Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall. HarperTeen, 2022. 9780063087446
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5
Genre: Historical fiction
What did you like about the book? Berlin. 1938. Charlie (Charlotte) is just an ordinary 15-year-old girl, going to school and hanging out with her friends. She is secretly in love with her best friend, Geli (Angelika). Geli is the daughter of a high-ranking Nazi official but she is very rebellious. She introduces Charlie to swing clubs where the music is jazz, frowned upon by many Germans. The dancing is great, reinforced by the addition of Charlie’s two other good friends, Renate, and Minna, who is Jewish. As 1939 arrives, so does the war. Charlie and Renate are questioning their sexual preferences. This is a fictionalised account of life in Berlin during the years 1938-1945 as seen through the eyes of four German teen girls. It is very interesting to live each year slowly through the lives of the girls as Nazis take over the city. All characters present as white.
Anything you did not like about the book? A number of words and phrases are in German with no translation and not always understood within context.
To whom would you recommend this book? Those who enjoy fiction dealing with life in Germany during World War II as seen through the eyes of ordinary Germans, some of whom are swing kids and Lesbians, will welcome being able to enter this world.
Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries
Where would you shelve it? YA fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review
Date of Review: November 15, 2022
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