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The Upstairs Room
     

The Upstairs Room

4.4 100
by Johanna Reiss
 

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When the German army occupied Holland, Annie de Leeuw was eight years old. Because she was Jewish, the occupation put her in grave danger-she knew that to stay alive she would have to hide. Fortunately, a Gentile family, the Oostervelds, offered to help. For two years they hid Annie and her sister, Sini, in the cramped upstairs room of their farmhouse. Most people

Overview

When the German army occupied Holland, Annie de Leeuw was eight years old. Because she was Jewish, the occupation put her in grave danger-she knew that to stay alive she would have to hide. Fortunately, a Gentile family, the Oostervelds, offered to help. For two years they hid Annie and her sister, Sini, in the cramped upstairs room of their farmhouse. Most people thought the war wouldn't last long. But for Annie and Sini — separated from their family and confined to one tiny room — the war seemed to go on forever. In the part of the marketplace where flowers had been sold twice a week-tulips in the spring, roses in the summer-stood German tanks and German soldiers. Annie de Leeuw was eight years old in 1940 when the Germans attacked Holland and marched into the town of Winterswijk where she lived. Annie was ten when, because she was Jewish and in great danger of being cap-tured by the invaders, she and her sister Sini had to leave their father, mother, and older sister Rachel to go into hiding in the upstairs room of a remote farmhouse. Johanna de Leeuw Reiss has written a remarkably fresh and moving account of her own experiences as a young girl during World War II. Like many adults she was innocent of the German plans for Jews, and she might have gone to a labor camp as scores of families did. "It won't be for long and the Germans have told us we'll be treated well," those families said. "What can happen?"...

Editorial Reviews

Elie Wiesel
"An admirable account . . . as important in every respect as the one bequeathed to us by Anne Frank.
. .
In this fine autobiographical novel, Johanna Reiss depicts the trials of her Dutch-Jewish family during World War II. . . . The youngest of three daughters tells how she and her sister hid for more than two years in the upstairs room of the peasant Oosterveld family. . . . Offers believable characterizations of unremarkable people who survived, if not thrived, and displayed an adaptability and generosity probably beyond their own expectations.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013140417
Publisher:
Graymalkin Media
Publication date:
07/26/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
119,443
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Johanna Reiss was born and brought up in Holland. After she was graduated from college, she taught elementary school for several years before coming to the United States to live. Her first book for children, The Upstairs Room, was a Newbery Honor Book, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book, and a Jane Addams Peace Association Honor Book, and it won the Jewish Book Council Juvenile Book Award and the Buxtehuder Bulle, a prestigious German children's book award. Mrs. Reiss writes that soon after she had finished Tie Upstairs Room, she found "there was still something I wanted to say, something that was as meaningful to me as the story I had told in the first book, the story of a war. 'The fighting has stopped'; 'Peace treaty signed,' newspapers announce at the conclusion of every war. From a political point of view, the war is over, but in another sense it has not really ended. People are fragile. They are strong, too, but wars leave emotional scars that take a long time to heal, generations perhaps. I know this to be true of myself, and of others. And out of those feelings came The Journey Back, a story of the aftermath of the Second World War." Though Mrs. Reiss lives with her daughters in New York City, they make frequent visits to Holland to visit Mrs. Reiss's sisters, Rachel and Sini, and Johan and Dientje Oosterveld.

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The Upstairs Room 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Highly recommended to ages 8+. Im only 10, bit i love this book! Full of action, suspense, sadness, and it pulls you in from the very start. The sadness is not so hreat, but still a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my Language Arts class thinking it would be an easy A and that it'd be mediocre at worst. Boy, was I wrong! A lovely tale written from a child's point of view and just an amazing book in general. The epilogue really was the cherry on top, and I recommend it to all who enjoyed the movie "La Vita e Bella (Life Is Beautiful)".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading it in class and so far its interesting....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Upstairs Room is a great book. It is based on a true story about the author. The Oservils were also real people. It is also very interesting. The Upstars Room is a very very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I didnt like how this book was written but as I kept reading it got better and better and I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. Im going to start the sequal now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is in tersting because of how childeran couldn't go to school because they were jewish.this book a boy life at time when he was a child who was jewish and had to hide from the Germans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book, the Germans are at war with the Jews. A family is split apart and have to go away in hiding until the war ends. I think the the author does a really good job engaging the reader. I feel this way because as I read I get a realyl clear image in my head of what is going on. I can also imagine how the characters are feeling through this horrible time. In this book, I like how the author explains how each character feels during the war. I also like how descriptive and detailed she is while talking about this war. Something I have a question about is the backround of HItler. All I know is that he was in charge of the Germans and was a horrible person. I'd like to know how old he was and what his family was like. I think a teenager would engoy this booko. Someone younger would enjoy this book more than someone older because you learn a lot about the effects that the war had on many people. Someone older probably all ready has an idea of what happened between the Germans and Jews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells you about the struggles of a young girl as she grows to fall in love with the people who were hiding her and her sister from the nazis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book! The Upstairs room really paints a picture of the world war and Hiltler time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A 11 year old girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good. I like to sing Am i werid Plaes answer above $m!L#
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It really makes you see how there felt and live was as a part jaw it brings heart ach
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the part of the marketplace where flowers had been sold twice a week - tulips in the spring, roses in the summer - stood German tanks and German soldiers. Annie de Leeuw was eight years old in 1940 when the Germans attacked Holland and marched into the town of Winterswijk where she lived. She was Jewish and in great danger of being captured by the invaders. She and her sister, Sini, had to leave their father and older sister, Rachel. Their mother was hospitalized due to daily migraines, and she refused to leave Holland and move to America to get away from Hitler and the Nazis like her husband wanted. Sini and Annie had to go into hiding in the upstairs room of a remote farmhouse to be safe. This book is about a little girl named Rachel who has an ill mother, two sisters, and a father who wants to get out of Holland to move to America and get away from Hitler because they are Jews. The author, Johanna Reiss, wrote this book because she was actually a part of the Leeuw family and felt like it was her job to tell the story of her past ancestors, and bring their story to the generation we now are in. This content of this book would be good for children eleven and up to read because of some of the language and curse words in the story because there is a certain quote near the beginning that says, “Not me. At night I listen to a Dutch broadcast from England. That’s for the real news. Those damn newspapers never tell you a damn thing. Nothing but lies.” I don’t think language like this is appropriate for children any younger than eleven or twelve. The writer of this book certainly put a lot of thought and effort into telling this story of the descendants in her family. She carefully considered the content of the book, and that’s why millions of people have read it. There are many Jewish and German words throughout the story, but other than those words, the statements are quite easy to understand and there is a clear meaning. You can always tell who is speaking, and I would say that I can easily tell what was happening. The only person we can really identify with is Johan; at least I think so. A comment from this story, made by him that causes us to be able to identify with him is when he says, “That’s all you women ever tell me. Get up, Johan. Go milk to cows, Johan. Feed the pigs, Johan. Why don’t you get up too, eh, and help me?” We can identify with this because married men are always talking about how much their wife nags them, and their wife always talks about how lazy the men are! Having to hide in the upstairs room of a farmhouse was definitely a challenge for the Leeuw sisters, but it was the only place they knew was safe. It tells the full story in detail and gives descriptions of each character throughout the story. The really great thing about this, is readers will enjoy this dangerous adventure and find it is something written just for them that they can get in to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives an excellent idea, on the level of daily experience, of what it was like for Jewish people to find themselves needing to hide among Gentiles in Holland during the Holocaust, and what it was like for ordinary but caring people to risk their lives hiding them too.  Some of the reviews I have read say that this book is on the boring side, but I do not agree.  It is a fascinating look at the experiences of one family and two girls, and in particular the author, at a time when they were in effect imprisoned but hoping, no matter how hard it was to wait for the long months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes, to pass, that they wouldn't be discovered.  This book truly lets you step a little bit into their shoes, and a reader with imagination will find this an absorbing challenge.  However, I read this book to share with my fifth grade son, but I found I could not recommend it because of all the bad language in it.  Most particularly bothersome for me were the many vain uses of the name of God, something that for Jewish people who hold to their faith is a very serious matter indeed.  I was surprised to find it here, even if it was reflective of the reality of the author's experience. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
suspenseful
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Yes
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