The Resource Wall, Tom Clohosy Cole

Wall, Tom Clohosy Cole

Label
Wall
Title
Wall
Statement of responsibility
Tom Clohosy Cole
Creator
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Follows a small boy and his family as they try to reunite with his father after the Berlin Wall is built
Tone
Award
USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2015.
Review
  • Grades 2-4 An imposing wall, topped with barbed wire and guarded by soldiers, separates a man from his family. His son dreams of escaping to the other side, where, his mother says, life is better, but the bricks are stacked against them. Some on the boy’s side attempt to flee; some succeed, some fail. Undeterred, the boy digs a tunnel through which the family escapes, and with the merciful help of an enemy soldier, the family is reunited. Cole’s dramatic digital illustrations fill the spreads with saturated color, dynamic composition, and atmospheric lighting, conveying the narrative’s powerful intensity. Though no direct mention is made of the Berlin Wall, or the complicated politics surrounding it, this emotional story, published on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the wall’s dismantling, invites further investigation and reflection, and it may be best appreciated by older children who will want to discuss the story’s challenging, powerful imagery. For another story about young people living in military zones, pair this with Michael Forman’s A Child’s Garden (2009). -- Barthelmess, Thom (Reviewed 10-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 111, number 4, p48)
  • K-Gr 3 — In this debut picture book, Cole explores the serious theme of family separation. This title follows a young boy's struggle to reunite his family when his father is stuck on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Based on true stories, it depicts the family struggles and situation through the eyes of a child. Although trapped with his mother and sister in the East, he is heroic in his determination to find a way to reunite his family. Cole successfully uses his broad strokes of bold color to define the differences between the east and west sides of the wall. Dark tones are representative of the dismal repression of the East, while brighter colors define the freedom of the West—the place where the family will join together once more. Published to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the tearing down of the wall, this story appeals to children's natural instinct for fairness and justice. It could be paired with Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side (Putnam, 2001) to compare and contrast it with the struggle for civil rights here in the United States. For a wider world view, another choice might be Sami and the Time of Troubles (Clarion, 1992) by Florence Heide, about a child growing up in war-torn Lebanon. However used, this powerful story of family, torn apart and reunited, allows children access to an important historical event by combining strikingly bold illustrations with a carefully worded text that engages and informs. A recommended addition to any library but especially those with elementary grade patrons.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY --Carole Phillips (Reviewed October 1, 2014) (School Library Journal, vol 60, issue 10, p80)
  • The son of a family separated by the Berlin Wall narrates Cole’s (Space Race) story. His father is in the West, while the boy, his mother, and his younger sister are trapped in the East: “I worried he was lonely, but Mom said life was better over there.” The wall dominates the lives of the East German inhabitants. Escape attempts are common; ordinary citizens cheer them on. Cole’s silk screen–like digital artwork conveys this reality with unusual thoughtfulness and complexity. The images focus on the cheerless Iron Curtain landscape, gloomy expanses punctuated by intrusive beams of light, and each contains a moment of contrast or surprise. The boy succeeds in digging a tunnel to the West, bringing his mother and sister to safety, their lives spared at one point by a kindly guard (“He said nothing should come between a father and his family”). Doll-like figures temper the story’s more difficult episodes, yet Cole never hides the terror and injustice of life under totalitarian government. A brief note discusses the building of the Berlin Wall, but not Cold War politics; additional context-setting will help. Ages 4–8. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed September 22, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 38, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ British illustrator Cole's life-affirming debut for children marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A boy narrates this poignant account of a family divided by the towering wall. "My mom said that while the wall was being made, / our dad got stuck on the other side. // I worried he was lonely, / but Mom said life was better over there. // And we couldn't leave, anyway." The father's in West Berlin—free, yet consigned to life without his wife and children. The Eastern, Soviet-dominated occupation is conveyed in bleak, blue-black scenes dominated by guard towers, barbed wire and claustrophobic interiors. The boy dreams "of Dad breaking through the wall and rescuing us." Dad appears as a savior, his muddy coat radiantly backlit, shards of wall and an open book at his feet. Understanding the unlikelihood of a family reunion, the boy nonetheless imagines "all kinds of ways to get across." Some escapees breach the wall—some fail. Yet, if they do nothing, they might never find Dad. "So I started digging." Mother, son and daughter, escaping toward the tunnel, are stopped by an ultimately sympathetic guard. In a dramatic denouement, the family finds Dad, just in time—he's digging his own tunnel east. Striking, expressionist graphics and a plainspoken, minimalist text distinguish this standout. (Picture book. 5-9)(Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10376751
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Cole, Tom Clohosy
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
Elementary Grade
LC call number
PZ7.C67358
LC item number
Wal 2014
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 0
  • 3
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989
  • Family life
  • Cold War
  • Berlin (Germany)
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Wall, Tom Clohosy Cole
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Dimensions
28 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780763675608
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o869771178
  • (OCoLC)869771178
Label
Wall, Tom Clohosy Cole
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Dimensions
28 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780763675608
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o869771178
  • (OCoLC)869771178

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