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The Sound of Freedom

The Sound of Freedom

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–7
Reading Level:
Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature:

Hardcover : 9781554519705, 256 pages, March 2018 , 8.25" x 5.73"
Paperback : 9781554519699, 256 pages, March 2018 , 8.00" x 5.50"
Rights sold: English


Anna and her family have only one hope left to escape certain doom.

It’s 1936 and life is becoming dangerous for the Jews of Krakow. As incidents of violence and persecution increase day by day, Anna begs her father to leave Poland, but he insists it’s impossible. How could he give up his position as an acclaimed clarinetist in the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra? When Anna and her father barely escape from a group of violent thugs, it becomes clear that the family must leave. But how? There seems to be only one possibility. Bronislaw Huberman, a world-renowned violinist, is auditioning Jewish musicians for a new orchestra in Palestine. If accepted, they and their families will receive exit visas. Anna and her grandmother boldly write to Huberman asking him to give Anna’s father an audition, but will that be enough to save them? This poignant story is based on real events in pre-war Poland and Palestine.  After saving seven hundred Jews and their families, Huberman went on to establish what later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.   

Against an ominous background of the impending Holocaust in Europe and the first Arab-Israeli war, The Sound of Freedom still manages to remind the reader of the goodness in the world.


  • Joint winner, Top Shelf Fiction Award, VOYA 2019
  • Joint winner, Bank Street of College of Education, Best Children’s Books of the Year 2019
  • Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People 2019
  • Joint winner, USBBY Outstanding International Books List 2019
  • Commended, Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Notable Book, Association of Jewish Libraries 2019
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2018


“Well-crafted and heartwarming . . . an amazing story of perseverance and strength in the hardest situation possible. ” 

- CM Reviews, 02/15/19

“A vivid portrait of how exhausting and distressing it must be for any minority group living under a repressive regime. It is also a striking illustration of the difficulties they face when starting over in a strange place. ” 

- Quill & Quire, 04/18

“This straightforward tale of some lesser-known aspects of the time period provides a welcome spark of optimism. ” 

- Kirkus Reviews, 01/22/18

“Agreeable read. ” 

- Booklist, 03/01/18

“An interesting coming of age novel, well-written, and well researched. ”

- The Children’s War, 07/28/18

“Written with deep sensibility and care, The Sound of Freedom is a good introduction to the horrors of the Holocaust for young readers. Brave Anna and her family make sacrifices, overcome grief, and find healing in connection, love, and the power of music. Highly recommended for readers aged 10 and up. ” 

- Historical Novel Society, 02/07/18

“A fine historical fiction addition to all library shelves. ”

- School Library Journal, 02/18

“A needed addition to any historical fiction collection that seeks to educate students about the Holocaust. This book could even be used in musical curriculum as a fiction connection . . . Highly Recommended. ”

- School Library Connection, *starred review, 03/18

“Another fine tale spun by veteran Holocaust children’s writer Kathy Kacer. ” 

- Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, 11/18