Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Genre:  Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Source:  I purchased a copy from Scholastic

Take one boy named Noah and give him a stutter so he is an outsider. then turn his world upside down. That is what Anne Nesbet, the author has done to her character Noah Keller. Noah leaves his fifth-grade classroom and finds his mom and dad in a rental car. It is on the ride that they explain to him that his mom has the opportunity of a lifetime.  She is working on her dissertation about schools and children with problems like her son's. Noah learns that all of the German lessons he has been taking had a purpose. They will be flying into East Berlin. Noah has a new name and new rules. He is now known as Jonah Brown. He can't do anything that will bring attention to himself or his parents. He must not question anything because the walls have bugs. He isn't allowed to go to school even though he has taken their test. He meets a girl in his apartment building named Claudia. Because of his stutter, he ends up calling her Cloud-Claudia. She names him Wallfish.  What happens when they are caught up in something that they were not a part of. How will the secret he knows about Claudia affect their friendship?
Because I'm an adult and remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, this book was so important for me to read. I have always been fascinated by this topic. My father was stationed in Berlin when he was in the Army. This is such an important piece of history that unfortunately isn't really taught in schools. I do my best to at least introduce it to my sixth graders to the topic. I want them to start their own research on such an important topic.  I am impressed with the way the author handled the topic. The reader is right there and can feel the strain the people living on the East side of the wall must have felt, especially if they didn't agree with the politics at the time.  This is a book I will definitely promote to my students.  I had an extra copy so I passed it along to my granddaughter who had picked it up to look at. Thank you Anne Nesbet for creating a perfect book at the perfect time.

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