Set in Cold War Germany at the time the Berlin Wall is built, Peter lives in East Berlin with his extended family and spends most of his time playing with friends on the streets outside his apartment.
Peter loves to ride his bike and push himself to the limit by doing tricks and jumps to impress his friends, Hubert and Max. Despite being kids, the boys are aware of the tense political situation via their parents and often find themselves disagreeing on who is right and who is a traitor.
One day however, all of this becomes much more than an argument to win for Peter. His mother and sister have set off to West Berlin in search of accommodation. The time has come for them to move from the Soviet occupied East but when they try to return, they are faced with a barbwire fence that has been erected and is being guarded by soldiers.
Shocked and devastated, Peter runs to the check point to see if he can make it through to his parents but crowds are gathering and there is growing unrest.
Grandparents, Oma and Opa warn Peter that despite his despair at the separation, he mustn’t try to escape or do anything reckless. He listens to this advice but has already decided he will go to any lengths to get over the new wall. Witness to many distressing scenes as people desperately try to reunite with loved ones, Peter is not deterred.
If adults can’t manage to get over the wall then how can Peter a boy on his own do it? Yet Peter has more determination than most and when he stumbles on what he believes is a fool proof plan…
We must confess that Better Reading Kids is a big fan of Felice Arena’s books. He is also an author that is constantly out and about talking to children in schools about history, writing and reading so he has many fans – your kids will definitely know who he is.
As with his last book Fearless Frederic, he takes a pivotal point in history and instead of delivering facts in a dry prescriptive way, injects them with life and personalises the events so that readers can begin to experience for themselves what the children who lived through these moments, endured.
Readers 8+ will find this book interesting, exciting and accessible. If you’re wanting to transition a previously reluctant reader to a story with slightly more complexity in the plot, then a Felice Arena book would be one of the first points of call.
Felice Arena is one of Australia’s best-loved children’s writers. He is the author and creator of many popular and award-winning children’s books for all ages, including the acclaimed historical adventures The Boy and the Spy and Fearless Frederic, the bestselling Specky Magee books and the popular Andy Roid and Sporty Kids series.