Peter Sís—author, artist, and former radio DJ–grew up in the 1960s, a time of rock and roll, long hair, and freedom. His thirst for color and life would have been unbounded except for one thing. He was growing up in Prague, Czechoslovakia in the midst the Cold War. Since the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was under the control of the Soviet Union, a Communist nation that imposed strict rules on everyone under its watchful eye. Anything that had to do with the “Western” nations was banned, including blue jeans, Beatles music, and types of art that were not government-approved.
Through his diary entries and expressive drawings, we see Sís growing up, being “brain-washed” by the Communist regime, getting a taste of freedom, and then joining the struggle to bring freedom to his country. His shocking story will bring a new appreciation for the freedom that we enjoy and often take for granted.
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, by Peter Sís, is the winner of the Robert F. Sibert Award for being “the most distinguished informational book” of 2008.