The Yellow Bird Sings
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 neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róża tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.In this make-believe world, Róża can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róża must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope—a whispered story, a bird’s song—in even the darkest of times.

The Yellow Bird Sings Details

TitleThe Yellow Bird Sings
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 22nd, 2020
PublisherPicador
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, Holocaust

The Yellow Bird Sings Review

  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    *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 DeathPoland 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 *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 DeathPoland 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 town, they know only too well what will happen to them if the Germans discover their whereabouts. Roza has already lost her husband and parents, all taken by the Nazis, and she will do anything to save Shira from that fate. Shira is a musical prodigy but she isn’t allowed to make a sound just in case anyone hears, and informs the Germans, so Roza makes up stories, one of which is about an imaginary yellow bird who sings whatever Shira composes in her head, and can make the sounds that Shira can only dream about.Inspired by the true stories of hidden children during WW11, this is another of those books that leaves a silence in its wake long after you’ve turned the very last page. How do I write a review that honours the people for whom this scenario was a real and terrifying experience? I also ask myself, how can a novel that is so distressing, be so beautiful at the same time? I suppose it’s because in the midst of all the horror, the one thing that stands out is that the love for one’s child never dies, even in the darkest of times, that love remains solid, unchanging, because mankind at its most desperate, is often at its best. Heartbreaking but beautifully written, don’t miss this one!* Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan, Picador for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 Shira, a music prodigy must keep totally silent holding the music in her head, unable to speak most times to her mother Roza as they hide from the German soldiers in a neighbor’s barn. Roza is forced to endure abuse from the farmer in order to keep them safe and hidden. They have been forced to flee their home when Roza’s mother and father and husband are victims of horrific acts as the Nazis take over Poland and they have no where else to go. The narrative follows Shura and Roza, spaning several years from 1941 - 1944, and then moving abruptly in the end to 1965. I’m not going to talk about what happens during these years because it’s a story that I highly recommend people read for themselves. Instead, I want to mention a particular passage that touched me early on in the novel and how after reading the author’s note, it became so much more meaningful as I learned of her inspiration for the book.“When it is too dangerous even for whispers, Shira and her mother gesture. A simple finger near the ear means I hear someone...A neighbor (palms facing, held near). Soldiers (fists clenched at the chest, as if around a gun). A stranger, they don’t know who(eyebrows raised). Taps on different parts of the body show hunger, thirst, pain, a full bladder. A band on a clump of hair, Do you want a braid. It passed a bit of time. A brush of the fingers over closing eyelids, Try to rest now. Shira watches her mother’s lips shape prayers in Hebrew before falling off to sleep. This more than anything calms Shira, for in her mind she hears her mother’s silent chants as music.” (This quote is from an advanced copy and I suppose maybe subject to change, but I hope not.) In her note at the end, Jennifer Rosner mentions her daughters who are deaf and I realized why this passage resonated so much. Her inspiration was a story relayed to her by a woman who was hidden with her mother in an attic “where she needed to stay silent nearly all the time. I imagined the mother’s experience of trying to keep her young child hushed, an effort exactly opposite of mine , which focused on encouraging my children to vocalize as much as possible. ...Soon I found myself immersed in a new project involving silence, separation, loss, and above all, love. “ She also tells of the music in her life and then how she was further inspired by meeting a luthier, “who was asked to rebuild a violin recovered from a Nazi death camp, ashes still inside it.” This is one of those stories that I know will stay with me because I woke up thinking about Roza and Shira and because we cannot forget what happened during the Holocaust.I received an advanced copy of this book from Flatiron Books through NetGalley.
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 hiding here for quite a while, it is the summer of 1941. Roza is determined to keep her daughter, Shira, safe at all costs. Roza and Shira are forced to hide in the extremely tight space of the barn loft, burrowing into the hay at any noise heard. This is particularly hard for a 5 year old and especially for Shira who has music always in her heart and loves to sing. Roza’s grandfather made violins, she herself is a cellist and her husband a violinist. They had already suspected that Shira had a gift for music even at this early age. To help Shira cope with the confines within the barn along with hunger, heat and then cold, she imagines a small yellow bird which she holds in her hands. She takes care of her imaginary pet, silently sings to it and imagines where they will one day go. Roza encourages this mind play as it seems to help calm her daughter.The man who owns the barn has let them stay but he has other motives besides kindness driving his decision. He occasionally brings them food and then later his wife begins to feel sorry for the little girl. She takes her out for short walks in the farmyard and lets her pet the cows, she brings food for them but Roza insists that Shira eat most of it.At a later point in the story it is no longer safe to stay in the barn as the Nazi’s have been burning down the barns of any farmer known to be helping or hiding Jews in any way. She makes a decision that she will question for the rest of her life. She allows Shira to be taken to a convent and she herself makes her way in the countryside.While she knows that Shira will have music in her life “The mother, too, hears music in her head. The melody is discordant and accusatory. When she covers her ears with her hands, a different tune asserts itself, more painful for its sweet, rocking lyricism. The lullaby tells of a hen who sets out for glasses of tea to bring to her waiting chicks. It is the girl’s favorite, and it is accompanied by the lilt of a kept promise. The hen returns.” Roza constantly questions her decision to leave Shira at the convent.As in most stories of this terrible time we are reminded of the conditions that the hideouts in the countryside faced, starvation, cold, constant moving, isolation, etc. Shira, though kept safe, has huge adjustments to make while living as a hide out in the Catholic convent, all is not easy for her.This novel is well written and flows well. I found the use of expressive imagery in the form of the little yellow bird both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I think any readers of WWII historical fiction will want to read this book, the characters are very well described and I felt very connected to them.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley. It is set to publish March 3, 2020.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 communicate when silence means safety. Terror and quiet against their love for each other, the music balancing the two. It is the music, the beauty of the songs that both will lean on in the times to come. A time of sacrifice and discovery.I remember the book, She Rides Shotgun because of a little bear, that personal item inserted and the role it played, for me, made the book unforgettable. In this book it will be a small yellow bird, a bird of friendship and love. A bird that signifies the freedom they no longer have. It will be the beauty of the music, and a mother, daughter love that can not be broken. Ultimately I felt both devastated and hopeful reading this, as if there was something the Nazis could not steal, destroy. Hard to do, and the author uses the magic and power of storytelling, within and without, to do the near impossible. Melancholy, bittersweet, hopeful and sad, all emotions I felt while reading. I look forward to Rosners next fictional rendering.ARC from Bookbrowse.
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  • Katherine Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5/5As 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 Actual rating: 3.5/5As 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 to my mother and continously envisioned my mom being as protective as Roza - it was difficult, at times, to stomach.An odd thing was how while I read this, I couldn't help but feel as though I was reading a past story of mine. I had a similar idea years ago, which I never finished, and because I'm always incredibly harsh when it comes to my own writing, I wonder if that's why I couldn't give this a full four stars.Either way, this is a touching story filled with melodic writing and realistic, corrupt, and broken characters. I think many of you will enjoy this story and should keep an eye out for it in 2020!
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    "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 "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 possessions, including Natan's watch and compass, Roz and Shira escape.Roz begs a farmer, Henryk, to hide them for a night or two. Henryk used to frequent Roz's family-owned bakery. Her Uncle Jakob, a doctor, nursed Henryk's son to health during a bout of rubella. Through the loft boards, Roz sees Henryk, inside the farmhouse, arguing with his wife, Krystyna. "There were prizes for denunciations: a bag of sugar per Jew".Staying in the barn loft required silence. Roz and Shira must "...mute the sound of every movement.... Shira practiced being invisible and staying silent." Roz and Shira were not asked to leave. Henryk, repeatedly, had his way with Roz while Shira, yellow bird in hand, quietly faced the wall. The price exacted for safe haven."Shira's imagination flutters and darts and her body pulses with song". She came from a musical family. Grandpa was a luthier, crafting violins in his workshop. Roz played cello and Natan played violin. Roz invented "silent counting contests...Shira [was] tapping out her music, what seem like full-blown symphonies she can hardly keep contained". Roz constructed a sleepy time routine. Each night, she would whisper their nighttime story about a five year old girl who tended an enchanted, silent garden. The girl was helped by her imaginary, bright, yellow bird. "Some giants don't like flowers, and because they believe the music in our voices helps the flowers grow, we must never let the giants hear our songs...[a bird can sing] so long as we stay silent."Fifteen months have passed in Henryk and Krystyna's barn, however, the Germans decide they need to requisition it. Krystyna suggests that Shira would be better off in a convent (part of a network that hides children). In Krystyna's words, "In God's eyes your child is no different than mine. She deserves every chance to live." Roz and Shira shared an unbreakable bond, one that time and distance could not erase. They longed to be together. They must survive.The musical, imaginary, yellow bird and the violin provide Shira with "occasional" shelter from the storm of the Holocaust. Music was her segway into "a place of peace" despite the chaos and confusion. She doesn't understand why she was whisked away from her mother under cover of darkness and why her name was changed to Zosia. "The Yellow Bird Sings" by Jennifer Rosner is a melancholy, heartfelt, musical tome of historical fiction written with hope including the kindness of strangers. Highly recommended.Thank you Flatiron Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Yellow Bird Sings".
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 mother and a daughter that does not break.
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  • Jennifer Blankfein
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 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 from them, they have no choice but to go into hiding. They revisit their cherished memories, whisper stories, use their imagination, and create music in their heads to soothe themselves and pass the time.When the Germans announce plans to use the farmer’s barn for storage, mother and daughter must find a new safe space right away. TO READ MORE OF THE REVIEW AND REVEALING Q & A WITH THE AUTHOR....https://booknationbyjen.com/2019/10/2... Pre-order book today - available March 2020.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 she composes in her head.But when the risks become too much to bear and the food supply is very low, Roza considers her neighbor’s offer to part with her daughter for her protection.Zosia, as she is named now, lives at a convent. She is even encouraged to play violin, which makes loud noises. Zosia is afraid to make that loud noise at first. But under a tutelage of Sister Nadzieja, Zosia blossoms as violin player.Roza is hiding in the woods. She needs to make sure that her shoes leave misleading direction if any. There are berries, mushrooms, leaves, roots and such to help her survive in the woods. But when cold winter freezes the grounds, even wood for fire is very sparse.Touchingly developed characters. When Roza encounters a mother and a child surviving in the woods, her heart bleeds. How could she have thought that separating from her daughter was the right thing to do? Even though, Shira/Zosia thrives in her violin lessons, her heart bleeds for her mother. If only she kept quiet…Your heart goes to the five year old girl, who doesn’t understand why she needs to hide and be silent, why her father and grandparents are gone, why she can’t go to school like the other kids. She doesn’t mind learning in Polish instead of Yiddish, if only she could go to school.Deeply moving story weaves human tragedy and triumphs with elegant prose. And the cultural background of music gives this story a rich texture.Due to plethora of books set in WWII, if you are one of those readers who hesitates to pick another book set in this time period – this book doesn’t involve historical details. Instead it focuses on mother –daughter relationship and longing to be connected again. On a personal note, I usually prefer books with rich historical background, but this story is so deeply moving, it may squeeze some tears out of you at the very end.Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 they would face on the run.Having had a background in music, the mother keeps her daughter entertained by telling her lyrical stories. From these stories, the daughter creates a make believe world in which she has a yellow bird as her companion.As time goes on it becomes too dangerous for them to be hiding in the barn, so the mother makes an agonizing decision to separate them and send her daughter to live in safety with some nuns at an orphanage.It is there that the child’s talent is brought forth, and in a sense, becomes her safety net. Throughout their time of separation, the mother is facing her own struggles as she tries to find her daughter while the war is coming to an end.Readers who enjoy historical fiction and beautiful, descriptive writing will find their sweet spot with this novel. Others will be happy to hear there are no concentration camps featured in the story. I rate this a solid 4.5 stars.Many thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 NetGalley, Flatiron Books, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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, can she find something of her own without giving herself away. Find her family, her home.’
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  • Amy Bruno
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 turning in their Jewish neighbors for a bag of sugar, they are lucky to have a sympathetic neighbor family to help them. Though it does come at a price. They spend their days in absolute silence, not daring the make even the slightest noise to alert others to their presence, hiding in a pile of hay in the attic. Their only entertainment are the stories that Roza tells her daughter Shira about their family, their shared love of music and the little yellow bird that Shira has with her.When the opportunity comes for Shira to escape to a better life with people that help Jewish children, her mother Roza must make the most difficult decision in her life to either let her go or stay together and hope for the best.The author's writing is phenomenal and the book instantly grabs you. It's not an easy read but an important one and it's one that I know I will never ever forget.Have tissues at the ready because you're gonna need them!
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  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    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. 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.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 dragged to be killed. Roza agrees to send Shira to a convent to be safe from the Nazi’s. Whilst there, they bleach her hair blond to disguise her. But the other children know what she is. When the nuns find out how gifted she is, they get a teacher to teach her to play a violin. She ends up playing concerts for the Nazi’s to stop them ram shacking the convent.This is a beautifully written story of how a mother goes at all lengths to protect her child. It was a very emotional story which I loved especially Roza telling stories to Shira and the character of Shira. You can feel how innocent she was through the book. Although I loved this I thought the last quarter of the book was a bit rushed compared to the rest of the book. 4 stars from me.
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  • Jeanine Cummins
    January 1, 1970
    Tender, brutal, and beautiful. Read it.
  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 escaped capture by the Nazis. They can’t stand up and walk around, talk, laugh, enjoy the sunshine, breathe the fresh air without the threat of being discovered and turned in by neighbors, two lives in exchange for a bag of sugar.The man of the house has his own greedy ulterior motives for allowing the family to hide in his barn. The woman of the house turns a blind eye, but in time begins to love Shira. As the days and months drag by, the threat of capture and certain death increases.Roza, Shira’s mother, must make a heartrending decision in hopes that at least her daughter will survive. What follows for them each is a story of hope, survival, and the continually nagging question of “what if”. For anyone interested in historical fiction based on WW II and the plight of the Jews, this is a must-read. It will stick with you long after you finish.(I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Flatiron and NetGalley for making it available.)
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  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 where they attempt to be silent and invisible to the world outside. They can only stay in the barn for so long and Roza faces a difficult choice - how can she save her daughter and herself?There was so much about this book that I loved. The way Rosner wrote about and detailed the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter crushed my heart. There is literally nothing a mother will not do for her child. The strength of these characters and what they endured to survive is unimaginable. This novel is about love, courage, strength, determination, hope, and how music touches our lives. I can't say enough good things about this one. It will definitely be a favorite of 2020.
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  • Bidisha
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 PROFOUND AND HUMBLING ...#NetGalley #TheYellowBirdSings #JenniferRosner #PicadorAargh! 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 4.5 PROFOUND AND HUMBLING ...#NetGalley #TheYellowBirdSings #JenniferRosner #PicadorAargh! 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 her daughter Shira. They are hiding in a smelly barn, keeping still. They hush their growling stomachs, cramped muscles and ignore injuries and filth, while German soldiers march outside. The rest of Roza’s clan has met violent premature fates. The barn belongs to a family who were regular customers to her bakery in happier times. Although fearful, they keep her there, but there’s a price to pay. Help is never selfless, is it. Meanwhile, life and war carry on outside. Roza attempts to keep Shira quiet, distracting her with fantasy stories, letters, numbers, made up games and so on. But try as she may, she cannot ignore the fact that her five year old is a musical prodigy. Shira, in turn fails to understand why they must be hidden if they have committed no crime. Music escapes through her every pore and she can’t help it. Every little noise, crack or din can lead to their discovery and have devastating consequences. So, the mother conjures up a yellow bird to articulate her notes and fly around the enchanted gardens of her imagination. Shira trains in silence. The yellow bird is the closest thing Shira has to a playmate. They stay put in the barn for over a year, surviving raids, neighbors prying eyes, the biting Polish winters and diseases; at the mercy and later empathy of their protectors. Eventually, situations occur that force them to separate. Shira is sent off, and Roza has to test her fate in the jungles down south. Their detached tale takes a few unimaginable turns thereon. The Yellow Bird is a story of love, loss and longing, narrated as a moving melody, silence permeating. The music in the language and the abject rawness of suppressed emotions is the testament to survival and the strength of love. Interestingly, the author is a mother to deaf daughters. It is poignant how her book is the exact opposite to her efforts as a parent. ***What becomes of Shira’s musical talent? Do Germans discover them? Will the mother and daughter reunite? To get your answers, pick up the book when it releases on 2nd April, 2020!NetGalley, Pan Macmillan and Picador, I can’t thank you enough for this steal of a book. Uff, who knew there could be so much splendor in grief...
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 all feel incredibly realistic. 4.5 stars.As an aside, somehow I did not realize until I read the acknowledgements that I had read another book by this author - "When A Tree Falls", which is nonfiction, and which I also highly recommend.Thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for the chance to read this book!
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  • Jules
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 child’s 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 Róża’s small town in Poland, she is forced to flee with her daughter, Shira, to hide in the woods. She comes across a village of farmers, one agreeing to hide them in his barn. For over a year, Róża and her daughter perch in the loft silently starving to death. She vows to endure whatever she must to keep her daughter out of harm’s way.While stowed under the hay, Shira begins to create songs in her mind. The daughter of musicians, it seems she was born with a talent so rare, even her mother is astounded by it.When the Germans procure the barn for storing machinery, Róża is forced to make the impossible of all decisions. She sends Shira away to be hidden in an orphanage while she hides deep in the woods until she can make her way back to her beloved daughter.While separated, Mother and Daughter experience unimaginable heartbreak and sorrow. Will they ever find each other again, or are they destined to spend their lives only dreaming of each other?The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner is an emotion-filled story about the human spirit, and its never-ending quest to conquer and survive. From the moment I opened the first pages, until the last line was read, I was deeply connected to these characters and the unrelenting grief and strife they experienced. This book was exquisite!! Exquisitely written, exquisitely descriptive, and exquisitely developed. It shocked me, it horrified me, it haunted me, and it stirred me. Not a single word was wasted, not a moment felt unnecessary. It was powerful, provoking, and inspiring beyond words. It’s lyrical properties reminded me of fairy tales as a child. I hung on every word and felt every emotion.The way Rosner used symbolism to create a deep and truly beautiful representation of hope amid such horrible suffering touched me profoundly. I will never be able to see a yellow bird ever again without thinking of these characters.When I read the last words, and closed the book, I shut my eyes as tears streamed down my face. I could not have dreamed for a better ending. This book goes on the ‘keep forever’ shelf.**Trigger warning for rape.
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  • Alysia
    January 1, 1970
    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 During the Nazi invasion of Poland, Roza and her daughter, Shira, flee their home to hide in the hayloft of a neighbor’s 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 daughter will most likely be safe from harm? Wow. What a heart-wrenching story this was! I cannot imagine the constant fear and uncertainty women in hiding like Roza must have had to endure during the war. And as a mom, I really tried to put myself in her place. What lengths would I go to to protect my child? Would I have made the same decisions as her? And the answer is- I have no idea! It’s heartbreaking to even think about. I think my historical fiction loving friends will like this book...especially those who enjoy stories about WWII.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars because I wanted so much more for the ending but otherwise, I am finally happy to say that this work of historical fiction about the Holocaust did not disappoint me. In fact, it felt realistic and not at all melodramatic, the way so many womens fiction stories of this era tend to be. (view spoiler)[The raw feelings of mother and daughter being torn from the other the mother feeling unspeakable guilt, but equally as unspeakable relief. To be unburdened with your young child and to 4.5 stars because I wanted so much more for the ending but otherwise, I am finally happy to say that this work of historical fiction about the Holocaust did not disappoint me. In fact, it felt realistic and not at all melodramatic, the way so many ‘women’s fiction’ stories of this era tend to be. (view spoiler)[The raw feelings of mother and daughter being torn from the other — the mother feeling unspeakable guilt, but equally as unspeakable relief. To be unburdened with your young child and to admit relief? That is real and brave. To admit to yourself that you can feel and love more than the man you promised yourself to in marriage — even though he was murdered and were he alive and with you, you would never stray — that is real and brave. (hide spoiler)] There were so many real instances of bravery and sacrifice in this story. My heart is torn over it. I will not soon forget Shira or Róża. Thank you to Flatiron for a free advanced copy of this book.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    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 “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 they must be completely silent, day and night. Roza encourages Shira to create an imaginary yellow bird, that she can clutch to her chest and whisper to, offering a tiny bit of comfort. This is a simply told story and an impressive debut about the unbreakable bonds between mother and daughter, as this pair struggle to survive the next four years of war and occupation.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kailey (kmc_reads)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded upIt 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.
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  • Kim Lockhart
    January 1, 1970
    Very good and deeply difficult emotional story.
  • Anneke
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: The Yellow Bird SingsAuthor: Jennifer RosnerPublisher: Flatiron Books/MacmillanPublication Date: March 3, 2020Review Date: November 2, 2019I 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 Book Review: The Yellow Bird SingsAuthor: Jennifer RosnerPublisher: Flatiron Books/MacmillanPublication Date: March 3, 2020Review Date: November 2, 2019I 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 shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom. In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope—a whispered story, a bird’s song—in even the darkest of times.”What a beautiful book. Filled with the gamut of emotion, as both mother and daughter do the impossible in order to survive. The characters are so vibrant, as are the various physical surroundings they hide in, and move about in order to survive. The plot arc is tense and perfect in its movement. This is a terrifying story; a true story; one that is still being played out by refugees and displaced people all around the world.I highly recommend this book, though it is not for the faint of heart. 5 stars!Thanks you to Flatiron Books/Macmillan and NetGalley for an early read. Good luck to the author; what a monumental debut novel!This review will be posted on NetGalley. Goodreads and Amazon.#netgalley #theyellowbirdsings #jenniferrosner #macmillan
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