Saturday, April 26, 2014

Life Behind the Wall by Robert Elmer

book cover
Life Behind the Wall
by Robert Elmer

ISBN-13: 9780310742654
Trade Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Released: May 6, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through

Book Description from the Back Cover:
This epic tale extends across generations and unfolds against the backdrop of a dangerous Cold War Berlin. This historically accurate, action-packed, three-books-in-one edition features three generations of resourceful teens living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall.

Titles include:
Candy Bombers: In spring 1948, teenage cousins Erich and Katarina are simply trying to survive in war-ravaged Berlin when the Soviets blockade the east side of the city, isolating its citizens---and starving them---behind the Iron Curtain.

Beetle Bunker: In August 1961, Sabine discovers a forgotten underground bunker. Though she first uses it to escape her crowded home, she soon realizes her hideout could possibly take her family under the wall to West Berlin and freedom!

Smuggler's Treasure: In spring 1989, life is good in West Germany, and even the Cold War seems to be thawing in the warmer weather. But as Liesl works on a class project about the history of the wall, she stumbles onto a startling secret no one will talk about.

My Review:
Life Behind the Wall is a historical adventure for tweens. It's set in Berlin, Germany starting in 1948 and ending in 1989. The hero and heroine in each story were 13 years old. The stories were fast-paced and suspenseful. I was impressed by how well the author wove the history into the story without bogging down the pacing. The personalities of two of the heroines seemed pretty similar to me, but I can see that a certain level of disregard for personal safety was needed or there wouldn't be much of an adventure.

Each story was a self-contained, and yet they were all interconnected and had an ongoing story that's wrapped up in the final story. There were Christian references, like Liesl smuggled New Testaments into East Berlin. It wasn't preachy but more like belief in God was a moving motive behind several people's actions.

There was no bad language and no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this exciting and interesting novel to tweens.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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