The Night War (Hardcover)

The Night War By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Cover Image

The Night War (Hardcover)

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May/June 2024 Kids Indie Next List


“The story of a Jewish girl living in Pletzl in Paris. A suspenseful adventure that makes one imagine what life must have been like for the Jewish people who lived similar nightmares. We must know these stories in order to keep from making horrendous choices in the future.”
— Alicia Gregov, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

From the two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The War That Saved My Life and Fighting Words comes a middle grade novel set at the border between freedom and fear in World War II France, at the Chateau de Chenonceau, where a Jewish girl who has lost everything but her life must decide whether to risk even that to bring others to freedom.

“We don’t choose how we feel, but we choose how we act.”

It’s 1942. German Nazis occupy much of France. And twelve-year-old Miriam, who is Jewish, is not safe. With help and quick thinking, Miri is saved from the roundup that takes her entire Jewish neighborhood. She escapes Paris, landing in a small French village, where the spires of the famous Chateau de Chenonceau rise high into the sky, its bridge across the River Cher like a promise, a fairy tale. 

But Miri’s life is no fairy tale. Her parents are gone—maybe alive, maybe not. Taken in at the boarding school near the chateau, pretending to be Catholic to escape Nazi capture, Miri volunteers one night to undertake a deadly task, one that spans the castle grounds, its bridge, and the very border to freedom. Here is her chance to escape—hopefully to find her parents. But will she take it? One thing is certain: The person Miri meets that night will save her life. And the person Miri becomes that night could save the lives of many more.

In her return to the era of The War that Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley brings a new and different story, one with a mystical twist, that explores a little-known slice of World War II history, a highly unusual friendship, and the power of choosing courage even when—especially when—there are no good choices to be had.

* Map and detailed author's note included. *

“Compelling [with] a hint of magic [that] becomes as satisfying as the whole of this fine novel.”Booklist
"Historical fiction at its finest. [A] masterpiece . . . Readers will be wholeheartedly rewarded." SLJ (starred review)
"Poignant . . . A gripping, humane tale." —Kirkus (starred review)
"A thrilling plot [and] thought-provoking read." Common Sense Media (a Common Sense Selection)
"Fast-paced, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching. . . . Highly recommended." Historical Novel Society
"A deeply sympathetic character facing increasingly dangerous and suspenseful circumstances.” —PW
“Engaging [and] imaginative [with] emotional weight and contemporary appeal.” The Horn Book
"A must-read." —YA and Kids Books Central
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (she/her) is the author of Newbery Honor winners Fighting Words and The War that Saved My Life. The sequel to the latter, The War I Finally Won, appeared on many state-award and best-books lists and was described as “stunning” by The Washington Post and “honest” and “daring” by The New York Times. Kimberly and her husband have two grown children and live with their dog, several po­nies, a highly opinionated mare, and a surplus of cats on a fifty-two acre farm in Bristol, Tennessee.
Product Details ISBN: 9780735228566
ISBN-10: 0735228566
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: April 9th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English
*An Indie Next Pick*

"Historical fiction at its finest. Two-time Newbery honoree Bradley is at her best here; this is a novel that brings layers of the past to life [and showcases] the author’s expertise as a gifted storyteller. [Her] latest masterpiece features a determined and daring heroine . . . Readers will be wholeheartedly rewarded." —School Library Journal (starred review)

"This poignant story moves quickly but takes care to consider with sensitivity the excruciating choices Miri must make at every turn as she’s torn between choosing safety and honoring her heritage and her convictions. A gripping, humane tale that examines what war demands of children and what it costs them." —Kirkus (starred review)

“Bradley has crafted a compelling historical novel told in Miri’s apposite first-person voice. The book has a hint of magic that . . . becomes as satisfying as the whole of this fine novel.”Booklist

"Grief, loss, courage, and choosing the best thing to do, even in dire situations, are important themes [in The Night War]. So is the ability to change your mind when you get better information. Part Holocaust-era thriller, part ghost story, part historical adventure, . . . Kimberly Brubaker Bradley packs a lot of peril, courage, history, and nuance into her tale of a Jewish tween fleeing Nazis . . . The Night War combines a thrilling plot with a lot of ethical issues . . . An exciting, thought-provoking read that celebrates doing the right thing [and] accepting that maybe you're wrong sometimes." Common Sense Media (a Common Sense Selection)

"Fast-paced, suspenseful, and heart-wrenching. [Miri's] emotions are believable, admirable, and valiant. A fantastical element may catch some readers by surprise, but Bradley places hints along the way that may tip off those who read closely. The secondary characters are fully formed and give younger readers of this period hope that people are capable of seeing the errors of their ways. An extensive author’s note expands on elements of historical events. Highly recommended." Historical Novel Society

“Engaging [and] imaginative . . . Miri’s vulnerability and sense of responsibility give [the story] emotional weight and contemporary appeal.” —The Horn Book

“Poses thoughtful questions about religious divides and parallels through the experiences of 12-year-old Miriam Schreiber, a German Jew [in 1942 France.] Miri’s highly credible emotions and actions make for a deeply sympathetic character facing increasingly dangerous and suspenseful circumstances.” —Publishers Weekly

"Miri is strong, courageous, and very determined . . . [This is a] must-read, [and] timely with its message that there is no place . . . in this world for racism at all." —YA and Kids Books Central

"A heroic main character with an emotionally compelling story. Its significance cannot be overstated, as we need this important book now more than ever." —Imagination Soup (starred review and Book of the Month)