The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís is the story of the author-illustrator’s childhood in Prague during the Cold War. Although aimed at children and young adolescents, The Wall can be considered somewhat of a graphic novel that will introduce any reader to what it was like to grow up under Soviet rule. The illustrations are mostly in black and white with accents of communist red to show the world that imposed restrictions upon the young artist’s creative freedom, which is depicted through the use of bright colours. The Wall takes readers through a chronology that sees the promise of liberation in 1968, squashed by the tanks that rolled in, and then on until the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is impossible to resist being swept up by the power of Sís’s detailed illustrations and the design of this personal book that is successful in educating the audience.
Hardcover, 56 pages. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2007. $12.24 at Amazon.