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ISBN: 8423927636
ISBN 13: 9788423927630
By: Johanna Reiss

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Childrens Currently Reading Fiction Historical Fiction History Holocaust To Read Wwii Ya Young Adult

About this book

The autobiographical decription of a Dutch Jewish girl's two-and-one-half years spent in hiding in the upstairs bedroom of a farmer's house during World War II.

Reader's Thoughts


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.

Meloney Meyer

I read the book The Upstairs Room. “Johanna Reiss” is good to explain her life between the Jews and the Germans. It gave me more information about the Jews and the Germans. Johanna played a girl named Annie de Leeuw when she was a little girl. All of her family was Jews. Annie heard on the radio that the German army was in Denmark and Norway. It also gave me more information on how the World War II happened. This book lists a lot of things that had happened in World War II at the beginning and then tells how it ended. It tells us about someone’s life that was in the war. The history books tell you how it started and how it ended but did not tell you about someone’s life. The history books also tell you about the presidents and how they were in wars. All in all, this book lengthened my knowledge of the events of World War II. I have learned about the lives of those affected by the war and there is a clear example of racism between the Germans and the Jews.

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.


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.


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.

Leah Beecher

This was a touching and educational book to read to my girls. It is a true story about a Gentile family in Holland that took in and hid two little Jewish girls they did not even know from another nearby town during the Nazi occupation. What was supposed to be for a month or two turned into two years. The author is the little girl Anna who was taken in. She wrote it some 30 years after the fact for her daughters. We did not finish it because it just was unable to keep a 5th and 4th grader's interest. Once the more dramatic elements of the story- the Nazis coming and family splitting up to go into hiding-passed and the author related what daily life was like living in "the upstairs room" my girls just lost interest. I kept telling them to "be quiet and listen", which is not the point of bed time chapter books. There were chapters, once we got about half way through, of almost entire dialogue. The author was trying to reveal what these people, noble as they were, were still indeed just people; with faults and quirks. I did a sort of speed read myself through the rest...though never actually finished...I know I should of.I still recommend it for perhaps teenage/young adult reading. It shows the compassion side of people at such a dark, evil time in history. Johanna Reiss stayed in contact with that family her entire life.A memoir that shows that great noble deeds are often preformed by ordinary people who simply rise to the occasion and do the right thing.

Tanner Huyck

In 1940 German tanks and soldiers invaded the city of Holland and then marched right along into Winterswijk,the hometown of Anne de Leeuw. Annie was a ten year old Jewish girl in danger of being captured by the Germans and taken to a concentration camp. Together her and her sister had to abandon their mother, father, and older sister to go into hiding in the upstairs room of a rural farmhouse. Johanna de Leeuw Reiss wrote a fantastic novel giving in depth detail about her personal accounts as a young girl living during World War II. The book provided great emotion and detail about life in the upstairs room and the thoughts going throughout her and Sinni, her sister. The book provides a level of optimism and strength as to being able to overcome difficult situations and know that everything will be alright. This is a classic and memorizing book that will be around to read for many years.


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.

Chloe Chapman

I read the autobiography “The Upstairs Room” by Johanna Reiss. My favorite non-fiction books are about the Holocaust, and this book was on that topic. I wasn’t sure how I would like the book but it was really appealing and kept me reading. The book was told as the authors experience when she was younger. The book was a little bit boring at the beginning but go more interesting as it progressed. The author relayed information on how much distress was on the community and on Jewish people when the Nazis took over Germany. Annie de Leewu was the eight year old little girl that lived in Winterwijk with her sister Sini and her family. Germany attacked Holland two years later and the two girls had to leave their family and hide in the upstairs room of a remote farmhouse. Oosterveld family and the Gentile family were happy to take the girls in and care for them until their family came back. Annie and Sini were in danger because they are young Jewish girls and the Nazis were looking for them at the time. They were locked up in a small cramped room for two years instead of two months. It shows how the girls were so compassionate to be able to be so lucky during this time period and they always had each other. They had to hope for the best and keep their family members in their prayer because they didn’t know what was going to happen next. Nazis killed many Jews during the 1940s and Annie and Sini had to have strength everyday to motivate them to look on the bright side of the situation. It opens up my eyes to how grateful I am to not have to go everyday wondering if my family is still alive. These poor girls should not have to worry about such an awful idea. We should never take life for granted because one day you may have to go through as much pain as they did, and it may be something more painful, like death. I really enjoyed this book and it is one I would recommend to people who likes personal stories from the Holocaust. 4 out of 5 stars are what I give this book.

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.


"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.)


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.

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.


The main issue of the book is World War Two. Annie is a Jew, and so she had to hide from the Nazis. She and her sister, Sini, have to separate from the rest of their family. They have to hide in an upstairs room. This book is set in the Holocaust. They live in Holland. This book wouldn't even be a good book if it wasn't in this setting. The whole book has to do with the Holocaust, so if it weren't it wouldn't be a book. The main character is Annie. She's a little girl. She has to go through a lot, and she doesn't even realize the real threat of the war for a long time. The antagonist would be Adolf Hitler. He is the whole reason this whole thing happened. He was really mean, and killed most of the Jews.I really liked this book. One of the things I liked the most is how real it feels. The author is the main character so it really gives you a feel for it. It really helped me realize how terrible this time was, and how scary it was for the Jews."Jew, Jew, ugly mole, stick your face in a dirty hole. Stick your face in a mustard pot, by tomorrow Jew will rot" I disliked that quote cause it shows how mean the gentiles are to the Jews. Theme: Those who try their hardest and do the most that they can do, usually get what they want.I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a new way to learn about World War Two. I didn't notice the real problems of it till I read this book.


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.

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