From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.
With the rise of the Berlin Wall,
twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her
mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by
the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search
of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the
wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help
herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on
their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are
prisoners in their own city.
But one day, while on her way to
school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western
side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious
drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father
wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin.
However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can
be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?
I have a hard time
reading or watching anything about WWII. It hearts my heart. I literally
can only read OR watch one story about the time a year. A year! That’s
how much the injustices and hardships and pains and deaths weigh on me.
And then I get Jennifer’s book and I HAVE to read it, even if I’d
already read a WWII book this year. Why did I HAVE to read? Because
Jennifer is an awesome writer and I will read anything she writes. Even
if it’s just her signature on a napkin (smiley).
This story is set
right about the time the Berlin Wall went up. Gerta and her family are
seperated and she’s determined to reunity them, even though she’s only
twelve. She’s spunky and brave and leaves the reader wondering if we can
be brave too. I found myself rooting for her and her plans, especially
toward the end of the book.
A good, clean read that I would
recommend to all ages but especially to younger readers (sixth grade up)
to help understand a little bit what went on behind the wall.
V: Scariness because of the times