Through the Wall

by Alida Sims Malkus
Rated 4.4 out of 5

Three historical settings wonderfully portrayed

Rated 5 out of 5
August 21, 2020

This book takes the reader through communist occupied East Berlin, West Berlin, and then to New York City about 12 years after WWII, all through the eyes of a boy who escapes through the wall and then immigrates to America. I learned so much about what it might have been like to live in these areas during this time period. My 12 yo son enjoyed it and my husband even read and enjoyed it. We had some interesting discussions about communism and about the trials that immigrants face when coming to a new place.

Danielle B

For anyone interested in WWII

Rated 5 out of 5
April 13, 2020

If you have a reader who is interested in WWII, this would be a great book for them. This book provides a good depth of history about East Germany and the Soviets within the framework of a story of bravery, courage, and loyalty. It is beautifully written and very uplifting.

Linda L

Poorly Written Book

Rated 1 out of 5
July 15, 2021

I got this book as part of my history read-aloud book pack. This book surprised me because compared to the other books in the pack it is so poorly written! The dialogue is stilted and awkward and makes the characters seem inconsistent and shallow. We have gotten many other wonderful books from The Good and the Beautiful Library so I’m surprised this one made it through the review process.


A peek inside Soviet occupied East Germany

Rated 5 out of 5
May 14, 2021

“Look at her (the Statue of Liberty),” the old man repeated, “and no matter what happens, don’t ever forget, sonny, what she stands for. Sometimes we don’t live up to it. But there it is, forever a reminder.”
This book has provided amazing discussion for our family about the differences between a communist government and our constitutional democratic republic, Hansi’s story made it easy for my children to put themselves in his shoes and consider the many freedoms we are blessed to enjoy.
We read this while studying Unit 4 of History 1 and it was an excellent supplement.


Great story

Rated 5 out of 5
May 14, 2021

Great story that was perfect for History 1 Unit 4. It was sad yet heartwarming and it kept my children’s interest.

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Level 9

Suddenly the sound of heavy footsteps drew nearer, coming up the stairs, tramp, tramp, tramp, nearer, strange and threatening. . . . The Russian police of East Berlin. Five of them!

When twelve-year-old Hansi’s father is arrested, his world is turned upside down. Why was his father taken away? Hansi discovers a past he didn’t know his family had, and soon after, he embarks on an adventure he never could have imagined—a daring trek to cross the great wall that divides East from West Berlin.

With the help of a small dog and some other friends he makes along the way, Hansi comes to realize that the things he’s been taught in post-World War II East Berlin may not provide the best way to live after all.

162 pages

This book is a suggested read-aloud for the History Year 1 course and is included in the optional History 1 Book Pack.

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