This is historical fiction at it’s best. Good historical fiction makes you feel like you are experiencing that point in time like no textbook account ever could. I remember when the wall was taken down but never gave much thought to how it was built. It seems very appropriate right now for children to learn what living next to a wall is like.
Gerta and her family live in Germany and one night while her Dad and brother are away in West Germany the wall goes up and their family is divided. With Gerta as our narrator, we find out that her father has a history of activism and that her family is being watched by the GDR officials almost constantly. As the story progresses, Gerta and her brother realize that their only hope is to leave East Germany because there is no way their father and brother will be allowed back in and her brother will be forced to join the military if they stay. The story takes us through all four years that they are separated until the conclusion which kept me on the edge of my seat with anticipation.
I borrowed this book from the Chicago Public Library and read it to review and to include in our World History booklist that I plan to use next year during sixth grade.
Hardcover – August 25, 2015