A great, heart-wrenching graphic novel

It’s not so easy to find a book aimed at the preadolescent set that is fascinating to all age groups (and doesn’t contain even one wizard). Czechoslovakian-born author-illustrator-animator Peter Sís’s latest graphic novel, The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, is a splendid, heart-wrenching visual journey through Sís’s formative years in Communist Prague. Told in the third person and interspersed with Sís’s actual diary entries from the 1950s and ’60s, the 56-page book — replete with cool pinpoint illustrations — chronicles the highs and lows of Cold War life right up through the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

The Wall is that rare intelligent book whose achievement is twofold: an excellent didactic read for young adults and a mature, mesmerizing glimpse into a time and country that for many of us remain unknown or forgotten.

BUY The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux; 56 pages; hardcover)

VIEW sample pages from The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

VISIT Peter Sís’s Website to listen to an interview with the author (RealPlayer required)

SEARCH Ask.com for more information on The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

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A great, heart-wrenching graphic novel