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The Yellow Bird Sings

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,482 ratings  ·  828 reviews
"Rosner’s exquisite, heart-rending debut novel is proof that there’s always going to be room for another story about World War II....This is an absolutely beautiful and necessary novel, full of heartbreak but also hope, about the bond between mother and daughter, and the sacrifices made for love." ―The New York Times

In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her
...more
Hardcover
Published 2020 by Picador
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  4,482 ratings  ·  828 reviews


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Maureen
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*4.5 STARS *

“A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.

-The Last Seance (from The Hound of Death and Other Stories, also Double Sin and Other Stories)”
― Agatha Christie, The Hound of Death

Poland 1941, and Roza and her 5 year old daughter Shira are hiding in a neighbour’s barn, and hoping beyond hope that they will remain safe, because as the only remaining Jews in the
...more
Angela M
This is a beautifully written debut novel that moved me in so many ways. It a story of the Holocaust, of hidden children, of the courage and determination of the resistance, of the horrific things Jews endured - cold and starvation and fear and loss and death. Yet, there are moments of joy and beauty, lovely stories and music and so much love between a mother and daughter that helps sustain them through these times, and an imagined yellow bird that brings solace to a little girl.

Five year old Sh
...more
Jen
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story of survival of a Jewish girl and her mother during the Nazi madness. Imagination required in the lengthy hours spent in hiding for months and facing the brutality of what has been done to their family; their people.
The violin symbolic of her family, of the past and of the future. And a little yellow bird which flits and flutters reuniting their memories.
5⭐️
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
When The Yellow Bird Sings is a novel about mothers and daughters, love and loss, cruelty and kindness all against the background of Poland in 1941 through 1944 and then New York City in 1965.

The novel opens with Roza along with her 5 year old daughter Shira hiding in a barn during the time that Nazi’s were everywhere. They have tortured and killed many Jewish people and Roza saw her parents murdered and lost her husband as he fought against the Germans. She fled to the countryside and has been
...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
A simply told tale about a dark time in history. The Holocaust, a horrendous happening that cost millions of innocent people their lives. Can a story written during this time, about this event be both brutal and tender? Both horrific and lovely. In this, her debut novel, I feel Rosner did just that. A Jewish mother, Rosa, her young daughter, Shira forced to hide in a farmers barn, share a profound love of music. It is their background, and it and their love of stories are the way they communicat ...more
Fran
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The girl is forbidden from making sounds so the yellow bird sings...the girl, music trapped inside, buries herself under hay...the barn loft...no larger than three strides by four...pitch too low...to stand anywhere but in the center...".

Poland, 1941. Roz's husband, Natan, shot after a week of hard labor, her parents, rounded up and herded onto a cattle truck, Roz and five year old daughter, Shira, hidden in the closet. An altercation down the hall distracts the Germans. Grabbing a few possessi
...more
Karen
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5
This is a beautiful debut novel set in World War ll Poland.
A mother’s love and the risks she endures for her child.
Silence and music and imagination become symbols of hope and survival.
K. Elizabeth
Actual rating: 3.5/5

As a Polish woman, I'm always subconsciously on the lookout for books with Polish characters/history/culture; therefore, getting an ARC of this book was a pleasant surprise. I knew it was about WWII, but I didn't know just how heavily Polish traditions/names/etc played in this. So, I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, this isn't a kind story. It's about war, so that's to be expected. However, the bond represented between the mother and daughter is lovely. I myself am quite close t
...more
Tammy
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Jewish mother and her five year old daughter hide from the Nazis in a barn. Absolute silence is required which is difficult enough for a young child but is compounded by the fact that this child is a musical genius. The mother tells tales about a yellow bird in an effort to keep her daughter quiet. The imaginary yellow bird allows the child to fly freely and express her musicality albeit in silence. This is a bleak novel of silence, survival, separation, starvation, rape and a bond between a m ...more
Jennifer Blankfein
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Poland 1941, mother and daughter are hiding in a barn, silenced and afraid… The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner is filled with heartbreak, hope and music.

Emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful, The Yellow Bird Sings touches the music of your soul. It is 1941 Poland; Roza and Shira, mother and daughter are Jews, hidden in a barn by farmers. Henryk, the husband, ensures their safety while violating Roza in the night, and his wife Krystyna, provides extra food for Shira; she believes all childre
...more
Carolyn
A beautiful story set in the darkest of times in history. A young Jewish girl and her mother hiding in a barn from the German invaders in war torn Poland in 1941. To keep her daughter quiet, the mother tells her elaborate stories about a special garden and her daughter invents an imaginary yellow bird who sings to her the music she composes in her head. When it becomes impossible for them to stay any longer in the barn, the mother must send her daughter away to a safer place with the hope of rec ...more
Annette
Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children being hidden during WWII. Could you bear to part with your child? What if that meant the only way for your child to survive war?

Poland, 1941. Roza and her five year old daughter Shira hide in a neighbor’s barn. Shira, a musical prodigy, is told to keep quiet, but struggles with it as any child would. Her mother invents elaborate stories to keep Shira engaged with her mind and not words. One of those stories is an imaginary bird who sings the songs
...more
Tina
This book takes place in Poland during World War II. In this book it follows a Jew mother (Róza) and her daughter (Shira). This book covers the hard, death, lies, and horrific things Jews endured. This book hit me right in the heart and made me want to help all the characters in the book. I love historical fiction books that covers hard hitting topic, and this one is done so right. I won a kindle edition of this book from a goodreads giveaway, and this review is 100% my own opinion.
Tami
I am always fascinated by an author’s ability to write about an abhorrent time in history and turn it into something of beauty and this is just what Jennifer Rosner has accomplished in her latest novel.

A Jewish mother and her 5 year old daughter find themselves seeking shelter in a barn in the Polish countryside. Luckily for them, the farmer and his wife agree to let them stay for a time in as long as they remain quiet and hidden. Of course, it does come at a cost, but it is not as great as what
...more
Kathleen
I was surprised to read that The Yellow Bird Sings is a debut novel by Jennifer Rosner. I listened to the audiobook read by Anna Koval, with the author's note read by the author.
The audio was 5/5, and so was the writing.
"In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.
As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Roza and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbour's barn
...more
Lori
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s so hard reading stories about WWII & the ones involving children are even tougher. I fell in love with Shira. I think the difficulty of her situation was conveyed very realistically. I loved that music played such an integral part in this novel. I wish I could use musical terms to express the flow of this story. It started off slow and built as it went along. By the end I could really feel how this story could be translated into a musical piece.

‘ Only in this music, wistful and defiant, ca
...more
Aga Durka
Any book that takes place during WWII will undeniably break my heart and keep me emotional long time after finishing it. The Yellow Bird Sings is no different. This is a historical fiction at its best! Captivating, heart wrenching but at the same time hopeful. A story of love, loss, courage, and unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Written in a beautiful prose with wonderfully developed characters, The Yellow Bird Sings is a must read for all historical fiction lovers.

Thank you NetGalle
...more
Jennifer Blankfein
Emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful, The Yellow Bird Sings touches the music of your soul. It is 1941 Poland; Roza and Shira, mother and daughter are Jews, hidden in a barn by farmers. Henryk, the husband, ensures their safety while violating Roza in the night, and his wife Krystyna, provides extra food for Shira; she believes all children deserve an equal chance. Roza and Shira, silenced and afraid, lay quietly in the barn’s hay for more than 15 months. After their family was violently taken f ...more
Louise Wilson
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story is about a Jewish mother, her six year old daughter and their relationship during World War II. They are hiding from the Nazis in Poland. Her husband had been executed by the Nazis and her parents had been taken to a ghetto. Roza is a talented musician and Shira is a child protege. Roza makes the hard decision to let Shira go into hiding in an orphanage. Shira makes up stories about a yellow bird that's free to fly away. She also makes up violin music in her mind.

This is a moving Holo
...more
Karren  Sandercock
Poland 1941, Roza and her daughter Shira hide in a hayloft in a neighbor’s barn, they’re desperate, they don’t know what else to do or where else to go? Shira is five, she’s confused, and her dad Natan has disappeared, her grandparents as well and she now she can’t go home?

They stay hiding in the cold dirty barn for over a year, they are given food by the farmer’s wife Krystyna and the owner of the farm Henryk wants much more from Roza so they can stay. How far would you go to save your child,
...more
TXGAL1
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**REPOST FROM YESTERDAY (Nov 23rd). For some reason, after posting this review it DISAPPEARED. How does that happen?

Poland was occupied by the German forces from 1939-1945. During this period the Nazis carried out their racist propaganda and genocidal policies against the Jewish population and others deemed to have no contribution worthy enough for humanity.

This is the backdrop used by Jennifer Rosner to tell THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS.

It is the summer of 1941 and Róza and Shira, mother and daughter,
...more
Paul Lockman
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-favourites
Just had to give this 5 stars. Outstanding debut novel. The writing is eloquent, the story compelling. You feel Roza’s anguish at the choice she felt she had to make; you can hear the mournful, beautiful sound of the violin her daughter plays; you grimace at some of the things Roza had to endure; you are amazed at the amount of time Roza and Shira spend in the barn; you desperately hope they survive. It’s just a gripping read from start to finish. Highly recommended to lovers of WWII historical ...more
Louise Wilson
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story about a Jewish mother, her six year old daughter and their relationship during World War II. They are hiding from the Nazis in Poland. Her husband had been executed by the nazis and her parents had been taken to a ghetto. Roza is a talented musician and Shira is a child protege. Roza makes the hard decision to let Shira go into hiding in an orphanage. Shira makes up stories about a yellow bird that's free to fly away. She also makes up violin music in her mind.

This is a moving
...more
Carmel Hanes
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this time of uncertainty, separation, and staying quietly in our homes as a way to combat a new and deadly virus, this story resonated on an unexpected level. Sometimes timing can be everything. Sometimes the thinnest of threads can connect us, even in the darkest of hours.

Music is one of those threads. Music softens sharp edges and tames terror. It brings comfort to the uncomfortable. It enriches in universal ways. It brings us together. One of the things I've most appreciated during these
...more
Amy Bruno
Have you ever sat down to start a new book, only planning to read for an hour or so and ended up devouring the entire thing in one sitting? That happened to me the other night with The Yellow Bird Sings. I literally could not put it down. There is no way my review will do justice to just how incredible this book it.

The Yellow Bird Sings is an emotional & heartbreaking read. It follows the life of a Jewish woman Roza and her young daughter as they hide from the Nazis. At a time when people are tu
...more
Pauline
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner is the story of a Jewish mother and daughter hiding from the Nazis during World War Two.
I found this story had to read in parts because of the content.
Thank you to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
It is 1941 and we find Roza and Shira hiding in a barn after they fled the city where they lived.

Roza saw her parents and husband killed, and she realized the only way to keep her daughter safe was to run.

Shira was only five, had a gift for music, but could not make a sound.

They hid for approximately 400 days in a barn. It definitely was difficult to keep a five-year-old child quiet, but Shira did it.

It eventually became too dangerous to keep hiding. The farmer's wife took Shira from Roza and
...more
Faith
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: overdrive, audio
Had the feel of a children’s book, were if not for the slight sexual content. I’m not a fan of first person, present tense narratives.
Kim
Set in Poland during world war two, I was completely captured, in one sitting, by this beautiful, enthralling story of hiding, resistance, longing and searching between a mother and child.
The story skips along on the notes plucked from a violin, like bird song. Just beautifully done.
Highly recommended.
Cat
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful, thoughtful and eloquent perspective on the ugly and monstrous history of the Holocaust. Jennifer Rosner has so much feeling and pain in her words, conveying the thoughts of little 5-year old Shira in a manner that’s so believable and consuming. Shira has an imaginary pet bird, one she believes in to the degree that if the bird is lost, it must be found before Shira can calm down. She creates this comforting pet while living in the attic of a barn with her mother after they esca ...more
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