books that just happens. You start reading it, and suddenly it's four hours later and you have 57 things to do and you've done NONE OF THEM. So approach this book at your own risk. xD

I'm thinking a list review would work well here because list reviews are easier to write and I still have those 57
Erica T
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was chosen for my neighborhood's book club pick, and honestly, I was a little wary about it, thinking that it might be a little childish, since it is shelved as Juvenile or Middle Grade Fiction. I have read many of these books (often with my children), and they often tend to be a "watered down" version of what you might have expected or some of them tend to be too silly for my liking. However, I ended up really liking this book. Historical Fiction is a favorite of mine, and although it ...more
Jun 07, 2014 marked it as aint-anywhere-or-out
I'll read anything and everything that Jennifer Nielsen writes!!! Love her SOOOOO much!!!!!!!!!!

m a r y l i z
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
*is trying futilely not to hyperventilate*

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! I seriously think I'm going to need a new heart because mine about wore itself to death with all that suspense.

This book doesn't stop. Not for a second. From the very first page, I was sucked into the bleak, hard world of East Berlin, where even thinking is a crime. Still, even with all that intensity, Jennifer Nielsen somehow managed to shape her characters--all of them--into people who popped off the page.

All right. I feel the n
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to TL by: her book 'false prince'
Shelves: favorites
"There was no warning the night the wall went up.

I awoke to sirens screaming throughout my city of East Berlin. Instantly, I flew from my bed. Something must be terribly wrong. Why were there so many? "

"The fence was only the beginning. It had just divided my life in half. And nothing would ever be the same again. "

"I figured it out during reading time that afternoon, forty-five minutes in which I could not recall a single word I'd read. It came down to the mistake Papa had made in his performa
jv poore
Imagine a couple members of your family go out of town for a night. When darkness descends a fence is erected; enclosing your home, neighbors and half of the city. From the next morning forward, part of your family is on one side of the fence, unequivocally separated from you.

Almost incomprehensible, yet this isn’t the beginning of a dystopian saga. A Night Divided is a heart-breakingly honest retelling of a monumental event experienced by the citizens of Berlin, merely fifty-four years ago. Cer
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
“Individuality was a weakness, a sickness of the west. So we all walked in step, eyes ahead, and with conversations at a minimum. We”
― Jennifer A. Nielsen, A Night Divided

I am so glad to see a middle grade book written about this topic and timeframe. It affords a real sense of what it was like for a German family in Berlin residing on the “wrong” side of the wall albeit its' fictional characters. It seems an underdiscussed thematic that this book is shedding some awareness on. Ask children toda
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
wow wow wow
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading the False Prince series by this author I wanted to try out another one of her books, but I didn't know where to start. Finally a friend's review convinced me to read it. (I'm looking at you, Mary Liz ;) ).
I was not disappointed by this book. The vivid descriptions and amazing pictures of the division felt kept me hooked. I could picture the wall so well in my head.
Gerta's character was very vivid, along with so many of the supporting characters. I loved her brother, but he felt a
Lauren Stoolfire
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen is a must read for fans of the author's previous works, middle grade historical fiction, and an interest in the Berlin Wall. Although this story is set in the 1960s, it still manages to come across as a very timely piece historical fiction novel featuring a twelve year old girl trying to escape to the West after her family has been divided by the Berlin Wall. Then again, the story really focuses on what it means to be a family and how to survive dark times. ...more
Colleen Houck
I wanted to reach through the pages and save this little girl and her family. What an adept imagining. I especially like how there were heroes and villains on both sides. The tension was so palpable, my heart raced along with theirs.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good historical fiction about the Berlin Wall. RTC
Helen F
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 9-weeks
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen is a phenomenal book. One day Gerda has a normal life, the next half of her family is separated by a wall. This is the story of Gerda and how her family was split apart. One night her Farther decides to go to west germany to convice her mom to move there. He was planning on trying to find a place to live. Gerda's mother wants one of her sons (Gerda's brothers Fritz and Dominic) to go with him. They decided that Dominic should go. So they headed that night. ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
This is labeled as YA, however while the story revolves around a 12 year old's efforts to reunite her family which was separated when the Berlin Wall went up overnight, there is a great amount of adult angst at work.

Nielsen spun a wonderful piece that may not need be put to the top of your reading list but it deserves a spot on it.

I really enjoyed this.
Megan {A Barefoot Gal}
I've often wanted to read a book about the Berlin Wall so I was quite happy to find this one! It was an easy read but the berlin wall facts were still interesting and I enjoyed this book.
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love Jennifer Neilsen's books and am SO EXCITED TO READ ANYTHING SHE WRITES! I'm just ecstatic that she's releasing 2 books in 2015! Yes!!!!!!!!!
Sepideh Salarvand
از پشت جلد کتاب معلوم بود که ضد چپه و طرفدار سرمایهداری ولی خب من خریدمش چون قضیهی دیوار برام خیلی جذابه. واقعا باورم نمیشه که وسط یه شهری آدما دیوار بکشن و نذارن حرکت کنی.
کتاب تفکربرانگیزه، مخصوصا بخشی که توصیف شرایط زندگی در حکومت توتالیتره، یهو به خودت میای میبینی کلی از چیزایی که گرتا رو آزار میده اینجا هم هست (و در دههی شصت بسیار شدیدتر بوده) اما برات عادی شده و پذیرفتیش حتا، اینش خیلی سخت بود.
اینکه تو کتاب نوجوان طبقهبندی میشه باعث میشه بدونی پایانش دردناک نیست و از هیجانش کم میکنه اما ا
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So good, but... SO stressful--which makes the book even better! Loved it!!
Banny Carstairs
This book is really good and I recommend it for people who are making reading a habit. Easy going pace and interesting plot: a family separated by the Berlin wall trying to reunite.
A.L. Sowards
This book was good. Gerta is eight when her father decides their family should move from East Berlin to West Berlin. Her father and one of her brothers go to the west for a few days to find work, and while they’re gone, the Berlin Wall goes up, dividing Gerta’s family. Her father and her brother Dominic are in the west. Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz are in the east. Four years later, Gerta catches sight of her father on the other side of the wall, and he’s signaling to her . . . somet ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! This was one of those books that reminds me how good historical fiction can be. I especially love juvenile historical fiction novels—they always have such a sweet and touching message to them—and this was no exception. It felt just like a child telling the story—which it was—but not in a negative sense; it was written beautifully.

I thought at times the plot was a little bit dragged out, but it didn’t feel watered down and oppositely had me turning pages all the faster. It was
Zane Jones
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my heart. This book is such a gorgeous story and has restored my faith in middle grade. Agh. Thanks to all the people who recommended it to me and to Emma for letting me borrow it :) This is so different from the False Prince trilogy and yet just as amazing in an entirely different way! Five stars, happily given.
Jenna Buss
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this book very intriguing. Before reading this book I had hardly even heard of the Berlin wall, and it shocked me to know that Jennifer A. Nelson, author of the critically acclaimed Ascendance Trilogy, could write historical fiction so well. I loved Gerta's determination to tunnel to freedom, despite the high risks it posed. This book would be enjoyed by readers of historical fiction.
S.G. Willoughby
This book was so stressful! I mean, I should have expected it from the premise and setting, but I was used to snarky MCs that made me laugh and whisked me away to another world. This book certainly wasn't a laughing one. It is a very good insight into that time period, though! Very interesting in that regard. Really, I probably would have liked the book except that I went into it expecting it to be similar in style to Mrs. Neilson's other books I've read. Which it very much was not. I want so ba ...more
Olympe J
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-9-weeks
A Night divided is about a girl named Gerta whose family is divided in half when the Berlin Wall went up. Now Gerta's dad and her second oldest brother Dominic are in West Berlin while herself, her mom, and her oldest brother Fritz are in east Berlin. Four years later Gerta now 12 sees her brother Dominic on the other side of the wall on a viewing platform on her way to school. The next day as Gerta's walks to school again she sees her dad. On the viewing platform. She sees him at the same spot ...more
Kim Clifton
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced and thrilling, this story is unlike any historical fiction I've read before. The emphasis (especially in the second half) is more on the engineering of an escape plan than the state of East Berlin, but the general sense of a stifled freedom comes across. Quotes by German thinkers and politicians at the beginning of each chapter also help ground the book in the past. I liked it a lot, and stayed up late to finish, but at times was frustrated by the amount of Gerta's narration. Yes, it' ...more
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
-- 4 stars --

I didn't know much about this book before I started it, only that it was about the Berlin Wall, and that was enough to catch my interest.

The story follows Gerta, a young girl that had her family divided with the rise of the Berlin Wall - she, her mother and older brother stayed in the Communist East side, while her father and other brother were in the West.
The book was very slow at the beggining, but it started getting really interesting around page 100, when we were finally gettin
Dakota★Magic in Every Book
Well, this exceeded all my expectations. This story about a family forced apart by the rise of the Berlin Wall was beautiful, emotional, and intense. I feel I have better idea of the state Germany was in after the war and the suffering the wall caused.

My only complaint was it could be a bit tedious to read about so much digging, but even so, I was deeply anxious and on the edge of my seat as Gerta and her family try to escape and dodge the secret police force, which was cruel and deadly to thos
Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.7

How would you feel if your dad and brother left to go look for work and was never allowed to come home? Gerta and her family live in Berlin. Things are very unsettling and Gerta's dad knows they need to move to the western side where things are safer. He leaves and takes one of Gerta's brothers with him to look for a job. The night before they are to come home, the Berlin Wall is put up and they are not allowed to come home. Gerta, her mom, and her oldest b
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book. It’s a children’s book and should be judged as such.

My only “criticism” was that I would have enjoyed more complexity/depth to the characters and their emotions as they went through very intense things, but I felt it was appropriate for its reading level (about 5th grade). Also, the protagonist is a 12-year-old and the perspective you get is probably pretty accurate for a 12-year-old. Not a complaint I just think the story would also have read great as adult fiction from a more comp
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Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has f ...more
“If I don't stand for freedom, then I must sit in chains.” 19 likes
“Courage isn't knowing you can do something; it's only being willing to try . . .” 13 likes
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