From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.
With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.
But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?
I love historical fiction books and I really liked this one. I knew very little about the Berlin Wall or the people who were stuck in the east part of the city during this time period so I found that very interesting- interesting enough that I went and found additional information about the Iron Curtain. The book has kind of a slow pace as Fritz and Gerta struggle day to day to keep their tunnel concealed, but the pace really picks up towards the end where they have to complete the tunnel and try to leave the city before Fritz is captured by the East German soldiers. The book is held together by the strong relationships that Gerta has with her family and by the fact that she will risk everything- including her life- to be together as a family again.