Review Blog

May 13 2013

The wall by William Sutcliffe

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 978 1 4088 3842 6.
Joshua and his friend David are playing football when David kicks the ball into a construction site surrounded by a high fence. When Joshua goes to retrieve the ball he discovers a flattened house and a tunnel which goes under the wall which divides the new town from the old. Joshua goes through the tunnel but is pursued by some boys who clearly mean him harm. He is also amazed at the difference between this place and the new town that he lives in, only separated by the wall and the soldiers that guard it. After being saved by a girl and meeting her family Joshua begins to question the system and tries to find a way to help them. His own family life is unhappy as his stepfather is a bully who barely contains his dislike and his mother is manipulated and still grieving for his dead father. Eventually Joshua is forced to make important decisions about his own life and future.
A thinly disguised look at Arab-Israeli relations this book presents a view of both sides but allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. I would recommend it for middle school students as a good introduction that may well lead to further discussion and study.
David Rayner

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