Friday, February 03, 2017
THE WALLS HAVE EARS
Things can change in a heartbeat. Just ask Noah. One moment he's a pretty regular eleven-year-old living in Oasis, Virginia, looking forward to his friend's birthday party over the weekend. The next, his parents pick him up from school and tell him his name is actually Jonah, he's really only ten, he's from Roanoke, and he's on the way to the airport that very minute to move to East Berlin without taking anything with them. And, since the year is 1989, that means his family will be moving behind the Iron Curtain, where his every move and utterance will be monitored and nothing less than total compliance to the Communist way of life in the German Democratic Republic will be tolerated, where maps show the other side of the Berlin Wall as nonexistent blank space.
When Jonah (née Noah) meets Claudia--whose parents have disappeared--it seems that she's the only other one who is interested in finding out what's really going on, despite the many strict rules they are told to adhere to--remember they are always listening, don't call attention to yourself, don't let your worries show, never talk about your old life, and so on. Why did his family really come here? What happened to Claudia's parents? And what happens to kids who don't follow the rules?
This captivating novel packed with strong characters, vivid historical details, and plenty of fast-paced intrigue will keep fifth through eighth graders turning the pages to find out.