Review: 'The Yellow Bird Sings,' by Jennifer Rosner

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"The Yellow Bird Sings" by Jennifer Rosner; Flatiron Books (304 pages, $25.99). - Macmillan Publishers/TNS/TNS

“The Yellow Bird Sings” by Jennifer Rosner; Flatiron Books (304 pages, $25.99)


Like Alice Hoffman’s recent “The World That We Knew” but better, Jennifer Rosner’s novel is the time-jumping story of a girl who survives the Holocaust by becoming one of thousands of “hidden children.” Jewish youngsters who avoided concentration camps either by hiding from the Nazis or by pretending not to be Jewish, they are represented in “Yellow Bird” by Shira, who lives in a hayloft with her mother until they are separated and Shira is sent to a convent. Shira means “poem” in Hebrew and Rosner fills “Yellow Bird” with spare, poetic language that describes how mother and daughter use music to fuel their spirit, how an imaginary bird keeps the child’s hope alive and how sacrifice can lead to both heartache and redemption.


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