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Dancing on the Bridge of Avignon Hardcover – October 30, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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We Are the Ants
We Are the Ants
A brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving. Hardcover | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Continuing to explore the experiences of Dutch Jewish children during WWII, Dutch author Vos (Anna Is Still Here; Hide and Seek) breaks new ground with this profoundly affecting and sorrowful novel. As the Nazis impose restrictions and as the deportations begin, Rosa, Vos's heroine, spends hours curled in a chair, lost in daydreams; she and her younger sister memorize the dates of all the Nazi proclamations and quiz each other about them-the morbid and the everyday have become interchangeable. As the historical nightmare intensifies, the parents' efforts to provide stability in their home become harder and harder. When Rosa's uncle, telling them a wildly improbable story, promises the whole family safe passage to the south of France, the girls begin learning French words and songs, and even as their desperate father recognizes that the uncle's plan is almost certainly a fantasy, he has nothing to offer in its place. In a stark, shattering conclusion, the family is arrested and sent toward certain death while Rosa is spared-because of her resemblance to a German officer's daughter. Although this novel's dark lyricism may inhibit its accessibility within the target audience, readers with some understanding of the Holocaust-adults as well as the young-will find Vos's message haunting and inescapable. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-7?Holland in 1942 is not a safe place for Jews, yet the de Jong family does their best to live a normal life. "Normal" is a relative term, though, as 10-year-old Rosa is well aware. She loses classmates, teachers, and neighbors to concentration camps. She is teased and scorned by Nazi sympathizers. She helps make room for refugees, and suffers fear and uncertainty. Yet Rosa is still a "normal" child, surrounded by loving family and friends; she laughs, plays, pouts, gets into mischief, and experiences wonder, happiness, and hope. Her violin carries her through the story, and at book's end it saves her from certain death. This abrupt conclusion?which, despite an epilogue, leaves many questions unanswered?is Dancing on the Bridge of Avignon's only flaw. With most tales of Jews in World War II focused on hiding or concentration camps, its approach is unique. Vos's short, episodic chapters are well crafted; her writing is poignant in its understatement. Characterization is excellent?the best in Vos's books so far. This is a welcome addition to World War II novels and also gives a meaningful view of a family coping under immense stress.?Ann W. Moore, Guilderland Public Library, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395720397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395720394
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,560,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
(Actually, 4.5 stars)

Like Ida Vos's other books, this one too closely mirrors the story of her own family in Holland under the Nazi occupation; the de Jongs are from Groningen, have moved to Rijswijk, there are two young sisters of about the same age as the two sisters in 'Hide and Seek' and 'The Key Is Lost' (as well as the approximate ages Ida and her own younger sister Esther were), the family are living out in the open until the situation gets too worse to ignore, and the young protagonist Rosa even has the same birthdate as that of the author, 13 December 1931. Unlike her other books, however, it doesn't end with a happy reunion.

Rosa and her little sister Silvie constantly quiz one another on all of the many anti-Jewish regulations, asking what happened on what date or asking what date something happened on, since they are so afraid they might accidentally forget and sit on a park bench, enter a library, or go swimming. They are also having frequent daydreams, which really angers their father, who is under enough stress already. In the middle of this the Mendes family, who are from France (and based on the three-person family who lived with the author's family at this time), come to live with the de Jongs--Louis and his wife Isabelle, who are artists, and their 13 month old baby Philippe. Rosa and Silvie are over the moon to get a baby brother, even if he's not a real baby brother, and even more so because he gets to sleep in their room. Rosa's spirits are also kept afloat during these dark days by her violin, even though she has had to change tutors and schools a number of times because of all of the anti-Jewish regulations and arrests going on. And it is indeed her violin which literally saves her eventually.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book about 5 years ago, in 5th grade, as I have been a Holocaust nutcase since I was 11 years old. I've read everything I can get my hands on, gone to the USHMM, memorials, museums, written Miep Gies, and I can quote Anne Frank from memory. I remember taking this book out among other stacks of Holocaust Young Reader books from our small library-well, I doubt I ever returned it. Ida Vos is a genius. (And the translater, Inez Schmidt) This is a super, touching, book.
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Format: Hardcover
This story is about a ten year old girl named Rosa and her family. They are treated unfairly because they were Jews. There are signs abandoning Jews from several things. Some of the things they are abandoned from are the Public Swimming Pool, Park, Library, even some stores. Rosa, her sister, and other Jewish children were even kicked out of their schools. One day Rosa's father came home and told Rosa and her little Silvie that they were going to a new school. They weren't so excited, because they had switched schools so many different times. So the next day Rosa and Silvie got up and got ready for school. When they arrived at the new school they knew some of the other students that went there. When they got home they were so excited to tell their parents about their day. For a month or so Rosa and Silvie continued to go to school. Then one day Rosa and her family got a message from the school that her teacher had been taken away to a concentration camp. So to know what the ending is like read the book.
I liked the book. It was kind of sad because of the ways that Jews were treated back then. There were some things that I didn't like about the book and that was how Rosa's family and other Jews were treated. I liked the books at time because I got to know how people were treated, what they had to go through, and how they had to live. I also disliked it at time because of the way they were treated, and how they had to live, and what they had to go through. I think that they should make more books focused on this time of the war because it was a really good book. I think that you should take a chance and read the book.
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A Kid's Review on December 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I love this book because I'm Jewish and I want to learn about the holcost. I loved it because it was filled with info.
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Format: Hardcover
Rosa De Jong is a ten-year-old girl living in Holland occupied by the Nazis. She is a talented young violinist that takes lessons from a man named Mr. Goldenstein. Rosa is a EJwish girl and the kids at her school make fun of her and dont like her at all. So Rosa stays inside and daydreams about all the Nazis disappearing.
I disliked this book because at times it got sort of boring. It kind of depressed me because of all the killing, but at other times I liked it because it taught me a lot about the Holocaust.
Ida Vos has written other books about World War 2. In which her family was involved. Those books are called Hide and Seek, and Anna is Still Here.
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