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The Upstairs Room (Trophy Newbery) Paperback – October 30, 1990

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Series: Trophy Newbery
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (October 30, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006440370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064403702
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this Newbery Honor book, Reiss writes a stirring, fictionalized account of her own experiences as a Jewish girl during World War II. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-The deLeeuw family, Dutch Jews, did not emigrate to the U.S. in time to escape the German Holocaust. However, friends kept them hidden during those turbulent years and they did survive the War. As presented in Johanna Reiss' novel, based on her own experiences in Holland during World War II, (HarperCollins, 1972), Annie, the young first person narrator, and her older sister must live in an upstairs bedroom belonging to a rough but sympathetic farmer and his family. Christina Moore capably uses a youthful voice to portray Annie. While she does not assume a false accent, she is able to read the Dutch names and the few Dutch words without hesitation. She makes slight voice changes for the different characters, and effectively portrays a variety of emotions. She changes speed frequently so that the tape does not become monotonous. An excellent choice to present the Holocaust to younger readers.
Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

More About the Author

JOHANNA REISS is the author of the classic young adult book "The Upstairs Room," which Elie Wiesel praised in The New York Times Book Review as an "admirable account . . . as important in every respect as the one bequeathed to us by Anne Frank." She is the winner of the Newbery Honor, the Jewish Book Council Children's Book Award, School Library Journal Best Book, and the Buxtehuder Bulle (Outstanding Children's Book Promoting Peace, Germany). She is also the author of the sequel, "The Journey Back," and a memoir for adults called "A Hidden Life." She lives in New York City.

Author website:

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this as a good first book on the holocaust for younger children.
Johanna Reiss has in precise language and an authentic voice introduced complex characters and plots.
G. Sorin
I encourage all people espasically kids to read this book you will like it I liked it.
Justin jorgensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
In class I was assigned to read The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss. The story takes place during the Holocaust in the city of Usselo, Holland. The main character is Annie. She is a small girl with dark hair. She has two sisters and her mother gets very sick. I have also read the book Parallel Journeys by Eleanor Ayer, with quotes from Alfons Heck, a German soldier, and Helen Waterford, a Jew. Both Parallel Journeys and The Upstairs Room are about the Holocaust and what it was like to be a Jew. I feel that the message of The Upstiars Room was to treat all people equal. During the Holocaust, Hitler hated the Jews and was killing them. The Jews had to hide so that they would not be killed, but if they were found, they would be sent to work or extermination camps. Hitler established the Hitler Youth in which there were ranks. If you got to the top of the ranks, you would then be moved to the German army. I think The Upstairs Room is an excellent book. It was very exciting. It made me imagine myself as Annie. I think Johanna Reiss did a good job telling the story as Annie. I would recommend this book to girls from grades six and up because there was some language inappropriate for young childrenand some boys that read The Upstairs Room told me that it was a girl's book. I hope this book review helps you decide if you want to read The Upstairs Room.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Fos on April 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Upstairs Room is an excellent book about Jews hiding during WWII. The main character is Annie de Leeuw. She was a nine-year-old Jewish girl living in Holland. Slowly Annie and her family were forced to quit school and their jobs. The loss of freedom destroyed Annie's spirit. She longed to be able to see her friends and play outside. The de Leeuw's decided to hide when they realized the Nazi's would be taking them to concentration camps. The entire family could not hide in the same location, so they split up. Annie's mother was ill, so she remained in a hospital. Annie and her sister, Sini, hid upstairs in the Oosterveld's farmhouse. Her father and sister, Raquel, stayed with a retired minister. Annie and Sini were cramped in a very small space, which was incredibly cold in the winter. The girls often spent many days in bed to keep warm. Annie was often forced to walk back and forth across the room to strengthen her legs because they began to grow irregularly. The girls had to hide in a closet for days on end when Nazi soldiers used the Oosterveld's house as an office. The Oosterveld's took excellent care of Annie and Sini and became quite attached. The entire time spent in the room was stressful and depressing for the girls. They were only allowed to go outside a few times during the their time in hiding. Annie and her family hid for two years before they could return to their home. The sacrifice the Oosterveld's made to save the girls is incredibly moving. The strength and perseverance Annie and Sini possess will inspire readers for years to come.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is about 2 girls, Annie and Sini de Leeuw. Because they are Jewish and live in Holland they have to go into hiding from the Germans during World War II. If they don't they will be taken to a concentration camp and be killed.
Both of the girls leave their parents and older sister to go to safety with the Hannicks. Mr Hannick is known for helping Jews get to different home to hide in. When someone sees Mr Hannick helping a Jewish family to another home, it becomes unsafe for the girls so they have to go somewhere else.
They end up going to the Oosterveld's. The girls end up living in an upstairs room of the farmhouse. During the day they must quietly stay upstairs in their room and never go near the windows. In the evening, after dinner,the girls come down to listen to the radio.
Mr.Oosterveld's makes a special hiding place so if the soldiers come to check the house the girls won't be caught. Do the soldiers come? Do they get caught? What happens to Sini , Annie and the Oosterveld's? Do Annie and Sini ever get to see their parents and sister again? You must read the book to see for yourself what the answers are.
. So many exciting things happen throughout the book that I couldn't put it down and I bet you won't either. It's not another boring war book. It's hard to believe that it is based on fact. I can't wait to read the sequel - The Journey Back...........This book is a five star read
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was fabulous! It's definately one of the best Holocaust books out there. It has great character development and a very suspenseful plot. Also the first person perspective tells the story in a whole new way. The book is about a Jewish family, the deLeeuws, from holland, who tries to go into hiding. While the germans are throwing people out of their homes, Annie who is six and her older sister Sini hide. at the same time their mother is terribly sick and their other sister Rachel stays to take care of her. Later in the book Annie and Sini hide in the Oostervelds, a simple Gentile farming family. the story unfolds into a wonderful relationship between the deLeeuws and the Oostervelds. this book is a must! Read it and learn what some people will do to save a life. I couldent put it down and i'm sure you wont either.
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