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The Yellow Bird Sings

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  540 ratings  ·  193 reviews
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, Róża and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbors barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Flatiron Books
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  540 ratings  ·  193 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 neighbours barn, and hoping beyond hope that they will remain safe, because as the only remaining Jews in the
...more
Angela M
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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 Nazis 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  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Katherine 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
...more
Fran
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"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
...more
Tammy
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jennifer Blankfein
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 children
...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 neighbors 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
Tami
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am always fascinated by an authors 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
Aga Durka
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lori
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its 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,
...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
...more
Pauline
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Faith
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
Had the feel of a childrens book, were if not for the slight sexual content. Im not a fan of first person, present tense narratives. ...more
Michelle
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War torn Poland in 1941. Roza and her daughter Shira are hiding from Germans soldiers in a barn. The rest of their family have been killed by the Germans. They hide in silence as they can here the footsteps of the soldiers nearby. They spend several months in the barn while there, Roza telling Shira magical stories and teaching her music passed down from generations of her family. Shira is a music prodigy. As the soldiers are getting closer and the rumours stir of the Jews that have been hiding ...more
Jeanine Cummins
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tender, brutal, and beautiful. Read it.
Cat
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 thats 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 ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Historical Fiction centered around The Holocaust is my absolute favorite genre of book and I can tell you that The Yellow Bird Sings is one of the most beautifully written books set in this time period I've ever read. It almost has a "quiet" beauty as Rosner highlights one of the most devastating events in history.

Roza and her five year old daughter, Shira, flee their home in Poland as the Nazis begin to round up Jews and send them off to the death camps. They seek shelter in a neighbor's barn
...more
Bidisha
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 PROFOUND AND HUMBLING ...

#NetGalley #TheYellowBirdSings #JenniferRosner #Picador

Aargh! Personal liberty and free will are so obvious in our lives, that this book makes you almost ashamed of it. Pointedly, it reminds you that even a commonplace activity like breaking into a song or having an extra helping was a privilege some people had to earn, thanks to dictators and misplaced ideologies.
Enter war-torn Poland of 1941. Roza, a Jewish mother has manged to escape her massacred village with
...more
Emily
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
This story was so beautifully written, and also heartbreaking. It is the story of a Jewish mother and her daughter, who is a musical prodigy - who are in hiding during World War 2 - in order to help keep her daughter quiet, the mother tells many stories, including one of a musical bird, which deeply enchants her daughter. The details and descriptions in this book are enchanting, even with the subject matter. The relationship between the mother and her daughter is so wonderful, and the characters ...more
Jules
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story!! The book really takes you on an emotional journey. The writing is poetic and the storyline is powerful. Absolutely loved it!
Jennifer Highland
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Flatiron Books {partner} for my gifted copy of The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner in exchange for my honest review. Publication date 3/3/20. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A mother flees for her childs safety. Only two remain. She has nowhere to go, no place to hide. She only knows she will do anything it takes to keep her safe, even if safety means she must let her go.

When the Germans invade Różas small town in Poland, she is forced to flee with her daughter, Shira, to hide in the woods. She comes
...more
Alysia
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
During the Nazi invasion of Poland, Roza and her daughter, Shira, flee their home to hide in the hayloft of a neighbors barn. Day and night, they must stay as still and silent as possible to avoid being caught. As the invasion continues, the barn soon becomes an unsafe place for the mother and daughter as well and Roza is forced to make an impossible decision: Keep Shira with her and risk a greater chance of the both of them being caught, or separate and send Shira to a nearby convent where her ...more
Sara
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The little girl does not dare cry out. If there are giants in this new garden, she doesn't want them to hear her. The yellow bird sings her music, and the enchanted flowers grow. Still, the girl remains silent.

Poland, 1941. The Nazis are combing the town and countryside for Jews. Roza and her five year old daughter, Shira are hiding in a neighbor's barn. Roza has all ready lost her husband and her parents. She is determined to keep her daughter safe. Their hayloft, refuge is dark and cramped and
...more
Brooke
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book is set during WWII, but unlike other WWII novels this will hit any mother in the heart.

As a mom of two boys, I just could not imagine trying to keep them quiet while in hiding in a strangers barn under hay any time a solider comes... Could you? That is what Roza has to do with her 5 year old daughter.

A simply thought provoking novel.


Kailey (kmc_reads)
3.5 rounded up

It took a minute for me to get into this one, but overall I enjoyed it. I wasn't as emotional as I thought I would be, and I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed with the way things were wrapped up but this was a strong novel overall.

Thanks to the publisher for my free copy.
Kim Lockhart
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good and deeply difficult emotional story.
Anneke
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: The Yellow Bird Sings
Author: Jennifer Rosner
Publisher: Flatiron Books/Macmillan
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Review Date: November 2, 2019

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blur:
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, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking
...more
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