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Resistance

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Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels betwee Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto. Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live — or die — with honor.


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Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels betwee Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto. Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live — or die — with honor.

30 review for Resistance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shoshana

    Holy. Crap. This book completely took my breath away. It may be Nielsen's best, and I'm someone who swears by "The False Prince." An incredible look at the work of Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust, "Resistance" pulls no punches - there is no sugar-coating of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and the atmosphere of terror, suspicion, and desperation. And yet, this book is filled with hope, and pride, friendship and love. It's honestly incredible that a story featuring such a da Holy. Crap. This book completely took my breath away. It may be Nielsen's best, and I'm someone who swears by "The False Prince." An incredible look at the work of Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust, "Resistance" pulls no punches - there is no sugar-coating of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and the atmosphere of terror, suspicion, and desperation. And yet, this book is filled with hope, and pride, friendship and love. It's honestly incredible that a story featuring such a dark time has so much care and feeling. And, my favorite, Nielsen manages to capture the pride and connectedness of the Jewish people. Chaya is fueled by the idea of saving as many of her people as she can. Others cling to their faith, finding solace in that and their people in the face of inhumane savagery. This book is a genuine gem, and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves, and makes its way into curriculums and classrooms.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hanna

    taking it off my "currently reading" list because I can't connect to the MC and ain't nobody got time for that in 2019. it's not a bad book but I can't connect. taking it off my "currently reading" list because I can't connect to the MC and ain't nobody got time for that in 2019. it's not a bad book but I can't connect.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Fascinating book about couriers- Jewish youth who looked "Aryan" enough to smuggle things into and out of the ghettos- and the Warsaw ghetto uprising. It took me a bit to get into this book, I really didn't have a sense for who Chaya was until the book was well underway. But when it got going, it was very intense and heartbreaking. Fascinating book about couriers- Jewish youth who looked "Aryan" enough to smuggle things into and out of the ghettos- and the Warsaw ghetto uprising. It took me a bit to get into this book, I really didn't have a sense for who Chaya was until the book was well underway. But when it got going, it was very intense and heartbreaking.

  4. 5 out of 5

    R.F. Gammon

    NIELSEN STRIKES AGAIN AND I AM BEING HONEST HERE. You all know I'm a little bit disappointed with the way that The Traitor's Game wrapped up. I admit, I still have some beef with that. But this book. THIS BOOK. This one came first, so it can't really Make Amends considering it dates before TWC, but...it sort of makes amends. Chaya is probably the least interesting protagonist I've read about in a long time. That's the biggest downside to this book and I want to start off with it. If you're looking NIELSEN STRIKES AGAIN AND I AM BEING HONEST HERE. You all know I'm a little bit disappointed with the way that The Traitor's Game wrapped up. I admit, I still have some beef with that. But this book. THIS BOOK. This one came first, so it can't really Make Amends considering it dates before TWC, but...it sort of makes amends. Chaya is probably the least interesting protagonist I've read about in a long time. That's the biggest downside to this book and I want to start off with it. If you're looking for Nielsen's trademark sarcastic, plucky, hand-to-mouth, me-against-the-world protagonists, this is not the place you'll find one. Chaya is not Audra or Gerda (plz tell me that name is right) or Kestra or Simon or Jaron or Nic. I wished there was more about her from the get-go. However, I do think that in the end, it was a purposeful choice to not give her too much of a personality. Chaya is a blank slate because she is there to represent dozens, hundreds of other resistance fighters who really lived. She has the backstory of a thousand others and the front-facing goals anyone could have had within those bunkers. Because we are seeing the story through her eyes, and therefore, through those of the real people who did the things she did. And while it makes the story a little weaker, it's a brilliant choice on Nielsen's part, when given the thought it deserves. With a flat protagonist, the side characters really get to shine. The minor ones, the real ones who say the real lines quoted in the epilogue, are firecrackers. And I'd be amiss not to mention Esther, the shy, terrified fighter who has so much more to her than anyone thinks. The plot is nothing we haven't seen before from a WWII book, but it gives a new perspective: the Jews of Poland who were willing to take up arms to protect themselves and their people. This was a real event. This story consists of a million smaller stories pieced together. And that's what makes it beautiful. I cried at the end. This book made me truly teary. It may not be the pinnacle of storytelling, but it has so much strength and courage in the face of impossible odds. So yes, I recommend this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    m a r y l i z

    Wow. I did not expect this level of feels. Review to come? :P 4 stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mikayla

    I was very excited to be the first to get this from my library only a few days after it released. I love the point of view this book took. I loved zooming into the eyes of Chaya, seeing how hard it would be to watch her world crumbling out from beneath her. The loneliness that was portrayed was so deep rooted I felt it for the characters. I rooted for them all and was hit by the realistic flow of relationships. I was on the edge of my seat through the last part and feared for all the characters I was very excited to be the first to get this from my library only a few days after it released. I love the point of view this book took. I loved zooming into the eyes of Chaya, seeing how hard it would be to watch her world crumbling out from beneath her. The loneliness that was portrayed was so deep rooted I felt it for the characters. I rooted for them all and was hit by the realistic flow of relationships. I was on the edge of my seat through the last part and feared for all the characters lives. The only thing that I didn't like was Chaya's rather apathetic view on her beliefs. She is standing for the Jews, but she doesn't really care about her faith. I was expecting this from a secular author, but it was still sad to watch her just brush off everything with a "God will understand." That conclusion was bittersweet but really good. Overall, a very good book, but a little weak in her faith.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Iden

    In many ways, this book was awesome. Jewish resistance fighters! Kids! Accurate descriptions of how little help the Allied forces were when atrocities were being committed against Jews and they described zero Jewish refugees as "too many!" But something felt off to me. Maybe it's because I was raised Jewish, but I didn't find this book particularly Jewish. The mentions of the Shema seemed like they were written by an outsider (perhaps because I've only heard it as the Shema and not the Shema Yisr In many ways, this book was awesome. Jewish resistance fighters! Kids! Accurate descriptions of how little help the Allied forces were when atrocities were being committed against Jews and they described zero Jewish refugees as "too many!" But something felt off to me. Maybe it's because I was raised Jewish, but I didn't find this book particularly Jewish. The mentions of the Shema seemed like they were written by an outsider (perhaps because I've only heard it as the Shema and not the Shema Yisrael as Nielsen writes). The Shema is also almost always sung and, though the tune was in my head whenever I heard it mentioned, I don't know if Nielsen meant all of the iterations to be sung. The frequent mention of a meal as The Last Supper was cute, but an obviously Christian reference point. To use that term without any nod to the fact that Jews don't really care about the Last Supper felt like an oversight. It was also odd that Yiddish was mentioned often, but rarely if ever included. I will also admit: I'm scared that people will read this book and look down upon those who were killed without a fight. I have relatives who died at the hands of civilians during peak anti-Semitism in Europe. I'm sure I have relatives who died by Nazi hands. I'm happy to see a book with so many Jewish characters with agency, but I don't want to think of my ancestors as any less brave because they didn't become Akiva resistance fighters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Teresa “Teri”

    This book is a true gem! It is Young Adult Historical Fiction, with enough true events and people to have made it a eye-opening, learning experience for me. The main character, Chaya, is a teenage girl. However, the book doesn’t go the route of some that have the teenage angst and star-crossed lovers. (Of course, not that it makes those stories all bad!) This is a story about the courageous young people of a resistance group during WWII (Ghettos and the Holocaust of the Jewish people) I had never This book is a true gem! It is Young Adult Historical Fiction, with enough true events and people to have made it a eye-opening, learning experience for me. The main character, Chaya, is a teenage girl. However, the book doesn’t go the route of some that have the teenage angst and star-crossed lovers. (Of course, not that it makes those stories all bad!) This is a story about the courageous young people of a resistance group during WWII (Ghettos and the Holocaust of the Jewish people) I had never heard of called, Akiva. This novel is about this Jewish resistance group and the job of its couriers, among other things. I loved it and recommend it highly! Especially for high schools who still teach about the Holocaust (sadly, fewer and fewer here in the US all the time). If, when reading, you feel some of the action seems a bit far-fetched or over the top - be sure to read or listen to the explanations at the very end. I learned a lot!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    YA book following the life of Chaya Lindner, who following the disappearance of her younger siblings and inability to convince her parents to leave their the Tarnow ghetto, Chaya joins the Jewish Resistance. Using her blonde hair and fair complexion, she smuggles food, medical supplies and eventually guns into and babies out of various ghettos in Poland during the Nazi occupation. The highlights of the book are the inner turmoil faced by Jews and non-Jews during traumatic times and events, espec YA book following the life of Chaya Lindner, who following the disappearance of her younger siblings and inability to convince her parents to leave their the Tarnow ghetto, Chaya joins the Jewish Resistance. Using her blonde hair and fair complexion, she smuggles food, medical supplies and eventually guns into and babies out of various ghettos in Poland during the Nazi occupation. The highlights of the book are the inner turmoil faced by Jews and non-Jews during traumatic times and events, especially the failed Warsaw rebellion. Nielsen's afterword is also not to be missed. The reason for 3 stars is that I did not really care for Chaya, despite her bravery, or the other main characters, who kept appearing and disappearing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+ THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣ ⬥WWII ⬥YOUNG ADULT/MIDDLE-GRADE ⬥RESISTANCE FIGHTERS ⬥OCCUPIED POLAND STATS⇣ AUDIO PERFORMED BY⇢ Jesse Vilinsky BOOK COVER⇢ The cover is spectacular. SETTING⇢ Throughout Poland SOURCE⇢ Libby Audiobook (Library) AUDIOBOOK LENGTH⇢ 9 hours, 28 minutes MY THOUGHTS⇣ Billed as Middle-Grade Young Adult, this holds no punches when it comes to the atrocities inflicted on the Jewish people of Germany and Poland.  This book, in particular, revolves around the c MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+ THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣ ⬥WWII ⬥YOUNG ADULT/MIDDLE-GRADE ⬥RESISTANCE FIGHTERS ⬥OCCUPIED POLAND STATS⇣ AUDIO PERFORMED BY⇢ Jesse Vilinsky BOOK COVER⇢ The cover is spectacular. SETTING⇢ Throughout Poland SOURCE⇢ Libby Audiobook (Library) AUDIOBOOK LENGTH⇢ 9 hours, 28 minutes MY THOUGHTS⇣ Billed as Middle-Grade Young Adult, this holds no punches when it comes to the atrocities inflicted on the Jewish people of Germany and Poland.  This book, in particular, revolves around the country of Poland, more than Germany.  Featuring Chaya (the C is silent when it is pronounced) who I liked and didn't like at different intervals throughout.  Esther...or maybe her name was Hester...was kind of forgettable which is kind of obvious...because I'm not even sure what her name is. The story started out strong for me, I was really feeling it, but somewhere along the way it lost something, it felt bogged down, a little sluggish even...it could be just the subject matter itself, though.  Overall, it was a decent look at the resistance fighters in WWII and how difficult it was for them.  I'm glad I took the time to listen to it.  Jesse Vilinsky's narration was performed very well. BREAKDOWN⇣ Plot⇢ 3.8/5 Characters⇢ 3.7/5 The Feels⇢ 4/5 Pacing⇢ 3.8/5 Addictiveness⇢ 4.3/5 Theme or Tone⇢ 4.3/5 Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 4/5 Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 4.3/5 Originality⇢ 4/5 Ending⇢ 4/5

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    If you ask me, this book is so VERY lucky to get a 4.31 average. I hated this book for so many reasons, and I didn't even finish it- I didn't even get halfway through! To begin with, how about how boring it was? I found that the book was very slow and repetitive, but you can only write about World War II for so long. Secondly, Chaya was such a brat. She couldn't appreciate good help when it came to her. And those other weird teenagers that thought it was okay to die? How even did they make it into If you ask me, this book is so VERY lucky to get a 4.31 average. I hated this book for so many reasons, and I didn't even finish it- I didn't even get halfway through! To begin with, how about how boring it was? I found that the book was very slow and repetitive, but you can only write about World War II for so long. Secondly, Chaya was such a brat. She couldn't appreciate good help when it came to her. And those other weird teenagers that thought it was okay to die? How even did they make it into the book? Third, another reason I was SO bored with this book was because I was disappointed in it. Ms. Nielsen's other two books that I read- The False Prince and The Runaway King- were EXTREMELY amazing. I was hoping for the same review out of this one. Lastly, I hated how they pretended like Catholics were evil. I mean, she was EMBARASSED to have a crucfix around her neck? "Even though she went to Catholic mass, I hoped she would still be a Jew when she grew up." Honestly.... To conclude, I was very disappointed in Resistance and would not ever finish it. Those of you who were patient enough to read my entire review: Thank you so, so much and have a great day! :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hazel West

    Really loved this book. Jennifer A. Neilson is always a fantastic writer, and I think I love her historical fiction just as much as I do her fantasy. While I personally didn't connect with the characters in this quite as much as I have in some of her other books, I still really loved all of them, and was waiting of the edge of my seat to see if they would get out of the continuous peril. Not only did this book have likable characters, it was incredibly well-informed. Jennifer obviously did her r Really loved this book. Jennifer A. Neilson is always a fantastic writer, and I think I love her historical fiction just as much as I do her fantasy. While I personally didn't connect with the characters in this quite as much as I have in some of her other books, I still really loved all of them, and was waiting of the edge of my seat to see if they would get out of the continuous peril. Not only did this book have likable characters, it was incredibly well-informed. Jennifer obviously did her research unlike some authors, and the result is that the reader really felt like they were in Nazi occupied Poland, in the ghettos, fighting for freedom. And an added plus: no inaccurate propaganda and sentiment was added to this book. Overall, a really solid WWII novel that I would highly recommend. 4.5/5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Monika Awad

    OH. MY. GOD. WHYYYYYYYY, WHYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Okay, so this book is *SPECTACULAR* and *BREATHTAKING*. The ending shoooooook me. So first of all, the praise. This is a story that deserves attention because it's real events that deserves memorial. The characters were terrifically plotted out and carefully made. The plot, of course, was the highlight. I love that you can write beautiful historical fiction that is very accurate. Secondly, the criticism, I can't really think of anything right now but OH. MY. GOD. WHYYYYYYYY, WHYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Okay, so this book is *SPECTACULAR* and *BREATHTAKING*. The ending shoooooook me. So first of all, the praise. This is a story that deserves attention because it's real events that deserves memorial. The characters were terrifically plotted out and carefully made. The plot, of course, was the highlight. I love that you can write beautiful historical fiction that is very accurate. Secondly, the criticism, I can't really think of anything right now but until I do, your book is perfectly imperfect. Thank you for telling the stories of the brave heroes and about the Holocaust, with both sadness and hope-one balancing out the other-because its spot-on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Elyse

    What a powerful story of courage and bravery of the Jewish people during WWII. I loved learning about the true events that took place during WWII through this fictional story. I never knew about the couriers and what they risked for their people. I also didn't really know much about the resistance fighters within the ghettos. I thought this book did a great job at showing the Jews' courage as they suffered at the hands of the Germans and their own countrymen, yet risked their lives to help each What a powerful story of courage and bravery of the Jewish people during WWII. I loved learning about the true events that took place during WWII through this fictional story. I never knew about the couriers and what they risked for their people. I also didn't really know much about the resistance fighters within the ghettos. I thought this book did a great job at showing the Jews' courage as they suffered at the hands of the Germans and their own countrymen, yet risked their lives to help each other. Many of the Jews knew that their resistance movements wouldn't "win," but it wasn't about winning; the goal was resistance and standing up to the Nazis and showing the world that they wouldn't be silenced. Because of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Allies finally decided to stop turning a blind eye to what was happening to the Jews in Europe.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kiel

    Tried a few times to get into this. The writing just reads like voice-over narration from a bad screenplay. DNF

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Meyer

    For a book written for middle-schoolers, this was very well done. Chaya is a Jewish teenager in Poland during Word War II, but her fair looks allow her to pass for a Polish citizen. This gives her an opportunity to act as a courier, delivering messages and supplies to Jews in various ghettos. Nielsen does a fantastic job of showing the tragedies and horrors of war without being too graphic for her intended audience. I was also pleased that she centered this book around the resistance in Poland, For a book written for middle-schoolers, this was very well done. Chaya is a Jewish teenager in Poland during Word War II, but her fair looks allow her to pass for a Polish citizen. This gives her an opportunity to act as a courier, delivering messages and supplies to Jews in various ghettos. Nielsen does a fantastic job of showing the tragedies and horrors of war without being too graphic for her intended audience. I was also pleased that she centered this book around the resistance in Poland, and specifically young couriers. One of my frustrations with books about WWII is that many seem to tell the same story, just with different characters. But this book is unique in that it centers upon resistance fighters, culminating in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It’s a WWII story I’ve not seen before in historical fiction. The book is full of friendship and hope and unlikely heroes, and a book I’d recommend to young readers and adult readers alike.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    You'll find a plethora of WWII historical fictions on the shelf, but Resistance is a children's WWII historical fiction that all ages can enjoy. This quick read is action packed and inspiring. Chaya, the main character, is the type of character you want to read more; she is a strong girl willing to do hard things. If you add a well paced story and an excellent storyline to the mix you have a fantastic read. -Megan G. You'll find a plethora of WWII historical fictions on the shelf, but Resistance is a children's WWII historical fiction that all ages can enjoy. This quick read is action packed and inspiring. Chaya, the main character, is the type of character you want to read more; she is a strong girl willing to do hard things. If you add a well paced story and an excellent storyline to the mix you have a fantastic read. -Megan G.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا

    Bravery is enviable... imagination is just lies though. You want to make modern history right, start with seeing the truth. Bravery is enviable... imagination is just lies though. You want to make modern history right, start with seeing the truth.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rose

    I love Jennifer Nielsen and I loved this book!! Such a beautiful story of love, courage, and the importance of never giving up.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I enjoyed this a lot. It's not a take I've read in fiction before and because the main character's a courier, we really get to see the situation in different areas of Poland. I appreciated the emphasis on family and friendship over romance because these aren't exactly romantic situations. There is some mixed info on if this is MG or YA, so to clarify: the MC is 16. There's only the tiniest hints at a romance. There's a lot of violence and death and being brutally honest about situations. So....I I enjoyed this a lot. It's not a take I've read in fiction before and because the main character's a courier, we really get to see the situation in different areas of Poland. I appreciated the emphasis on family and friendship over romance because these aren't exactly romantic situations. There is some mixed info on if this is MG or YA, so to clarify: the MC is 16. There's only the tiniest hints at a romance. There's a lot of violence and death and being brutally honest about situations. So....I'd be careful about which pre-teens you'd hand this to.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus After Chaya's brother and sister fall victim to the Nazis in the Tarnow Ghetto in Poland in 1942, her parents resign themselves to their fate. Chaya, however, decides to go down fighting and joins a Resistance group called Akiva. This group is comprised of former leaders and children in a scouting group. At first, she is a courier, taking food and sometimes weapons into the ghetto. She is does not "look Jewish" with her fair hair, so it is somewhat easier for her to move E ARC from Edelweiss Plus After Chaya's brother and sister fall victim to the Nazis in the Tarnow Ghetto in Poland in 1942, her parents resign themselves to their fate. Chaya, however, decides to go down fighting and joins a Resistance group called Akiva. This group is comprised of former leaders and children in a scouting group. At first, she is a courier, taking food and sometimes weapons into the ghetto. She is does not "look Jewish" with her fair hair, so it is somewhat easier for her to move around with her forged papers claiming she is Helena Nowak. It is not so easy for Esther, a timid girl who joins the group. Eventually, realizing the that situation in Poland is getting worse and worse, the group starts to plan sabotage activities, including bombing a cafe. After that, Akiva sustains may casualties, and Chaya fears she is the only one left. She starts out on her own and eventually runs into Esther, who claims she is on a mission from a former Akiva leader to deliver items to the Lodz ghetto. Things are exceedingly grim when they get there, but the girls decide to travel on to Warsaw. Along the way, they find some of their former cohorts who are trying to get more Resistance members to help in whatever way they can. It is clear that the Resistance is not going to "win", but the hope is that the Nazis can be slowed down, and that some lives can be saved. Chaya and Esther eventually end up taking part in the particularly brutal fighting in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Chaya becomes badly injured, but still tries her best to do the right thing in the face of evil. Strengths: Nielsen is one of the best writers of fight scenes in middle grade literature today. They are my favorite thing, but many young readers like the excitement and adrenalin they provide. Nielsen has great attention to detail, with sights, sounds, and movement in these scenes. She doesn't neglect the more niggling, scrounging aspects of survival either, with details about clothing, food, and the desperate measures people were driven to to survive. There's a bit of philosophy thrown in from time to time (why just die when you could make a difference, if you know that death is inevitable?), as well as politics and history concerning the was as it affected Poland. Another fantastic book to have about World War II, and a nice mix of fighting (which has die-hard fans) and tie-ins with the Holocaust (required reading for my 8th graders). Weaknesses: This has a ton of information and detail. There were a couple of times when I had to stop and figure out what was going on, and I have read fairly widely about WWII. Because of this, Resistance isn't a great first book about the Holocaust to hand to readers who know nothing about it, but it will be popular with readers who have a decent background knowledge. What I really think: Definitely purchasing. Love the cover.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cornmaven

    Received an ARC of this at a conference. As an avid reader of WWII historical fiction, I appreciated this tale of Jewish Resistance fighters in Poland, with the main character Chaya moving through various city ghettos, culminating in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Within the story there is a lot of information about the evolution of the Final Solution, how difficult it was to mount any kind of resistance, and the bravery of anyone that did. What I could not get used to was Chaya's "voice". I found h Received an ARC of this at a conference. As an avid reader of WWII historical fiction, I appreciated this tale of Jewish Resistance fighters in Poland, with the main character Chaya moving through various city ghettos, culminating in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Within the story there is a lot of information about the evolution of the Final Solution, how difficult it was to mount any kind of resistance, and the bravery of anyone that did. What I could not get used to was Chaya's "voice". I found her way too wordy as she made her way through this horrific life. I could see it as a device to impart the facts about the Holocaust, as well as a teen girl's approach to it (she is still a teen after all). But for me it diluted the power of the story. There were a few exciting moments, but then I felt it would go to calm as Chaya worked her way through it. Maybe it's just me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This wasn't as enjoyable as the author's other historical fiction novel, A Night Divided, that I have read. I didn't like this main character. The story takes place during WWII. The events in the story are horrific, both real and imagined. There is a bit of a happy ending, but it is mostly left open. This wasn't as enjoyable as the author's other historical fiction novel, A Night Divided, that I have read. I didn't like this main character. The story takes place during WWII. The events in the story are horrific, both real and imagined. There is a bit of a happy ending, but it is mostly left open.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    Until the Nazis invaded Poland in 1938, Chaya Lindner had lived a relatively good life in Krakow with her parents, her younger brother, Yitzchak, and much younger sister Sarah. By 1940, the Nazis had placed so many restrictions on Jews living in Poland until finally they were all ordered to leave their homes and move into the Podgorze Ghetto, where they were forced to live four families to an apartment. But for Chaya, it meant being on the next Nazi train out of Poland. Instead, Chaya set off on Until the Nazis invaded Poland in 1938, Chaya Lindner had lived a relatively good life in Krakow with her parents, her younger brother, Yitzchak, and much younger sister Sarah. By 1940, the Nazis had placed so many restrictions on Jews living in Poland until finally they were all ordered to leave their homes and move into the Podgorze Ghetto, where they were forced to live four families to an apartment. But for Chaya, it meant being on the next Nazi train out of Poland. Instead, Chaya set off on a long journey, leaving Krakow to stay with her grandmother. After three days of wandering, Chaya passed a place with a familiar name. Shimshon and Gusta Draenger, who had been the leaders of her Jewish scout group, Akiva, live on a farm nearby. Chaya is invited to stay on the farm, helping out with the work, and learning more about what was happening to the Jews in Poland until one day, a man name Dolek brings her bad news from the Podgorze Ghetto - 8-year-old had been sent to Belzec, a death camp, and Yitzchak, 12, has disappeared. Chaya's Akiva group on the farm decide it's time to take decisive action to resist the Nazis however they can. And because Chaya can pass for Polish with her long blond, light complexion and her ability to speak fluent Polish, she immediately volunteers to be a courier for the Jewish resistance. With false identity papers, Chaya becomes Helena Nowak, a Polish Catholic who can now pass into and out of the ghettos, smuggling food and medical supplies to the people in desperate need there, goods obtained through raids of German supplies that Chaya also participates in. But when Chaya is paired with the inexperienced Esther Karolinski, she is less than happy. Esther brings her own baggage to the resistance - her father is a hated Judenrat in the Warsaw Ghetto who has had to make lists of names for deportation. At first, Chaya feels that Esther is a liability to her own resistance work, but as time goes by and they work together, going from ghetto to ghetto, Esther feels more like a partner than a problem. And she proves herself to be especially helpful once she and Chaya find themselves inside the Warsaw Ghetto as the Jewish resistance begins to prepare for their uprising there. Resistance is an engaging novel, action-packed but not gratuitously so. Motivated by the death of her sister and disappearance of her brother, the book's purpose is to highlight the courageous life of teenage Chaya, and the dangers she faced on a daily basis, knowing that capture would mean torture and death for her by the Nazis. But it is also a testament to faith in God - something the Nazis have successfully caused her to question: "What good is faith if you're dead?" (pg 139) So Chaya fight is on two fronts - physical and spiritual. Chaya is a well-drawn character, with all the mixed emotions - anger, compassion, and ideology - you would expect from a teen living under Nazi threat. No one else is given her depth, although Esther comes close. And, like others who have read this book, I would have liked to know more about Esther. Though Resistance is a Holocaust story, it takes place away from the Nazi death camps, and is set in several of the ghettos the Nazis forced Jews to live in. Nielsen has not shied away from the horrors of those ghettos, of people dying of starvation, Nazi cruelty, and the horrendous living conditions. Nor does she ignore the Jews who volunteered to be part of a ghettos Judenrat, as Esther's father was, and who become almost a cruel as the Nazis thinking it will save them and their families. This is a very realistic novel, but Chaya's story is also a compelling one. And although Chaya's story is fiction, there is much that is based in reality in this book. Nielsen breaks it all down in her Afterword, which I highly recommend reading. This book is recommended for readers age 10+ This book was an ARC received from the publisher, Scholastic Press

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Resistance is set in WWII era Poland and follows a teenage girl named Chaya Lindner. Chaya is Jewish, but her blonde hair allows her to pass as a Polish girl. She uses this ability to join a Jewish resistance movement and works to smuggle various items in and out of the ghetto in Krakow. Although she is young, she learns her job quickly and becomes quite successful at it. She is passionate about fighting back against the Nazis, even though she knows she is facing insurmountable odds. After a part Resistance is set in WWII era Poland and follows a teenage girl named Chaya Lindner. Chaya is Jewish, but her blonde hair allows her to pass as a Polish girl. She uses this ability to join a Jewish resistance movement and works to smuggle various items in and out of the ghetto in Krakow. Although she is young, she learns her job quickly and becomes quite successful at it. She is passionate about fighting back against the Nazis, even though she knows she is facing insurmountable odds. After a particularly dangerous mission ends in disaster for her cell, Chaya finds herself on the run and without a clear direction to head in. After a few days of hiding in a safe house, she is able to reunite with a member of her former cell, another teen girl named Esther. Esther explains that she has been given a new mission - she has to deliver an important item to a resistance cell in Krakow and she needs Chaya to help her. Willing to do anything to support her people, Chaya immediately agrees and the pair set off on a dangerous quest to stand up against an impossible enemy. Resistance is a middle grades historical fiction novel, and it is clear that Nielsen did her research when writing it. There is a lot of factual information woven into the plot and young readers will probably learn quite a bit about the Holocaust from it. I have read several pieces of fiction and nonfiction about this era over the years, and even I was still able to learn a few new things in its pages. At the end of the novel, there is a short section containing factual information about some of the Jewish resistance fighters that inspired the characters in the book. Nielsen explains that she used real names and quotes for several of the resistance leaders shown throughout the text, and that her overall goal with this novel was to highlight the brave contributions these people made to help their people. In this effort, she was definitely successful; the novel does a nice job of informing readers about Jewish resistance movements during WWII and emphasizes their difficult and heroic fight against the Nazis. Another area Nielsen was successful in was her action sequences. There are several battle scenes throughout the book, and each one feels suspenseful and dangerous. It's easy to cheer along Chaya while reading as she lobs Molotov cocktails at German tanks and takes down Nazi soldiers from a sniper's nest. The action doesn't let up from page one, and most of the final section of the novel focuses on a massive battle within the Warsaw ghetto that was extremely intense. While not overly graphic, Nielsen doesn't shy away from telling the truth about what fighting in a war is like. People starve, get sick, get tortured, get shot, and die in this novel. Young readers will definitely appreciate the breakneck pace and realistic depiction of violence here. One issue I frequently see when trying to use historical fiction in the classroom is that students tend to get bored quickly with it. I do not think that will be an issue with Resistance. However, the strengths that will make this novel attractive to young readers are also the weaknesses that prevent it from having crossover appeal for older readers. The amount of historical information directly narrated by Chaya frequently feels clunky; some passages feel more like a lecture or a paragraph from a textbook than a fictional story. I suspect Chaya and her friends knew much more accurate and detailed information about German military strategy than real resistance fighters would have had at the time. Also, the perspectives offered by the characters often contain thoughts that are too accurate and sophisticated for a teenage character to come up with on their own. It's not realistic for a young girl who was just rescued from Nazi torture to calmly explain that, "The Nazis murder us many times over. They take our ability to worship properly - a spiritual death. They separate our families - another death there. They kill our dignity, our will to live, and finally they take our lives." Similarly, it's improbable for a teenage character in the middle of a battle to say that, "There is nothing more they can take from us, but today, we have taken their superiority, and their belief in our submissiveness. No matter how this ends, history will recognize today for its greatness." These statements sound like an adult writing about a historical event, with the benefits of research and historical perspective to inform their storytelling. I do not think that younger readers would even notice these issues, but it definitely took me out of the story from time to time. It didn't feel natural. The nonstop action also has a negative effect for older readers, because it comes at the expense of character development. Chaya and her friends move from one encounter to the next throughout the text, with very few quiet moments for readers to make a connection with them or to watch them grow. There wasn't enough of a clear story for me in Resistance. Instead, there were a series of dangerous encounters to watch the characters get through. I could never really tell where the plot was going from one chapter to the next and I never felt especially invested in any of the characters. It is clear that Nielsen's priority here was to teach about the Jewish resistance during WWII. It was not to create an original story about a character who was a Jewish resistance fighter. That's fine, but I couldn't help wanting more out of this novel. When I think back to books like The Book Thief, Between Shades of Gray, or Code Name Verity, which managed to both teach readers about WWII and tell extremely emotional, original stories, I can't help but think that Resistance fell a bit short of what is possible in historical fiction for young people. I think what Nielsen has done in this novel is valuable and important for her intended readers. She was successful at creating an informative and action-packed story that kids won't be able to put down. Children will learn more about the Holocaust from reading this. That's a wonderful thing. For me, however, Resistance fell short. The story was thin and the characters weren't deep enough for me. I very much appreciate Nielsen's efforts to inform readers about a lesser-known part of WWII, and I can definitely see myself recommending this novel to my students in the future. Personally though, It's not one that I will be picking up again. Cross-posted from my blog: quietandbusy.blogspot.com

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This is a hard book to rate. I loved Chaya and felt her rallying heroism. It was a hard book, intense and dark and necessary. Amongst all the brutality, death, hatred, annihilation and horror of the holocaust, there is hope in the actions of those who resisted. While there were far too few willing to sacrifice to help, I hope I will remember this story and be one of those willing to step up. I hope as a world, we will never forget. I love this quote from Zuckerman, one of the uprising leaders: “ This is a hard book to rate. I loved Chaya and felt her rallying heroism. It was a hard book, intense and dark and necessary. Amongst all the brutality, death, hatred, annihilation and horror of the holocaust, there is hope in the actions of those who resisted. While there were far too few willing to sacrifice to help, I hope I will remember this story and be one of those willing to step up. I hope as a world, we will never forget. I love this quote from Zuckerman, one of the uprising leaders: “I don't think there's any real need to analyze the Uprising in military terms. This was a war of less than a thousand people against a mighty army and no one doubted how it was likely to turn out. This isn't a subject for study in military school. (...) If there's a school to study the human spirit, there it should be a major subject. The important things were inherent in the force shown by Jewish youth after years of degradation, to rise up against their destroyers, and determine what death they would choose: Treblinka or Uprising.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Jennifer Nielsen in one of my favorite authors and she's proved her skill once again. Both her fantasy novels and her historical fiction have provided me with hours of great reading. This book is the story of a young Polish Jewish girl who joins the resistance when she's forced to leave her family. At first the Jewish Resistance's work revolves around saving their people. But eventually they turn to fighting the Nazis through sabotage and theft. But when things go wrong, Chaya ends up on her own Jennifer Nielsen in one of my favorite authors and she's proved her skill once again. Both her fantasy novels and her historical fiction have provided me with hours of great reading. This book is the story of a young Polish Jewish girl who joins the resistance when she's forced to leave her family. At first the Jewish Resistance's work revolves around saving their people. But eventually they turn to fighting the Nazis through sabotage and theft. But when things go wrong, Chaya ends up on her own with a girl she isn't sure she can trust, on what seems to be a suicide mission. But she's determined not to give in to the Nazis use of fear and pain, even if it means she dies fighting. The story is detailed and compelling and it's clear that Nielsen has done her homework. I can't help but cheer Chaya on, even when she's forced to do unpleasant things that a sixteen-year-old should never have to do. But are all her efforts for naught? After all she's living in a occupied country where even many of her own countrymen/women don't want her around. This story of courage in the face of fear and pain makes for a powerful read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie Kirchner

    I had heard so many great things about this book from friends, and I loved A Night Divided, so I was excited to see the ARC on the swag table at NErDCampMI! I didn’t have to think twice about what to choose! This is a HF novel that takes place in Poland during WWII. I’m always interested in reading about this time period as my father served in the war and I feel like I know more about this war than other wars, yet I’m always learning more. This book was no different. It is the story of Chaya, a J I had heard so many great things about this book from friends, and I loved A Night Divided, so I was excited to see the ARC on the swag table at NErDCampMI! I didn’t have to think twice about what to choose! This is a HF novel that takes place in Poland during WWII. I’m always interested in reading about this time period as my father served in the war and I feel like I know more about this war than other wars, yet I’m always learning more. This book was no different. It is the story of Chaya, a Jewish teenager passing as a Christian courier able to smuggle food, documents, weapons and even people in and out of the Jewish ghettos. The story features actual events that happened during the Jewish Resistance in a fictional story. There is suspense along the way that made it challenging to stop reading. It is heartbreaking to read about the harsh realities faced by the Jewish families, but it also serves as an important reminder that we must stand up and speak out when atrocities such as these happen. This will be a book I will definitely hand off to my older students who are interested in WWII history. It will show them another angle of the war that hasn’t been addressed as often in middle grade books. The author has included great back matter on actual heroes from the resistance movement, too! Favorite quotes: “We’ll all die one day, no one escapes that fate. Our only decision is how we live before that day comes. Our path requires courage, but so does theirs. Both paths are ways to resist.” “It was a reminder that hatred runs deeper and wider than a single race or nationality, and if love was not stronger, hatred would run through the generations. I intended to be stronger.” And in the author’s note: “Love is the resistance.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    "We proved that there was value in faith. There was value in loyalty. And that a righteous resistance was a victory in itself, no matter the outcome." It only took me a month to read this book. Not because it was bad but I haven't had a lot of time to read. I felt like the story moved a bit slowly but that may have just been because my reading was slow. Overall, this told a wonderful, important story of resistance fighters during world war 2. I enjoyed it and just think it's amazing the brave th "We proved that there was value in faith. There was value in loyalty. And that a righteous resistance was a victory in itself, no matter the outcome." It only took me a month to read this book. Not because it was bad but I haven't had a lot of time to read. I felt like the story moved a bit slowly but that may have just been because my reading was slow. Overall, this told a wonderful, important story of resistance fighters during world war 2. I enjoyed it and just think it's amazing the brave things these people did to help those who were suffering any way they could.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Resistance is my second read of this year and it’s already one of my favorites. The protagonist, Chaya, is a fleshed out character with so much depth. Nielsen does a great job of detailing Chaya’s flaws and capturing her inner turmoil. I enjoyed reading about Chaya’s character development and her friendship with Esther. The book gave me a better understanding of what was happening during those times and illustrated unity, bravery, and love through the character’s stories.

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