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

by Peter Sís

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7499912,418 (4.13)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 97 (next | show all)
I did not enjoy “The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain”, the central message of which was that creativity can be discouraged, but not destroyed. I did not like the convoluted language of the book, which left me feeling confused and unclear on the premise of the book. I felt that the language of this story was inconsistent and choppy. I also did not like the story’s plot, which told the story of the author, Peter Sis, growing up on the Communist side of the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia, and the gradual process by which he became aware of the indoctrination of which he was a victim. I did not think this plot was appropriate for young readers, and I felt uncomfortable reading about it myself. I also did not like the illustrations of this book. Being that the book was a combination of a graphic novel and a picture book, it contained many illustrations that I felt crowded the pages and were distracting to the text. Overall, this book is not one that I would want to share with my students, as I do not feel its content is appropriate for young children. ( )
  kkadal1 | Mar 20, 2015 |
This is the true story of Peter Sis who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia during the Communist regime. He tells what life was like for him and illustrates the book marvelously to show what it was like. This is a wonderfully done book about the Cold War period in Europe. ( )
  dorthys | Mar 15, 2015 |
Shows a child's view of the cold war. Students are able to ask grandparents/older people what it was really like for great discussions.
  elindseyziegler | Mar 15, 2015 |
This is a fantastic book. For anybody who remembers "The Wall" it brings home many images that are reminders of why we must keep such barriers torn down. This would be fantastic for the classroom.
  barbarashuler | Mar 15, 2015 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Peter's perspective and the historical facts included alongside the illustrations. I am not very familiar with the events during this time so reading this book was an enjoyable history lesson for me! ( )
  reynolds2 | Mar 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (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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