It is wartime in German-occupied Poland. A mother hides with her five-year-old daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.
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. When the daisies grow abundant, the bird weaves a garland for the girl to wear on her head like a princess--though no one can see. She must hide from everyone in the village: soldiers, the farmhouse boys, the neighbors too. The lady with squinty eyes and blocky shoes just dragged a boy down the street and returned, proud and straight-backed, cradling a sack of sugar like a baby.
After the Jews in their town are rounded up, R za and her daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer's barn. Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses inside her. To pass the time, R za tells Shira a story: There is a little girl who, with the help of her yellow bird, tends an enchanted garden. The garden must be kept completely silent--only the bird can sing the girl's musical compositions--and together the girl and her bird avert many threats. Thus R za manages to soothe Shira and shield her from the horrors around them. But then the day comes when their haven is no longer safe and R za must face an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side, or give her the chance to survive apart.
The Yellow Bird Sings is a beautiful, heartrending novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter, and the triumph of hope in even the darkest of times.
Praise for The Yellow Bird Sings:
"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 bestselling 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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and Before and After
About the Author
Jennifer Rosner is the author of If A Tree Falls: A Family's Quest to Hear and Be Heard, a memoir about raising her deaf daughters in a hearing, speaking world. Her children's book, The Mitten String, is a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable. Jennifer's writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Forward, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in western Massachusetts with her family. The Yellow Bird Sings is her debut novel and is being published around the world.