Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
Sís, Peter. 2007. THE WALL: GROWING UP BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 9780374347017 [Suggested Grade
Sís presents a riveting autobiographical narrative about a young child growing up in a Communist controlled country. Spare in text and using pen and ink drawings highlighted with red, the author imparts a fable in graphic form. Journey with the author as he portrays what it was like for a child who liked to draw, wear proudly his Young Pioneer red scarf, and believe what he was told to believe. The inevitable questioning comes about in his teens when he discovers the Western World including the Beach Boys. The story unfolds through the use of storyboards, timelines, and personal photos all mixed together to reveal the intensity of the author’s journey. The book requires time to explore and appreciate the detail of the drawings and illustration. Younger readers will likely require an adult to help explain some of the events depicted. Winner of the Sibert Medal and a Caldecott Honor.
By the author’s own admission, he likes to study people who dared to question authority. Compile other books he has written and explore the theme of daring to question in each subject’s life.
Other books written and illustrated by Peter Sís:
STARRY MESSENGER: GALILEO GALILEI. ISBN 978037440272
THE TREE OF LIFE: A BOOK DEPICTING THE LIFE OF CHARLES
DARWIN: NATURALIST, GEOLOGIST, & THINKER. ISBN 9780374456283
FOLLOW THE DREAM: THE STORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
TIBET: THROUGH THE RED BOX. ISBN 9780374375522
By Jane H. Claes