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UPRISING by Jennifer A. Nielsen


by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Pub Date: March 5th, 2024
ISBN: 9781338795080
Publisher: Scholastic

A fictionalized account of a real-life Polish resistance fighter.

Talented pianist Lidia is just 12 when the Nazis invade Poland, and her whole life is abruptly upended. With their home bombed and then claimed by the Germans and Papa gone to join the Polish army, the Christian Durr family relocates to a crowded apartment adjacent to Warsaw’s Jewish quarter. At the mercy of their occupiers, Lidia helplessly watches family, friends, and strangers suffer cruelty and injustice. Desperate to fight back, she finds ways to rebel, like enrolling in an underground school and sneaking food to people in the ghetto. Her brother, Ryszard, is maddeningly tight-lipped about his mysterious work for the resistance, but Lidia eventually finds her own path to participating in the uprising. Once admitted into the circle of those planning Operation Tempest, Lidia—code name Cello—quickly rises in the ranks, thanks to her bravery and willingness to take on the most dangerous assignments. Ferrying everything from messages to grenades across the war-torn city, Lidia hopes for liberation but fears that the world has forgotten Warsaw. Although the true story that inspired this novel is compelling, Nielsen’s characters are one-dimensional, and they populate a landscape that never seems to truly come to life. Furthermore, major tragedies lack sufficient setup and execution to elicit the intended emotional gut punch in readers.

An unremarkable addition to the already crowded field of World War II fiction.

(photos, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 9-13)