Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 24 comments

IMG_5773A NIGHT DIVIDED will be released in only one week. ONE WEEK!!!!! I just got my own hard copies, which makes me even more excited to share this story.

In this scene, I won’t say too much about what it is that Gerta wanted, or how she got it, only that she felt it was completely worth the risk.



It was an easy walk home, but as soon as I rounded the last corner I saw Fritz waiting for me on the street. His face was nearly purple and his breaths were harsh and shallow. He grabbed my shirt collar and yanked me inside the apartment building, then twisted me around.

“What were you thinking?” he hissed.

My chest tightened as I got ready for the argument that clearly was coming. I had known he’d be angry when he learned I was gone, especially that I went alone, but my reasons were good. If he wanted to fight about this, we would. But I would win.

“We needed something and I got it,” I said.

“Nothing is worth what you did. How dare you, Gerta?”

I started to retort, but quickly lost any interest in arguing. Now that I really looked at him, it wasn’t anger in his eyes. It was fear, more than I’d ever seen in my brother before.

I opened the burlap sack just enough for him to see what was inside, and when I did, he nodded and tears streamed down his cheeks. He grabbed me into a hug, his stiff fingers digging into my back to communicate the worries still trapped inside him. He whispered, “That was too stupid to count as bravery. What if we lost you? Never do that again, Gerta. Never do anything like that again.”


Nightdivided_XLGYou can borrow copies at your library (or ask for a copy if they don’t have it yet), or check with your local bookstore, or find it online at Indiebound, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

If you want a signed copy, the best way to get it is to find me at one of my upcoming public events, or order your copy from my local indie store, The King’s English. I will sign it to you at my launch party on Sept 9th and they will ship it directly to your home.


  1. One more week until the hardback copies release! I’m so excited. Fritz sounds very frustrated with Gerta.
    When will the paperback of Mark of the Thief release?
    – Loreley

    • Thanks, Loreley! Mark of the Thief will be released in paperback on Dec 29, 2015.

  2. Argh!!! Another reason why I cannot wait a little longer to have this book and read it Miss Jen hehe… Another intriguing scenario and got my head to think what’s inside the sack?

    • Ah yes – what is in that sack? Thanks, Lemuel!

      • Yes Miss Jen what is inside that sack? (hoping that you will slip your tongue for any more details) haha… 😉

  3. I can’t wait for A Night Divided to come out that quote gave me a lot to think about 🙂

  4. I want to read it SO bad!!!!!!!!! It’s coming out on the 26th, right?

  5. Hi Jennifer, I saw your new book ‘A Night Divided’ on Twitter. I was wondering what age group you think you have aimed your book at? We are always on the look out for interesting texts that make our students think outside their own experiences.

    • Hi Tracy. I think this book would do best for grades 5-7. The main character is 12 years old. If you teach students in this grade range, there are opportunities for discussions about the price of freedom, about how much they would risk to change their life circumstances, and perhaps their own plan for how they would escape, if they were trapped in East Berlin. I’m sure you could come up with even better discussion questions too. Thanks for asking!

  6. I heard you speak at the Season Kick Off Meetings for Scholastic and could hardly wait to read the book. I loved it!

    • Thank you so much, Sandy! I’m glad you were at that meeting and even happier that you enjoyed this book!

  7. Jennifer,

    I teach fifth grade and will be using your book for a lunch time book club the end of November! Is there a set of discussion questions for the book? The book is amazing and I can’t wait to see what the kids who are reading it think!

    • First Rachel – thank you very much! And you know, I probably need to create some discussion questions, that’s a great idea. I’ll see what I can do!

  8. I read this book and I loved it so much I read it again thank u so much for an amazing book

  9. I am a 7th grade history teacher who teaches about Post War Germany. My grade level partner and I are planning on doing a novel study unit centered around your book. We are very excited to do this and am sure the students will enjoy the story of Gerta and her family. It will allow them to learn about how it was like in East Berlin and the desire to escape to the West in a way that goes beyond the traditional instruction given in class. We are in search of discussion questions and activities to go along with the novel that will allow students to show their understanding of the book and how it applies to the overall theme of the division of East and West Berlin.

    • Thank you for choosing this as a study book, Lori – I’m honored. I haven’t created a discussion guide for A Night Divided, although I’ve considered doing so. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful at this time, but I do sincerely appreciate you using this book.

  10. Is there a literature unit for this book with questions? I would like to purchase copies of the books and use them for a book club with my 6th grade class. Not creating my own unit would be a big help at this time.

    • Hi Mary! I wish I did. I even asked the Twitterverse if anyone had one, with no reply. To be honest, it’s totally taken me by surprise that it’s become a lit study in so many classes or I’d have done it earlier. I’ll try to create one, but because of other deadlines, it won’t happen soon. So sorry, but thanks very much for including this with your book club.

  11. Hi Jennifer! I run a book club at my school (6th, 7th, and 8th graders) and we are reading A Night Divided for our next book. The kids have LOVED the book! Thank you for writing it!

    • Thank you, Susie. I have book discussion guides available for A Night Divided if you think that would be helpful. If you want them, send me a mailing address and the # you want via email at jen@jennielsen.com I hope your students will enjoy it!

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