Escaping…

Cole, Tom Clohosy. Wall. Somerville, Mass.: Templar Books, 2014.
In 1961, families found themselves suddenly separated by the Berlin Wall. East Berlin was under Communist rule and people were not permitted to cross the wall and join their relatives in the West.  In this evocatively illustrated picture book, a young boy is determined to find a way for his family to be reunited. Told from the first person point of view and based on true stories, Wall is recommended for readers 8 years old and up. (Artists interested in seeing how to depict night-time scenes may appreciate analyzing the illustrations which were created digitally but provide ideas for working with pastels.)

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Who will speak up?

Kreller, Susan. You Can’t See Elephants. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015.
Two children are beaten by their parents and no one does anything about it. No one in the neighbourhood says a word. Except 13-year-old Mascha. Sent to live with her grandparents for the summer, she befriends Julia and Max. And courageously tries to rescue them.
This insightful award-winning novel – translated from the German by Elizabeth Gaffney – will appeal to thoughtful readers 11 years old and up. [Brothers and sisters; Child abuse; Germany; Grandparents; Parent and child]

More stories of individuality HERE.

More stories of child abuse HERE.

Lesser, Rika. Hansel and Gretel. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1999, c1984.
This fairy tale is one the first oral stories collected by the Brothers Grimm in Kassel, Germany. While there are many other versions, this one is closer to the original story from the early 1800s.  Interestingly, there is no stepmother in this story; it is the mother herself who does not want her children. The emotive illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky enhance the dark foreboding storyline as well as the joyous ending.  Highly recommended for ages 6 and up.

More fairy tales HERE.