The upstairs room is about a girl that is Jewish and she is about 12 years old. The German war is going on, and she is hiding from the Nazis.I don’t recommend this book I thought it was kind of boring but that’s my opinion. If you are looking for a book that you can just sit down and read, read this one.I thought it was cool how they dyed their hair at the beginning of the story. I thought it was a good spot where they were hiding but I feel like they could have hidden better like in the walls or something. I give this book a 1 out of 5 stars it was not that good. I think i'm going to read the diary of Anne Frank next.Alison Flemming
The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss (Harper Trophy) 196p. Historical Fiction. (in textbook). Summary: This book takes place during the time of the Holocaust with a family who is Jewish. It describes how hard the times were and what the family had to go through since they were Jewish. Critique:a. This was a good story to explain the hard times that the Jewish people had to go through during the Holocaust.b. Telling the story from a child’s perspective made the story even more heartwarming. She described all the hardships she and her family faced. c. On page 52 she describes being locked in the room while it’s snowing and other children are playing outside and building snowmen. Then on page 156 she describes the house that they are hiding in is now suppose to become German headquarters. This poses a major problem for them. Curriculum Connection: This would be a good book for older elementary or middle school students to read when discussing World War II and the Holocaust. This is a good book from the perspective of a girl during this time. The students could write response journals while they are reading the book or write an essay after they are done with the book putting themselves in that situation.Andrea Fife
I bought this book at a secondhand store with the hope to add it to my 5th grade library. Written from the perspective of a 10 year old, the sentence structure and vocabulary are at a perfect level for a young audience. However, the mildly profane language of a few adult characters will likely keep it off the classroom shelves. Instead, I will keep it in my home library, ready for my sons to read as an introduction to the haunting historical fiction and nonfiction from WWII.Laura
Many reviewers call this book "boring". It's true that there is little action, but what do you expect from a book in which two girls spend years hiding in an attic. What I had trouble with was the constant complaining and negativity. Yes, they were in a harrowing situation. But everybody - the girls and those hiding them - whined all the time. Very little hope or optimism about anything.I also found the language offensive and unnecessary, especially in a children's book.Becca
I read this to the kids for History as it's a story of a young Jewish girl who had to go into hiding in Holland during WWII. It's the author's true story and made very real through her writing. I loved the "Postscript" as the author shared her experience as an adult, taking her daughters back to Holland to see the house where she hid, meet the family that hid her, and see her old hiding place. It was emotional for me envisioning that.Alexa SOF2014
Even though The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss is fiction it gave me great insight into live during World War II in Holland. Annie DeLeeuw was eight years old when the German army occupied Holland. She and her Jewish family are abused and prohibited from leaving the country. Annie and her sister Sini are hidden from the Germans by the Hannick family. Within a few weeks they move in with the Oostervelds a Christian family, who are very kind. Annie and Sini live with their huge family. Unfortunately, the girls have to live in a cold and drab upstairs room of a farmhouse for almost two and a half years. When the Germans create headquarters outside the Oosterveld's living room they need to be very quiet. Fortunately, the Germans finally leave and are chased back to Germany by Canadians. In the end Annie and Sini can start a new life. I can't imagine living through war time. Luckilly the girls met a very kind family who hid them from the Germans. I enjoyed reading this book of historical fiction. It gave me insight into German occupied Holland during WWII. I would give this easy to read excellent novel 3 stars! I really enjoyed the character development and the description of life in Holland during WWII. At times it got boring and tedious but overall is was a great book. We are so fortunate to live in a world in the U.S where we don't have to hide from enemies and live in a democracy.Sandra
Against my initial judgement of this book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I am a type of person who likes to judge a book by its cover, and from this one, I thought the text might be a little too amatuer for my taste, but I found myself not wanting to put it down. The story begins in Winterswijk in the Netherlands and takes place during WWII. Annie, a young Jewish girl, and her sister, Sini, must hide out from the German soldiers and bounce around from hiding place to hiding place to avoid being sent to the concentration camps. From holes dug underground to tiny closet-spaced hole-in-the-walls, the story is told through the young and innocent eyes of Annie. Winner of the Newberry Honor Book, The Room Upstairs captivates its audience with terror, suspense, and an innocent sadness seen through the eyes of a six-year old girl.Jungho L.
The Upstairs room was about a Jewish family during the Holocaust. They live in Holland when the war happens and they are forced to move away from their homes in order to be safe from the Nazi's. The family are split up later in the book and they go to other family's houses to hide from the Nazi. They are fortunate of not getting caught but they almost do. They survive the war and live happily every after.I think this book was very fun to read because it was so well in detail. I felt like I was actually in the story. On part in particular was when the Germans came into a house to see if any Jews were hiding in there(which there were). It told us the noises, the Jew's feelings, and their thoughts when this event happened. Also this book was very interesting because I learned many new things about what the Jewish people had to deal with in the other family's home. Because in the story, in states that they always had to stay supper quiet and they weren't allowed outside. That was a fact I did not know about. Also that the Nazi's even took Jews from hospitals to concentration camps. This book made me feel more hatred towards the Nazi's and Hitler.I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in mind tingling stories and are eager to know more about the Jewish life during the Holocaust because the story made me really anxious and it was very hard to predict and also because it taught us a lot about the daily Jewish life during the Holocaust. And also I would like to recommend this book to people who enjoy adventure books because there is a lot of fun and exciting adventures in this book.Karalee
I read this book because it fulfilled a category (award winner from the year I was born) in a book challenge in which I am participating. It is about two Jewish sisters in Holland who hide out in the upstairs room of a Dutch family's home during World War II to escape the Nazis. The premise is obviously extremely interesting but the book actually was somewhat boring. Perhaps that was deliberate to reflect the boredom the two girls felt shut upstairs in hiding for more than two years but I just didn't really enjoy this book. I felt that the main character, Annie, who is 10 when the hiding begins, was (even for a 10 year old) totally oblivious to what was going on and the seriousness of their situation for most of the book. That just didn't resonate given the circumstances.Samantha Duncan
1. Genre: Junior Book - Historical Fiction2. This is a deep book to read. It accounts for the personal experience of a young girl living during WWII worry about herself and her family because of the Germans plans for Jews. Annie and her little sister are required to live in the upstairs room of a remote farm house. They are trying to avoid being sent to labor camps and having to experience worse just for being Jewish. 3. (A) Area for comment: Characterization (B) The author does a great job of putting her experiences out through the characters in this story. As a reader you are able to imagine your life it it mimicked that of Annie and her sisters. You can feel the pain they experience emotionally as well as the optimism they have for their future. (C) The image show of Annie and her sister and the Oosterveld family they live with shows that there is hope for them. The optimism that you feel while seeing this allows you to feel like relief will come and life will all be ok for these girls during such a rough time. 4. This book would be great to incorporate into any history or social studies lesson. WWII is something that most children are required to study, so adding a well written book to the lesson will only help the students learn more and actually want to participate in the lesson.Shanda
A thoughtful look back at her experiences during World War II, Johanna Reiss tells the story of Sini and Annie, Jewish sisters in Holland who spend nearly three years in hiding to avoid capture by the Nazis. This is a sweet, if you can call something about this subject sweet, innocent story told through ten-year-old Annie's eyes. At first she doesn't understand the war and why people start to treat her differently just because she is Jewish. She talks about the stars that they have to start wearing on their clothes and the tree where notices are posted that "tells them they can't work anymore" and other demands that grow in seriousness. When they are first taken in to hiding, Annie doesn't really understand it and hates the boredom and stiffness of a life lived in an upstairs room, but she bears it with patience and optimism. She finally gets the chance to read the "real newspapers, not just the ones that tell lies" and reads of the concentration camps and what is really happening and then in this realization she promises to never complain about having to stay away from the windows and hide again.I was touched by the kindness of the family who takes in the sisters and others that help them even though they could be executed for it. It speaks to the human spirit that I find to be generally good and has the courage to act. This is a special read that shows the terror of the war in a meaningful way. I really liked the story told through Annie's eyes.Ruby Tuesday
I've read countless books about the Holocaust and I won't outline the plot. However, I couldn't help but chuckle at the dialogue between the Oosterveld's (the family who hide Annie and her sister) which was quite unexpected for a book on this topic. It really shone through that these people were simple country folk but with very big hearts. A lovely read and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.Melissa Winterman
A heart-wrenching look into what one family had to endure for years, and where it led them. The characters are lovable and believable, and tis is well written.Gale
"Why do we have to become Invisible?"Set in Holland during the early 40's this first person story relates the persecution and hardships of the Jewish community under Nazi occupation. Ten-year-old Annie resents her decreasing personal freedom, diminished lifestyle, fragmented family and just generally being made to feel somehow odd in her own country. Her people are insulted, restricted, bullied, beaten and sent to "work" camps. The family unit disintegrates as Mother is hospitalized, Father goes Into Hiding in another town, and the oldest sister insists on making it on her own. The two sisters who remain together resent each other and bicker often. At great risk some courageous Dutch citizens help the persecuted family. As she contemplates her face in the mirror in the Upstairs Room, Annie wonders if she suddenly looks Jewish. Why is she, practically overnight, different from her Dutch friends? She also faces internal struggles during the almost 3 years spent in hiding with Sini (20). In times of extreme danger the sisters rush into a special hiding place behind a closet, or else play at being moles. It's not easy for a lively youngster to become invisible, instantly, or for a prolonged period of time. She rages against her sister, but most of all against the cramped spaces, restrictions on exercise, light and fresh air. In fact, Annie accidentally puts them all (including their generous host family) at risk by her immature behavior. Still the kindly farm family grows to love their girls; after the village is liberated, they all dread the inevitable separation. This story is true, written by Johanna Reiss to enlighten her own daughters about the human desire to live and enjoy life, as well as to praise the integrity of the Dutch nation. Elementary girls will sympathize with the emotional suffering of the young protagonist. (Feb. 15, 2011. I welcome dialogue with teachers.)Elida
Elida AlmarazMs.KwanAdvisory9D/901The Upstairs RoomBy: Johanna ReissBook Review The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss is about a jewish girl named Annie. Annie suffers when people of her kind are treated unfairly. it isn't safe for her and her family to stay in their country which is why they have to go away. It was to late to leave because Holland's borders were now being guarded by German Soldiers. The De Lueew family were under bad circumstances and caused Annie's parents to make drastic decisions. Annie's family had to split it leading this situation to more trouble. Johanna Reiss teaches us a lesson on how people had to suffer in order to be safe. Books like The Upstairs Room shows and teaches the readers historical events and information on what people did. Annie is a perfect example of how the historical event of the Holocausts had a huge impact on the jewish community.