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

by Peter Sís

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7218613,038 (4.14)81
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 Sís

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Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Although this book seemed a little dark at first I really loved reading it. I originally had mixed feelings about the book because of the negativity that was gradually portrayed but it became more apparent to me as to why the author set it up in this specific manner. The language and writing that the author used was extremely well thought out and intentional. The main storyline at the bottom of all of the pages guides the reader along in the book however the subtle comments on the sides of the pictures tell the author the reality of it all. For example, the storyline at the bottom of one of the pages read, "After drawing whatever he wanted to at home, he drew whatever he was told to at school." One of the comments beside the pictures read, "The Communists take control of the schools." This subtly implies that changes that began in the schools and the restrictions of freedom, including drawing certain images. Another reason why I liked this book was because of the illustrations. The bold red on each page solidified and engraved the communism depicted in the pictures. A third reason why I liked this book was because of the accuracy of it. I loved how Peter was the one telling of these real-life events. Although this is considered a children's book it was also an enjoyable read for me because of the reality of it. I believe that the main message of this book was to inform readers about the life of someone who lived on the inside during the Cold War and the "norms" that they faced. ( )
  nkwak1 | Sep 24, 2014 |
This is a beautiful autobiography of life behind the iron curtain for Peter Sis, who lived in Communist-ruled Czechoslovakia after World War II. The stunning black and white illustrations capture the mood of life during that time, with splashes of "Communist Red." Great text to pair with Social Studies lesson. ( )
  lbblackwell | Jul 30, 2014 |
The Wall is a wonderful memoir of Peter Sis' life growing up in Czechoslovakia during Communist rule after World War II. The illustrations are beautifully crafted and document his life behind the Iron Curtain. I found the book informative and enlightening. The few words on each page are carefully chosen and the illustrations do more to tell the story than the words. This is a wonderful book to be shared with students from upper elementary through high school. ( )
  SuPendleton | Jun 10, 2014 |
This story is portrayed by the author of his life growing up behind the iron curtain. The dialog tells of the history, culture and ways of life while growing up in a communist country.
  laurlou | Jun 9, 2014 |
I think this would be an interesting book to let middle schoolers read. The drawings and journal writing would hold their interest. The history of the Iron Curtain would be intriguing, as well as all of the freedom that the collapse of the wall brought.
  charlottestudent | Jun 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (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
Dedication
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:41 -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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