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The Wall by Eve Bunting

The Wall (edition 1990)

by Eve Bunting, Ronald Himler (Illustrator)

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86713810,272 (4.35)20
Title:The Wall
Authors:Eve Bunting
Other authors:Ronald Himler (Illustrator)
Info:Clarion Books (1990), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:3rd-4th Grade Readers, K-2nd Grade Readers, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Picture Books
Tags:Vietnam Veterans Memorial, family, feelings

Work details

The Wall by Eve Bunting



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The Wall is the story about a boy and his dad’s trip to see the Vietnam Memorial wall. In the story, a father takes his son to visit the memorial, in search of his dad’s name who died while serving in the Vietnam War. As they search for the name, the father explains to his son the importance of the wall, and how all those names on it are those who have died. While searching for the name, the boy sees a grandpa and his grandson walk by, and he wishes he was able to be with his grandpa instead of looking for his name on a wall. Finally the father is able to find his dad’s name, and then takes a piece of paper to transfer the name onto it. As his dad stands there with his head hung, the boy stands along with his dad in silence.

Personal Reaction:
The Wall is a short story, but an emotional one. Although there isn’t much to the written story, the illustrations mean more than words. The pictures take us on a journey to the wall, where we are able to see thousands of names, flags, flowers and visitors solemnly standing. Every time I see a picture of the wall, it brings tears to my eyes, so this story tugs at my heart. I think that this is a story where the pictures add more to the message of the book, than the written word does.

Extension Ideas:
The Wall is a great book to read in celebration of Veterans Day or Memorial Day. After reading this book to the class, I would pass out a sheet of paper, and on it will be a writing prompt. The prompts that the students will have to choose from will be “What does Memorial/Veteran Day stand for”, or “Why is it important to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in war?” Another activity that I would do for an older class, would be to write to any local Veterans within our community. In their letters, the kids will explain that they just read The Wall, and that they are thankful for their service. The kids will then be able to tell the Veterans a little about themselves, before finally transferring their name onto the paper, the way the father did to the wall.
  KaylaRoseDyer | Mar 26, 2017 |
I loved this book. I think it is a great way to honor soldiers and to teach children that they should honor and respect those who have served us. it also teaches a family lesson. This book is about a father and son visiting a memorial of soldiers who have passed. The sons grandpa was honored on the memorial wall. The son got to see all different kinds of people honoring their soldiers or people honoring soldiers they never even knew. the father and son left the grandpa a picture of his grandson and that was a special moment for the father and son to share. like i said before, i loved this book! ( )
  shaelyn_smith | Mar 26, 2017 |
I liked this book for several reasons. The first thing I liked most about this book is the illustrations. The illustrations really showed what the text was saying. The text is very descriptive which helps create a picture in my mind along with the illustration. For example, the text says the wall is black and shiny like a mirror. In it I can see dad and me. The illustration perfectly matches this text because it shows a black wall and the reflection of the father and son in it. I also like how the author uses different characters in the story to portray emotion throughout. For example, on one page the author includes a man in a wheelchair with no legs, another page shows the wall and all the things people have left their such as flags, pictures, letters, bears, etc. This shows emotions about the wall and the veterans and loved ones that people lost during war. It shows emotions because a lot of families lost loved one but other people lived through the war but they lost limbs which makes it sad. This is a book people can relate to if they have had family in the wars. The message of this story is that we should be thankful for the people who fought for our rights. We should always be proud of the people who fight in the wars because they are keeping us safe while losing limbs and lives and people are losing loved ones. We can always remember them for their heroism, even though we may want them physically here with us, we should be proud of them and still love them. ( )
  kmassa3 | Mar 10, 2017 |
This book is a great read in terms of a meaningful , well developed plot. That is one of the main reasons I like the book. Its organized well and builds tension as the young boy and his father search for the name. For example, the day is described very dreary and dark as are the people walking by while they are searching for the name on the wall. When they find it, the boy notices his father begins to rub the name as if rubbing it away, as to signal sadness, yet relief of finally finding him. This mood affects the reader and tone of the book. We feel relieved that he is found, but wonder what happens next. The other reason I like this book is because of the way it is written. It is engaging and thought provoking. For example, even after finding the name and making a rubbing of it to keep, placing a flag and picture there, the boy would still have his grandfather with him. The main message of the book is to always honor family, even when they are gone. ( )
  abeach5 | Mar 8, 2017 |
This personal narrative story shows the importance of showing honor and respect to the loved ones we’ve lost and the loved ones we’ve never met. I enjoyed the author’s use of the first person point of view of the young boy and illustrations to reflect the author’s descriptive language use. The fact that the author chose to tell this narrative in first person made the act of a young boy and his father honoring their loved one seem even more meaningful. For example, the boy states “He and I have come a long way for this” indicating how important it is for both of them to be there. The authors simile’s and word choice such as “black and shiny as a mirror “and “flying clouds” help the reader to visualize and experience the same moment the young narrator is experiencing, which makes the story more personally significant. When the young boy states that there are “little flags, an old teddy bear, and letter” we see an illustration directly reflecting the text and making a connection to the reader. Also, when the young boy and father stand in front of the wall silently, with their heads bowed, we get a sense of the amount of honor and respect they both have for the grandfather. We also see an illustration depicting this act, reinforcing the strong moment the father and young boy are experiencing together. ( )
  thodge3 | Feb 19, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eve Buntingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Himler, RonaldIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
I think this book is a good story, and brings a avenue for teachers to bring in this very real subject to light in a sensitive way. I think in the preschool classroom it would be a really good book for children that have expressed knowledge of war, and may be coping with loss, or, a parent that is actively serving. I also think the book could be used in a large group setting to bring awareness to the concepts of memorials to remember loves ones that have lost their life in war, but I think the teacher needs to make sure they present and reinforce information in a way that connects it their lives, and developmentally appropriate. Although some books are recommended for preschool age and up; I still think it is very important for the teacher to examine the needs of the children and adjust accordingly.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395629772, Paperback)

A young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:12 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy's grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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