Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

The author of this picture book for older children grew up during the 1950's, 60's and 70's in Prague, Czechoslovokia. Here he blends the history of that repressive time behind the Iron Curtain with autobiography. The illustrations are mainly in black and white with red accents, but Sis's representations of his own drawings and of all things Western appear in color. Three double page spreads are from his journals written during that time. He places emphasis on the importance of music to those living in the Soviet controlled countries. The book ends with the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. Young people may gain new insights into what it was like to live under a totalitarian dictatorship. Winner of the Seibert Award; also a Caldecott Honor Book.
Grades 4 and up


Kimmels said...

Second. I think students will gain an interesting perspective on American culture from this book and the personal impact of the Cold War has real impact. I know our fifth grade teachers do talk about the Cold War --it's there in the voluminous fifth grade social studies curriculum.

A. Barbee said...

Sis' detailed illustrations and the format of the book should make the history of that time-period not only interesting, but very moving for students.