Author: Anne Nesbet
Age group: 8 - 14
Page number: 400 pages
Summary from Amazon:
Slip behind the Iron Curtain into a world of smoke, secrets, and lies in this stunning novel where someone is always listening and nothing is as it seems.
Noah Keller has a pretty normal life, until one wild afternoon when his parents pick him up from school and head straight for the airport, telling him on the ride that his name isn’t really Noah and he didn’t really just turn eleven in March. And he can’t even ask them why — not because of his Astonishing Stutter, but because asking questions is against the newly instated rules. (Rule Number Two: Don’t talk about serious things indoors, because Rule Number One: They will always be listening). As Noah—now "Jonah Brown"—and his parents head behind the Iron Curtain into East Berlin, the rules and secrets begin to pile up so quickly that he can hardly keep track of the questions bubbling up inside him: Who, exactly, is listening — and why? When did his mother become fluent in so many languages? And what really happened to the parents of his only friend, Cloud-Claudia, the lonely girl who lives downstairs? In an intricately plotted novel full of espionage and intrigue, friendship and family, Anne Nesbet cracks history wide open and gets right to the heart of what it feels like to be an outsider in a world that’s impossible to understand.
Cloud and Wallfish definitely wants to make you think. There are so many questions and so little answers. There's a lot of mystery, and the more information the protagonist finds out, the more dangerous the situation becomes.
I really liked the Secret Files, which were put into the chapters to clarify information and help view things from a different angle. They helped me understand the history a lot better.
The author informed the reader so much about East Germany and West Germany, what was different and the problems they had. This may seem fastidious, but it was written so seamlessly that it was fun. It really helped the plot. Everything Noah, the protagonist, did had something to do with East Germany, such as their daily life and memorials.
The story was so compelling. The author helped me connect to Noah because she described the situations so well. I felt I could really understand Noah. He had move to East Germany, he was lonely, and he had no clue what was going on. He couldn't ask his parents because the Secret Police listened to their conversations. The writing really defined the mysteries that Noah tried to answer.
One thing I liked about this book was that it showed a lonely boy who found a friend. Even when they were separated, he committed to remain friends with her. That was really touching.
I also liked that the story involved the fall of the Berlin Wall, because I haven't read any historical fiction where it is mentioned. I could feel the happiness the people felt when it came down.
I give Cloud and Wallfish an eight out of ten! The writing was amazing and it told you a lot about East Germany without lecturing. I really hope you guys can read it!
Taken from her website.
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