The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
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... show more
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.
Publish date: August 21st 2007
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 56
Edition language: English
, Non Fiction
, Picture Books
, Sequential Art
, Graphic Novels
This is an unusual autobiography. It is more graphic novel than picturebook, and the graphic design offers features of a strong informational book (such as the white space). Sís' stylized cartoon illustration harks to the 1960s and 70s art he notes in the book--San Francisco magazines, psychedelic r...
There are essentially two narratives that run through The Wall: the story of one artist's childhood experiences, told in an ongoing thread at the bottom of the pages and on several "journal" pages, and the broader narrative of life in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, told in dozens of caption-l...
The KitKatPandaBatWolf and I both enjoyed this enormously. She didn't know anything about the Cold War or the Iron Curtain, so I spent a lot of time explaining things as we went along. But she dearly loved the idea that The Beatles were in part responsible for bringing the wall down.