What the Night Sings

By: Vesper Stamper

Debut author/illustrator Vesper Stamper presents a lushly illustrated novel about a teen Holocaust survivor, who must come to terms with who she is and how to rebuild her life.

ISBN: 9781524700393

JLG Release: Jul 2018


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination, Violence, Mild sexual themes

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Awards & Honors

2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner, Teen Readers
2019 William C. Morris Award Finalist
2019 Golden Kite Award Honor, Young Adult Fiction
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Fiction for Young Adults

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), School Library Journal*

Horn Book

This moving, beautifully illustrated novel begins with the 1945 liberation of Bergen-Belsen, when adolescent survivor Gerta is relocated to a displaced persons camp. The time Stamper spends on Gerta’s postwar story, a somewhat unusual focus for a Holocaust novel, allows for thoughtful exploration of the particular challenges of building a lif This moving, beautifully illustrated novel begins with the 1945 liberation of Bergen-Belsen, when adolescent survivor Gerta is relocated to a displaced persons camp. The time Stamper spends on Gerta’s postwar story, a somewhat unusual focus for a Holocaust novel, allows for thoughtful exploration of the particular challenges of building a life after the Holocaust’s devastation. Gerta, still healing emotionally and physically, finds herself making decisions about her romantic, religious, and artistic future that seem startling in their speed. A long flashback gives context for the peculiar assortment of memories influencing her now: she grew up a promising musician and learned of her Jewish background and real last name (Rausch, not Richter) only when her father revealed the truth on the train to Theresienstadt. The flashback traces Gerta’s experiences from the fear and starvation of the ghetto to the even more horrific conditions of Auschwitz-Birkenau (her father is immediately sent to his death; Gerta survives largely because her musical ability places her in the Women’s Orchestra, where she is forced to serenade women and children on their walk to the gas chamber). Dreamlike prose and digitally toned black-and-white illustrations in ink wash, white gouache, and graphite, ranging from spot art to spacious full-bleed wordless spreads, combine with thick, creamy paper to create a volume with the feel of an art object. Back matter includes an author’s note about Stamper’s inspiration and her research visits to concentration camps; a glossary; a map; and resources. shoshana flax

Book Details

ISBN

9781524700393

First Release

July 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

9" x 7"

Page Count

272

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.9; Points: 7;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.4; Points: 11;

Lexile

Level HL720L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Knopf

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination, Violence, Mild sexual themes

Topics


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