The Wall

Elizabeth Lutzeier, Author
Elizabeth Lutzeier, Author Holiday House $14.95 (153p) ISBN 978-0-8234-0987-7
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Every word in this account of life in East Germany just prior to reunification might be true, but Lutzeier's horrified tones and monolithic approach undercut her credibility. When Hannah's mother is killed while trying to drive across the Berlin Wall, Hannah and her father must feign indifference in order to keep the authorities from declaring their home unfit. Hannah's best friend defects with her family, and Hannah takes up with a freethinker named Steffi, who inspires her to acts of defiance. The atmosphere is almost inescapably repressive: the school monitors their private lives; participation in Party functions is virtually mandatory; Big Brother sees and hears everything. Hannah's astonishment and the freshness of her outrage at the regime she's grown up with smack of the propagandist's trade. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
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