Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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

Autobiography #2

Peter Sis is an artist who grew up in Czechoslovakia when the country was under the control of the Communist Soviet Union. Sis uses a graphic illustration style to tell fascinating, at times shocking, details about living under a dictatorship. For example, Peter could only draw what he wanted at home; the government determined what he could draw while he was in school. The book also includes snippets from the journal that Peter kept as a boy, giving readers an amazing first-hand account of this time period.

The Wall is an example of a picture book written for older students, preferably those who have been introduced to the Cold War and are interested in learning more through a first-hand account. I enjoyed reading about the Cold War era and found the format and the personal account so much more interesting than a history book. Be sure to read the introduction and the afterword; they help explain the Cold War time period more completely.

By Mrs. N.

P.S. The Wall won the Robert F. Sibert Medal and is a Caldecott Honor Book.

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