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The wall : growing up behind the Iron Curtain (edition 2007)

by Peter Sís

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84311610,689 (4.12)83
Member:labfs39
Title:The wall : growing up behind the Iron Curtain
Authors:Peter Sís
Info:New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
Collections:Read but unowned, East European
Rating:****
Tags:nonfiction, memoir, Czech

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

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This book is a powerful telling of the authors experience living under the Iron Curtain. Peter Sis tells how he always liked to draw, and he writes simple sentences about himself growing up during the Cold War, describing his family and school life, along with his growing awareness of the oppression around him. Simultaneously, he uses detailed panel sketches in mostly black and white, with lots of red, and small bursts of color. These illustrations are captioned with an in depth timeline of the political events and attitudes of the time.
  widdowsd | May 9, 2017 |
This is a story about the author who grew up in a communist country under the rule of a totalitarian government. Peter Sis writes about how he yearns to become an artist living in a world of only black and white art with the occasional red incorporated in it. He dreams of coming to America, eager to explore art and all of the magnificent colors that come with it. This is a wonderful story that will appeal to middle school readers because it gives an in depth real insight as to what it is like living in a communist world. This is a great component for students to read when learning about communist rule in the soviet union because it allows the children to read and have an insight as to what life must have been like during that time. ( )
  Jennaroo82 | May 1, 2017 |
Biog S622s 2007
  ebr_mills | Mar 23, 2017 |
Summary:
Peter Sis was born at the beginning of the Cold War and lived on the Eastern Side of the Berlin Wall and was living under a totalitarian rule. In this Graphic Novel the drawings and words show how a boy in this time, growing up in this system, lived in and viewed the world. There are pages of "From My Journals" entries that share the life as he grows through the events of the Soviet Union's Rule.
It is all black and white drawings, except for the occasional color of red to share Communism and small splashes of all colors to show the people rebelling from the dictatorship.
Comments:
Graphic Novels are up in coming in the literary world and "The Wall" could be used in the classroom as a more interesting and grabbing way to teach history of the Berlin Wall to students, rather than their thick, boring history text book. ( )
  JuliaTrinchero | Mar 5, 2017 |
Peter Sis grew up behind the Iron Curtain during an interesting time in history, the Cold War. He experienced the tightening and loosening of freedoms under the ultimate authority of the Soviet Union. This memoir though drawings, journal memories and narrative text illustrate the visual and visceral experience of the author/illustrator during his formative years. Peter Sis was able to leave the East prior to the fall of the Wall.
  annereid1 | Feb 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 2008)
Renowned author and illustrator Peter Sís’ brilliant autobiographical exploration of the creative spirit offers his trademark blend of intricate visual images and narrative. Sís was born in Communist-controlled Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1949 and displayed artistic interests from very early on. His talents were indulged and encouraged within his home. At the same time, creativity and freedom of thought were being repressed in his school and throughout his homeland as the Iron Curtain rose and the Cold War escalated. Sís beautifully outlines the tension between socio-political repression and creativity through journal excerpts, actual drawings from his developing years as an artist, and hauntingly complex images outlining the historical context of turbulent times in Eastern Europe. Each image underscores how he questioned the world around him as a developing child and adolescent, especially as news of Western popular culture filtered through the curtain. Creative expression and opportunity exploded for the author in the spring of 1968, only to be crushed quickly by the totalitarian strong arm. Sís was able to hold on to his dreams, however, fueled by his indomitable spirit and the force of his own imagination. CCBC Category: Historical People, Places, and Events. 2007, Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus and Giroux, 48 pages, $18.00. Age 9 and older.

added by kthomp25 | editCCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 2008) (Apr 23, 2010)
 
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Epigraph
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First words
As long as he could remember, he had loved to draw.
Quotations
I find it difficult to explain my childhood; it's hard to put it into words, and since I have always drawn everything, I have tried to draw my life-before America-for them.
p. 47
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374347018, Hardcover)

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER
 
“I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side—the Communist side—of the Iron Curtain.” Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sís shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sís learned about beat poetry, rock ’n’ roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities—creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed.
 
By joining memory and history, Sís takes us on his extraordinary journey: from infant with paintbrush in hand to young man borne aloft by the wings of his art.
 
The Wall is a 2007 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, a 2008 Caldecott Honor Book, a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year, the winner of the 2008 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, and a nominee for the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:39 -0400)

I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side - the Communist side - of the Iron Curtain. Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sis shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Si;s learned about beat poetry, rock 'n' roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities - creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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