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A Night Divided

by Jennifer A. Nielsen


Scholastic Inc.
May 2018


Fiction
Ages 8 – 12 . Grades 3 – 7

Lexile measure: 810L

DRA: 60

Guided Reading: Y

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A Night Divided joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Gerta concludes that her father wants her and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?
Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer A. Nielsen is the acclaimed author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Series: The False Prince, The Runaway King, The Shadow Throne, and The Captive Kingdom, coming in Fall 2020. She also wrote the New York Times bestselling Mark of the Thief trilogy: Mark of the Thief, Rise of the Wolf, and Wrath of the Storm; the stand-alone fantasy The Scourge; the historical thrillers A Night Divided, Resistance, and Words on Fire; the second book in the Horizon series, Deadzone; Book Six of the Infinity Ring series, Behind Enemy Lines; and The Traitor's Game series: The Traitor's Game, The Deceiver's Heart, and The Warrior's Curse. Jennifer lives in northern Utah with her husband, their children, and a perpetually muddy dog.

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--- - ! "From A NIGHT DIVIDED

It was still very early in the morning, and large bulldozers could be heard, already tearing down homes or hundred-year-old trees that were in the way of the fence. Along with most of the people in my neighborhood, I stood on the road, facing the guns that faced us. Mama held one of my hands and Fritz held the other. No one around me cried, and not even the strongest men fought back.

Why didn't we? I looked around, waiting for someone to rush at the officers in a cry for freedom. Then others would join in and fight until we overpowered the guards and showed them we refused to be held in here like criminals.

Or until enough of us were shot. The guards looked prepared to do that, if necessary.

Probably everyone here already understood that, because like me, they only stood and watched. Maybe we were all too empty for tears, and too horrified for words. \t

When I asked Fritz when Papa and Dominic would be able to come home, he only knelt beside me and shook his head. Quietly, he whispered, \"Papa was a part of the resistance, Gerta, or they think he was. As long as that fence is up, they will never let him come home, and he won't send Dominic back to this place. But don't worry, I'm sure it can't last long.\"

The people around me had already given a name to this day: Barbed Wire Sunday. The day that divided a city, and eventually a country. Worst of all, the day that divided my family.

The sun warmed my back as it slowly rose in the east, and I shivered against it. This early morning light had not ended the long, dark night. No.

For us, the dark night had only begun."