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A Night Divided

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  25,914 ratings  ·  3,688 reviews
From NYT 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 suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and
Kindle Edition, 357 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Scholastic Inc.
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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.…moreI 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.(less)

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  25,914 ratings  ·  3,688 reviews

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Erica T
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Truth be told I started reading Jennifer A. Nielsen's Berlin Wall escape novel A Night Divided when I first put it on my to-read list in early 2016 (and in fact I read it in one day). However I never actually got around to declaring it as "read" and posting my review (mostly because I was unsure about how I should proceed with reviewing and rating A Night Divided). For yes, while I as someone who was born in West Germany in 1966 and thus grew up (until my family immigrated to Canada in 1976) in ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very quick read- but a wonderful middle school recommendation. This follows a young girl on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. It’s a courageous story that will remind all to be thankful for our freedom.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ⓟⓔⓐⓒⓗⓨ Ⓚⓔⓔⓝ Ⓡⓔⓐⓓⓢ
Waited two moths to read this. Worth it! Gerta, Fritz and Mother are drastically separated from Papa and Dominic overnight with the building of The Berlin Wall. Gerta, her brother and Mother are on the East Side of the Soviets and Papa and Dominic are on the West Side of the Americans. Gerta sees her father one day on the other side of the wall on a viewing platform doing an odd dance. She soons figures out that he wants her to dig under the wall. Along with her brother and Mother she attempts t ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good, but... SO stressful--which makes the book even better! Loved it!!
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good historical fiction about the Berlin Wall. RTC
Megan {A Barefoot Gal}
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
4.5 stars

So, so good!!! I loved it! So well-written and suspenseful! I *love* the family relationships, and I was pleasantly surprised by the faith element throughout the story. Highly recommended!
Lisa Zetes
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author wrote a great story about a true subject, "The Berlin Wall". About part of a family trying too escape East Berlin too reu nite with other family member's for a better life in West Berlin. ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2021
Historical Fiction targeted for grades 3-7.

Gerta's family is separated on August 13, 1961 when the Berlin Wall is erected overnight. Living through this time told by her first person point of view was interesting and educational.

I especially enjoyed the bonus pages at the end which provided additional historical details about the Berlin Wall.
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book that is hard to rate:

I was excited to hear that this book is about the EAST/WEST conflict in Berlin. I grew up close to the wall and this was basically my childhood. I will recommend this book to all middle schoolers who want to learn a bit more. I think a young American reader will find this book neat and informative (although bit predictable).

Now, As a German reader it felt a bit frustrating. I had to remind myself that she's talking about my country (DDR/GDR) because it just did
Helen F
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Susanna Rhomberg
This was one of the hardest books for me to read. It was really tough. (heftig) It was not so much the content, but the reality of the time it is set in (divided Germany) that was really moving. The government controlled peoples’ thoughts, by simply not letting them think.

This has happened again and again over history and it will happen again in the future.

Gerta is a character that will stay in my mind for a long time. She had the courage to think. May we always have this courage too.

5 stars
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!!!!!!!! ...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenna Buss
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Really enjoyed this book. I thought I was reading another book about the Holocaust but it’s actually what happened afterwards when Germany was separated by a wall. I loved the characters and the story. It was something I never read about. It showed what happened when families were separated and ways they tried to get back together.
Luisa Knight
Review and Cleanliness Report coming soon!
S.G. Willoughby
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Ms. Yingling
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Gerda's father has been outspoken against the East German government, so is making plans to move the family to West Berlin, but Gerda's mother doesn't want to leave her own parents, who live in the country outside their East Berlin home. When the Berlin Wall goes up, both the father and Gerda's older brother, Dominic, are on the other side. The police turn a suspicious eye on the family, especially years later when brother Fritz's best friend, Peter, tries
Ruth Meyer
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I checked this out of the library for my kids, but I really checked it out so I could read it myself! It was a quick read—I finished it in a couple hours—and it was definitely worth the time. The story is about a family separated by the Berlin Wall that came up literally overnight, dividing the father and one brother from the mother, another son, and a daughter. This is the story of their struggle to be reunited. It was the first novel I’ve read about the Berlin Wall, and it was an interesting g ...more
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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

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