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What the Night Sings


What the Night Sings

WHAT THE NIGHT SINGS by Vesper Stamper is about a girl named Gerta who loses everything in Nazi concentration camps.

Gerta didn’t even know she was Jewish when the Nazis took her and her beloved father away. Papa had been so careful to keep their identity a secret. He was a wonderful violist and taught Gerta to play as well. In the camp, Gerta still has a passion for music --- and it’s probably what keeps her alive. She plays the viola and has a voice meant for the opera. After a long time of being forced to play music as fellow Jews walked to the chimneys, her camp is liberated and she is finally able to play because she wants to. The liberated camp becomes a displaced persons camp --- many people continue to look for their family members but Gerta knows she has none left. In the displaced persons camp, someone decides to start an orchestra. Gerta is delighted and auditions. She then spends a majority of her time playing the orchestra and trying to get her voice back to how it was before the concentration camps.

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading WHAT THE NIGHT SINGS….Vesper Stamper tells such a beautiful story….Despite this book’s dark theme, it still conveys a wonderful message that everyone should read."


Being a beautiful teenage girl, she, of course, attracts a few rather handsome teenage boys. Lev and Michah are two very different people. Lev is very true to his Jewish beliefs --- he will never touch a woman unless he marries her. Michah, meanwhile, uses relationships as a way to forget the past and to cope with his life now. Gerta enjoys spending time with both of them. They both make her happy in different ways. Lev helps her to see the beauty in life and how going slow can be wonderful. But Michah shows her passion and just how adventurous going fast can be. She struggles for a long time --- she does not know who she cares for more. However, in the end she makes the right decision.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading WHAT THE NIGHT SINGS. It was such an emotional rollercoaster. I kept having to put the book down because I couldn’t stop crying. Vesper Stamper tells such a beautiful story and it really just makes you think of how awful it must have been for the people forced to endure life in the concentration camps. I cannot imagine being torn from my family and put through such inhumane things. Even though there are tears that stain a few pages, there were still many moments where I laughed in this book. Despite there being so much going on, all of the people in the concentration camps were still human and they still did silly things, which was an excellent touch. This book is just an excellent read.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Holocaust. I would also recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed THE BOOK THIEF or THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. Despite this book’s dark theme, it still conveys a wonderful message that everyone should read. Even though it is historical fiction, its depiction of the concentration camps is still accurate. I wouldn’t recommend this book to use a reference while writing a research paper but it could certainly be used to write in a more literary sense.

Reviewed by Ashley D., Teen Board Member on March 27, 2018

What the Night Sings
by Vesper Stamper