Through the Wall

by Alida Sims Malkus

Engaging and educational

5.0 rating
October 26, 2020

My 11 year old loves WWII books and chose this book for us. I am glad she did, right from the beginning this book has you interested in Hansi’s experience in East and West Berlin post WWII It’s entertaining and educational. It made me think about my own freedoms and the importance of teaching them to our children.

Mackenzie S


5.0 rating
September 23, 2020

We read this as a read-aloud. It is now my 10 year-olds favorite book! It is a great historical-fiction about communism, but it is also a great book to inspire Americans, and help us remember our freedoms and what we need to protect. The book does end in a way that feels like there could be a great sequel. We were a little disappointed that there wasn’t a sequel, but my son responded with: “I am going to write the sequel!”

Lezlie-Anne I

Great Historical Fiction

5.0 rating
August 24, 2020

This is a great historical fiction set during WWII. It’s from the perspective of a 12 year old boy, Hansi, trapped behind the Berlin Wall and his journey to escape. It’s suspenseful, educational, and emotional. We couldn’t put it down.

Laura F

Three historical settings wonderfully portrayed

5.0 rating
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

Educational and Entertaining

5.0 rating
June 10, 2020

I really liked this book. It’s an historical fiction and teaches a lot of great principles. It explains why communism is not a good world view to line yourself with. I think this would be a great resource to teach about that world view and the dangers of it.

Maryanne M
Read Review Policies
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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