Jana Zinser – Book Reviews & Interviews

Audio Interview was doneInerteview with Bob Daly BQB Publshing with John Daly of BQB Publishing – April 12, 2022

Jana Zinser, Award-Winning Iowa Author, Releases Book Trailer For Coming-Of-Age Novel, Fly Like A Bird

Castle Rock, CO (PRUnderground) December 14th, 2021

Award-winning author Jana Zinser, today released a book trailer for her latest novel Fly Like A Bird, inspired by stories told to Zinser and set in a small Iowa town like the one she grew up in.

The trailer, narrated by the young talent Lanae Fox and produced by Rich Lerner of Rich Lerner Cinematography, portrays the coming-of-age story of Ivy, a young girl growing up in a small southern Iowa town during the 1970s, where everyone knows everything. After discovering that her family and the townspeople are keeping secrets from her about the night a tragic car crash killed her parents, Ivy attempts to untangle the truth about what really happened and escape the town that lied to her.

The book trailer captures the emotions as Ivy seeks to uncover hidden stories and is forced to confront betrayal, death, racism, and the meaning of family.

Zinser noted, “In Fly Like A Bird, I wanted to explore the awakenings of a young girl and her struggle to make sense of the artificial unfairness placed on many of us with the invisible bars of race, sex, poverty, and family circumstances that often restrict our choices. Hopefully, the book trailer will give a sense of the rich characters and their lives in the small Iowa town filled with frustrations, overstepped boundaries, crazy antics, constantly intersecting lives, and a sense of community. I hope you’ll want to read the book and meet Ivy for yourself and follow along for every twist and turn her story takes.”

The book trailer for Fly Like A Bird can be viewed here

Zinser has a diverse background in politics, public policy, and the media. She earned her undergraduate degree from Graceland University and her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Iowa. She writes for television, features, and print. Her first book is called The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport,” a historical fiction story about the children who were allowed to leave Nazi Germany on trains to live in England without their parents, which received multiple literary awards and was a silver winner of the Independent Book Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award.

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INTERVIEW WITH IOWA LIVE NOVEMBER 2019Interview photo with Jana Zinser



DES MOINES – Jana Zinser, author and Graceland University graduate, recently received two EVVY awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) for her latest novel  Fly Like a Bird which takes place in a small Iowa town. Fly Like A Bird was awarded second place in the multicultural fiction category and third place in the women’s fiction category.

“It’s nice when people say they liked your book. My goal is always to tell a story that other people can relate to. So, I am very honored that the EVVY Awards recognized something special in Fly Like a Bird,” Zinser said.

Fly Like A Bird, Zinser’s second novel, tells the coming-of-age story of Ivy, a young girl growing up in a small southern Iowa town during the 1970s, where everyone knows everything. After discovering that her family and towns people are keeping secrets from her about the night a tragic car crash killed her parents, Ivy attempts to untangle the truth about what really happened and escape the town that lied to her.

Fly Like a Bird deals heavily with social issues, including racism, betrayal, and murder, and includes elements of mystery and mysticism. Zinser said she feels stories set in Iowa create a real, vibrant, and interesting world.

“I think Iowa offers amazing people and places that make wonderful stories. I loved growing up in a small Iowa town. I consider it one of the greatest gifts of my life.”

The annual CIPA EVVY Awards is one of the longest-running book award competitions established for independently published books and books published by small presses. Now in its 26th year, the competition receives entries from across the globe in almost 50 categories and is intended to generate recognition for independent authors.

Zinser is versed in television, features and books, with a background in politics, public policy and the media. Her other work includes “The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport,” a period piece about Nazi Germany for which she received multiple literary awards as well. Both of Zinser’s books are available for purchase through Amazon and most other platforms.

Interview with Jana Zinser by Sarah Beckman

Interview with Jana Zinser on her new book Fly Like A Bird, a story about a young girl growing up in a small town in the Midwest during the 60’s where everyone knows everything, discovers her family and the people in her town are keeping secrets about the night a car crash killed her parents.

Book Review on Colorado Country Life Magazine

The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport by Jana Zinser

By Jennifer Nelson –

This remarkable novel centers on Peter, a shy violin player who was among the Jewish children hurriedly put on trains out of Germany in 1938 after The Night of the Broken Glass. Peter, his sister Becca and his friends Stephen and Hans represent the hundreds of children whose parents hurriedly scrambles to get their children away from Nazi Germany.

In this story told by Castle Rock author Jana Zinser, Peter and the others make it to England, where they expect to be safe. But when the war reaches England and the Coventry farm where Peter is working his musician hands raw is bombed, Peter decides he has to stand and fight. It’s back to Germany where he joins the underground resistance, searches for his mother and baby sister and works to rescue a childhood friend left behind.

Find this book (Boutique of Quality Books, $18.95) released October 26 at local and online bookstores.

Book Review – by Jeff Linamen for How Do You Measure 525600 Minutes? A Year in the Life 

5 Stars. “Zinser has written a heart-wrenching, epic story that follows lives of several children that survived (as well as the fates of their families); from the beginning occupation through the end of the war. Zinser takes readers from escape of occupied territories, into hiding, to safety, the concentration camps; and then back undercover behind enemy lines.

As someone that has had an ongoing interest in Holocaust studies and education, what I really like about The Children’s Train is that this novel gives the reader an in depth look; both in varying viewpoints and through a broad scope of experiences, making it a perfect introductory-look into the history of the Holocaust. It is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. After reading, you not only have a better picture of the many devastating situations endured by Holocaust victims and survivors; you also have a clearer understanding of Nazi and German (not mutually inclusive) people’s positions and actions. Yes, some believed in Hitler’s plan of hate. Others acted based on financial reasoning and many more out of fear.

The subject matter may be a little heavy for young readers but I’d certainly recommend it for high school through adults. Zinser tells the story simply, without over-dramatizing or trying to be graphically-shocking. By the very nature of the events, even through the author’s delicate handling, it might be too overwhelming for younger children.

The young lives of Peter, Eva and all the others will tug at your heart and inspire you. You’ll discover hope in humanity though quiet, unassuming acts of courage and heroism; and mourn the lives of those that were lost.

Though 10,000 children may have been spared by the Kindertransport; 6 million Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis — many of them children. This is their unforgettable story.”

Book Review – Nickie Elliot — A Joy of Reading Blog

“I recently read the book “The Children’s Train” written by Jana Zinser. It is a book that I have not been able to stop thinking about. The fact that there was a children’s train and the circumstances behind it are terrible enough. But the children’s and families stories that are described in the book were so heartbreaking and so realistic. The story of Eddie and his family, I will think about forever. there were many families featured in the book and how their lives were changed by the Kindertransport.

I’m soo glad I read this book and will definitely be praising it to friends of mine. The book was so well written that after I finished the book I wanted to delve into any information I could find about the children of the Kindertransport to see if I could find any other information about them. I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion. 5 out of 5 stars!!!”