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Publisher's Summary

This program includes an exclusive author's note read by the author.

In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.

Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope - a whispered story, a bird’s song - in even the darkest of times.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

Praise for The Yellow Bird Sings:

"Rosner’s exquisite, heart-rending debut novel is proof that there’s always going to be room for another story about World War II.... This is an absolutely beautiful and necessary novel, full of heartbreak but also hope, about the bond between mother and daughter, and the sacrifices made for love." (New York Times Book Review)

Room meets Schindler’s List in The Yellow Bird Sings, a beautifully written tale of mothers and daughters, war and love, the music of the living and the silence of the dead. Jennifer Rosner is a writer to watch." (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network)

"The Yellow Bird Sings is a beautiful book in so many ways. Like Shira’s imaginary bird, Jennifer Rosner’s prose is lilting and musical, yet her tale of war’s grave personal reality is gripping, heartrending, and so very real." (Lisa Wingate, number one New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours and Before and After)

©2020 Jennifer Rosner (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Memoirist and award-winning children's author Rosner challenges the Holocaust with a touch of magic (the yellow bird appears throughout), clarifying a dangerous time and place even as she offers a vibrant, affecting portrait of the mother-daughter relationship." (Library Journal starred review)

What listeners say about The Yellow Bird Sings

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An excellent Book

A Mother's love, sacrifice, and years of pain to protect her child; a child lost-lost child longing for a mother, both tethered together with their memories and 'strings'

3 people found this helpful

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The Yellow Bird Sings

I could not stop listening. A powerful story of love and survival. Also of a mother’s love of her child and the lengths she would go to protect her.

3 people found this helpful

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Emotional story

Emotional story of a mother and daughter desperately trying to survive dire circumstances in Poland during WWII. My heart went out to both as they experienced unimaginable and life-changing events. Jennifer Rosner's novel captured my heart.

3 people found this helpful

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The will to Survive

I love this book. It still haunts me. A story of a mother’s love, courage, determination and shear will. And of the little girl brimming with music inside her that is her connection to the world outside her own.

2 people found this helpful

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Bravo!

What an incredible journey and experience. In Hungary, my great grandfather was a Gypsy who played in his own musical band, proud of his Jewish heritage. He came to America to pursue his dreams as a musician. Sadly, he died years before I was born driving off a bridge, due to harsh winter weather, just down the road where I married, raised my boys and had my residence in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania. He was buried in a small cemetery just blocks from my house and I never knew this until my grandmother took me there when I was in my 30s. It truly is a very small world. I wish that I could have met him. Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful story.

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musical

elegantly written. so poignant. the story flows with the music. But one wonders wh a Brittish reader was chosen.

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Amazing

I enjoyed the authors ability to paint a world of music, heartache, and love.

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gripping

sad yet powerful story that can be told by too many survivors, now leaving us

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As a person who studied and played piano and sang in choral groups, I particularly enjoyed the value of music and understood it

As a perso who had studied piano and sang in several different choruses, I appreciated its importance for human survival.

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Exceptional!

Beautiful tale, beautifully written.
Exquisite performance by Anna Koval.
Thank you, Jennifer! Thank you,
Anna!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-20

gripping and moving

incredible read ...truly gripping ..could not leave the it from beginning to end . .