The Upstairs Room by Johanna ReissThe Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

The Upstairs Room

byJohanna Reiss

Paperback | October 30, 1990

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Newbery Honor Book • ALA Notable Book • An SLJ Best Book • A Jane Addams Award Honor Book • Winner of the Jewish Book Council Children’s Book Award

A classic WWII survivor story based on award-winning author Johanna Reiss’s own childhood during the Holocaust.

When the German army occupied Holland in 1940, Annie was only eight years old. Because she was Jewish, the occupation put her in grave danger. Most people thought the war wouldn’t last long, but Annie knew that if she wanted to stay alive, she would have to go into hiding.

Fortunately, a Gentile family, the Oostervelds, offered refuge to Annie and her older sister, Sini. For two years they hid in the cramped upstairs room of the Oostervelds’s remote farmhouse. There, Annie and Sini would struggle to hold on to hope—separated from their family and confined to one tiny room—as a frightful and seemingly endless war raged on outside their window.

This classic autobiographical novel is a strong choice for classroom sharing and independent reading.

Johanna Reiss was born and brought up in Holland. After she was graduated from college, she taught elementary school for several years before coming to the United States to live. Her first book for children, The Upstairs Room, was a Newbery Honor Book, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book, and a Jane Addams Peace Ass...
Title:The Upstairs RoomFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.62 × 5.12 × 0.42 inPublished:October 30, 1990Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006440370X

ISBN - 13:9780064403702

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I have ever read I read this book for the first time when I was in grade four. I was in love with it back then and at nineteen I still love this book. It is expertly written for all ages.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful I would recommend reading this book as an introduction to the Holocaust, for Grades 4-7. On the outset, the reader learns that the child who went through World War II survived - she is the one who wrote the book. Johanna Reiss does a fabulous job of showing how she ages throughout the book, with differing sentence structure and word choice. And the last sentence of the book - so powerful, so moving, and worth 5 stars alone. I first read this book in Grade 7 as an assignment, and many years later I bought it to read to my children - and I never forgot the last sentence.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I read this Book about 2 years ago for a school project about world war 2. I dont usually read books about WW2 but this book just blew me away. I recommend this book to anyone. ( teens and adults) For this price why not take the risk and try it!!! I dont think you will be dissapointed.enjoy ur book =)
Date published: 2008-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Inspiring Book There are some things you just can't help remembering about, things that stay stuck in the back of your mind forever. There are some things that for some strange reason, have a profound influence on you. Reading "The Upstairs Room", a book written by Johanna Reiss, had that effect on me. The reason why it moved me so much is because I really felt close to the character. I felt as though I was with her every step of the way during all her difficult times. The way she described her fear made me want to reach out to her and bring her somewhere safe. I've read a number of books about World War II but this one captivated me the most. The true story of a little girl, hiding for her life, separated from her parents, while managing to maintain courage and faith during her horrible struggle effected me in ways I could not describe. I am pretty sure it changed my life, because it made me appreciate my family so much more. I think this is a book every adolescent should read. I've noticed several times that many of my friends don't even know what the Holocaust was and it shocks me. "The Upstairs Room" taught me that there is more in life than wealth and power. Things like freedom and safety seem so usual to us, but they are very precious. The story of that little girl will live on inside me forever.
Date published: 2001-03-01

From Our Editors

Imagine having to hide out for two years, away from your family, unsure of what's to come. As a 10-year-old Jewish girl living in Winterswijk, Holland, Johanna Reiss did not imagine it. During the Second World War she, along with her sister Sini, lived through it. Separated from their mother, father and older sister Rachel, the sisters hid in a farmhouse, unaware of what was going on around them. The Upstairs Room is a touching story of strength, spirit and courage. The face of war has never looked so innocent.

Editorial Reviews

“Reiss writes a stirring, fictionalized account of her own experiences as a Jewish girl during World War II.”