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The Upstairs Room
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About 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.

Reviews

Gr 5-8-The deLeeuw family, Dutch Jews, did not emigrate to the U.S. in time to escape the German Holocaust. However, friends kept them hidden during those turbulent years and they did survive the War. As presented in Johanna Reiss' novel, based on her own experiences in Holland during World War II, (HarperCollins, 1972), Annie, the young first person narrator, and her older sister must live in an upstairs bedroom belonging to a rough but sympathetic farmer and his family. Christina Moore capably uses a youthful voice to portray Annie. While she does not assume a false accent, she is able to read the Dutch names and the few Dutch words without hesitation. She makes slight voice changes for the different characters, and effectively portrays a variety of emotions. She changes speed frequently so that the tape does not become monotonous. An excellent choice to present the Holocaust to younger readers.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

In this Newbery Honor book, Reiss writes a stirring, fictionalized account of her own experiences as a Jewish girl during World War II. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

"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."--
"Reiss writes a stirring, fictionalized account of her own experiences as a Jewish girl during World War II."--Publishers Weekly

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