Cover Image: Uprising

Uprising

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Member Reviews

Loved it!! This is one of Jennifer Nielsen's best books yet!! A great story I hadn't heard before! And it's true which makes it even better!!

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First sentence: If I'd known what was coming that morning, I'd have done things differently. I certainly wouldn't have fought with my mother.

Premise/plot: Jennifer Nielsen's newest book is set in Poland during the Second World War. It is a fictionalized account inspired by a real teenager, Lidia Zakrzewski, a Resistance fighter. Lidia, our heroine, is outraged when Poland falls and the Nazis invade. Everything changes dramatically in such a short amount of time. Her home life--which had some tension before with a difficult mother--becomes truly dramatic. Still, she keeps on keeping on--resisting, persisting, doing anything and everything to defy the new regime. "Simple" things like going to an illegal school so she can continue her education. More difficult things like becoming a messenger--running messages for those in the resistance--before ultimately becoming a fighter herself. This is a brutal coming of age story set in a harsh environment.

My thoughts: I have never been disappointed by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Still holds true with her newest book. I found this one engaging. I read it quickly--one or two sittings--because I just got caught up in the story. It was a rough read as many war books are. But it was a GREAT read. Definitely recommended.

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This was a great book about courage, bravery, and standing up for the right thing. This is a great book for middle-age children, grades 4-6. I will be adapting this book into my curriculum on injustice. I currently have a few books we read; however this book is a great addition to talk about World War 2. The plot is seemingly accurate, even if the story is fiction. Overall, I enjoyed this book. The only note is that the main character, Lidia, seems a little whiny -- however this character trait changes over time, showing character change over time.

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I received a digital copy of this book through Netgalley. I love all of Jennifer A. Nielsen's historical fiction. This one took me a little more to get into than previous titles, but it did not disappoint.

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I really enjoyed this book. As a teacher, I could definitely see using this with a group of high school students when talking about WWII.

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Another fantastic historical fiction novel by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Add this to all middle school collections where the author's other works or historical fiction novels are popular. Avid readers will fly through this book!

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ARC Book Review of Uprising by Jennifer A Nielsen

Genre: Historical Fiction; Based on true story

"That we all live in this great symphony, each of us an instrument that we play for the world. If we lose one, the song is never quite what it was meant to be."

Uprising tells the story based on real-life events from the life of Lidia Zakrzewski, code name: Cello, a teenager growing up in Warsaw, Poland during the invasion and occupation by German Nazis. Broken into parts, the story is told from the point of view of Lidia as she navigates life and the hardships of poverty and danger lurking around every corner in war-torn Warsaw, Poland.

"This looked like a war zone. No, it was a war zone. My home had become a war zone."

Things I found interesting:
-What life was like during World War 2 in Warsaw Poland
-The hardships faced by many
-The resistance and uprising brought about by the citizens of Poland
-The strategies and tactics those citizens employed to end the occupation of German Nazis

"Safety," I muttered. "There's no such thing in Warsaw."

Do you enjoy reading about World War II in novel form? This was an excellent middle grade read about a young girl and her fight to survive Nazi-occupied Warsaw. It is also a story of her will-power to keep going and the courage it took to be a resistance fighter during the uprising.
What an awful time to be alive. To have everything stripped away from you, your father gone off to war, and you are made to live in a tiny apartment that overlooks the Warsaw Ghetto, the place Jews were crammed into and forced to live in by the Nazis. But what astounding bravery and courage, and sheer grit was had by so many during that time. It is also a story of redemption and learning to forgive.
I loved that this was based on a true story and that the author included photographs from the narrator's life at the end of the book as well as an Author's Note.

CW/TW: death of loved ones, emotional/mental abuse, without detail: cruelty and brutality, poverty, harsh living conditions, blood and wounds

Thank you Netgalley and Scholastic for the free ecopy of the book. The thoughts and opinions in this review are my own. Note: The quotes were taken directly from a physical copy of the book.

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Another great family friendly historical fiction from a master. Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys middle grade novels.

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Lidia is a 12-year-old living in Poland at the start of WWII. Her whole world is upended when Germany invades. As her family is torn apart, she wants to help defend her country but is too young. Joining the Warsaw resistance proves to be her way of fighting back against Hitler and the German soldiers who are destroying her homeland and killing everyone around her. Daily, she risks her life to aid the resistance. This book is very informative and engaging. While reading the author's note, I was shocked to learn that Lidia Zakrzewski was a real person - incredible! Uprising would make a great addition to any library serving middle-grade readers.

Thank you to Scholastic Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

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Uprising is a beautifully-written book about a horrific period in history. Coincidentally, I started reading this one right as we began our WW2 unit. I'm sure my kids will learn a lot as they work their way through the experiences of Lidia's life.

Jennifer A. Nielson is gifted when it comes to historical fiction. So many of the stories captivated me! My only struggle was the pacing as years passed -- it was hard for me to "see" time passing as Lidia grew up. I greatly appreciated the photos and updates about the real Lidia at the end of the book -- it definitely added great perspective about what the people of Poland had to endure.

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Very well-written historical fiction title based on a true story. I will read anything based in WW2, especially if it’s set around one of the lesser-focused aspects of the war. This hit the mark all around, with a setting in Warsaw, Poland and a focus on the Polish uprising. Lidia’s story is compelling and I found myself picking it up again and again to “just read one more chapter”. This title will be finding a home on my personal bookshelf for my children to read in addition to being recommended for our school library.

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Uprising is a work of historical fiction based on the life of Lidia Durr, born in Poland on June 12, 1924. She is just a young girl when she joins the resistance against the WW2 German occupation in Warsaw, Poland. Lidia and her family are visiting her grandparents in the countryside, when Germany drops the first bombs, They quickly return to their home in Warsaw taking refuge in their cellar, hoping to wait out the bombings. Little did they know, the bloody battle would go on for six years! Her father joins the Polish Army, leaving Lidia, her mother, brother, and beloved Jewish housekeeper to survive as best they can in the increasingly hostile environment of the Nazi occupation. Forced out of their home, they shelter in the housekeeper's apartment in a less desirable area of Warsaw. 



The wall of the Warsaw ghetto springs up right outside of Lidia’s apartment window. Even though it is severely forbidden, Lydia lifts the window covering and can view the horrors being inflicted upon the Jews. She witnesses the brave, yet failed Jewish uprising that occurs inside the ghetto. Brave Lidia does the only thing she knows, she joins the network of Polish resistance fighters as a messenger. She excels beyond anyone's expectations, foiling the Nazis again and again, carrying literature, grenades and ammo right under their noses. You, reader will hold your breath at her daring moves.

She also participates in the Warsaw uprising in the summer and fall of 1944, moving through the unbearable sewers and blowing up tanks. Her story based on actual events and you will wonder how she survived it all. I was spell bound reading this young girl’s brave account, risking her life to help others.

There is a lot, almost too much WW2 information packed within these 384 pages. There are many books written for middle grade readers on The Holocaust. I particularly like Uprising because it’s based on the life of a girl who’s experienced the horrors first hand.

A good solid choice for this genre.

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I enjoyed reading Uprising, by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Reading the story of the beginning of World War II through the eyes of a young Polish girl was interesting to me, and I can see it appealing to students. I loved the main characters desire to stand up for what was right, no matter the consequences. Students can learn a lot through historical fiction, and Uprising is a great book to add to my collection of WWII books.

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Twelve year old Lidia longs the play the piano, longs to see her father, and longs to live in a world at peace. But living in 1940's Warsaw, she's faced with the reality of war and lack. One day she realizes the horrors of the Jewish ghetto and determines to do something about it. But what can she do? Lidia and her friend begin sneaking in food, trying to help those that are starving. Still she wonders if there isn't more. Until one day, she finds a way to join the resistance. And her whole world changes. Based on the real life experiences of Polish teen, Lidia Zakrzewski, Uprising reveals the story of determined Polish nationalists who resist the Nazis and fight to reclaim their nation's freedom. It takes a closer look at the friendships they develop, the ways they must survive, and their hope for a better future.

We love Jennifer Nielsen books in this house. From my 12 year old to my 16 year old to myself, we devour her work. Nielsen has an amazing ability to draw readers into specific events in history and make the whole scene come to life. Uprising is no exception. Lidia is a complex character, filled with both inspiration and flaws. She's determined, stubborn, raw, and wounded: a relatable individual to be sure. The setting and the people really bring this period of history to life, and the themes of hope, fighting for what's right, and the resilience of the human spirit are an absolute inspiration. My only word of caution is that there are a few tense, descriptive points in the book that may be too much for middle grade readers. Uprising does not shy away from some of the rougher parts of war. I found myself internally cringing at some of Nielsen's descriptions and would rate this book more for ages 11-15. But overall, the author really did a great job of tackling a difficult part of history and drawing out the enduring optimism of real life heroes.

*Disclaimer: I recieved a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Uprising, by Jennifer A. Nielsen, Is a turbulent look at the Warsaw Uprising during World War II for middle grade readers. This novel, based on a true story, is a great addition for libraries adding to their historical fiction collection. Most middle schoolers are not aware of the Warsaw Uprising and this provides a wonderful introduction to the horrors and destruction that occurred. Students will also see the resilience of ordinary people that were fighting with the resistance.

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Jennifer Nielsen is so great with middle-grade historical fiction, and this book is no exception. The main character, Lidia, is lovable and real, and I know my students will connect with her. I also love that these events are told in such a way that the reader is inspired to take a stand against injustice in our current time. These books are powerful for middle grade readers, and they also do a great job of depicting the horrible realties of war. I know my 5th grade classes in particular will love this book just like they love all the others by this author!

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I really enjoyed this story based on the courageous teen, Lidia Durr who fought in the Warsaw City Uprising.
Including subplots of illegal piano lessons and the positive effect music can have as well as the difficult mother/daughter relationship, made the war story a very compulsive read.
It was tough at times to believe that a young girl could display such uncommon courage and grit!
As a result of it being set during a war, there are alot of opportunities for discussion surrounding the ethics of the rebels' actions which always adds value to a middle grade book!

Thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read it in return for my honest thoughts.

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Nielsen, Jennifer, Uprising. Pgs. 416. Scholastic Books, 2018.
When the Nazis attack Poland, Lidia’s whole life is upended. Their home is bombed and claimed by the Germans. Her whole family is forced to move next to the Jewish Ghetto. Desperate to fight back, she finds ways to rebel. Her brother, Ryszard, is tight-lipped about the resistance. Once finally allowed to join, Lidia rises quickly up in the ranks. Will the resistance succeed?

The plot is well-developed, engaging, and impossible to put down. The characters are likable, realistic, and easy to relate to. Based off true events, readers interested in World War II and historical fiction will want to pick this one up. Recommended for most library collections. Ages 8 to 15. 5 stars.

Please note: This was a review copy given to us by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No financial compensation was received.

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Based on a true story, Uprising follows a girl who joins the Polish resistance movement during World War II. I learned more about what was happening in Warsaw during World War II, but the story was not overly compelling. Middle school readers who are already fans of Nielsen's historical fiction will appreciate this book.

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The story is a fictionalized account of the life of Lidia Durr, who lived in Poland during World War II. Lidia leads a very eventful life; in her teen years she joins the resistance, sneaks food to Jewish prisoners in the ghetto camps, and even lives in the ghetto herself. This book is a very sad read, not only because of the number of people who die, but also the descriptive content. It is not necessarily scary, just with much thematic content and thought provoking quotes. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend it to a preteen or younger. The book relayed the importance of education, how it is a weapon against violence and tyranny. Loved the photos and brief summary of Lidia Durr's true life story at the end. It helped clarify what was fiction and what was fact in the story. (The main premise was fact, with a few added characters, adjustments in Lidia's age, etc.)
Thank you to Net Galley for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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