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.
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.