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.
©2016 Anne Nesbet, original book published by Candlewick Press. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
It's a good audio version with the added benefit of having the German bits read to you.
I loved this book! I actually visited Berlin (both West and East) a few months before the wall fell and thought the story really captured the unique Cold War situation and the energy in those last months. Nesbet does an excellent job highlighting the strangeness of the Cold War with a story involving two 10-year-olds that is both believable and yet tense. This is one of those stories that would make a good family road trip book because the story will interest all ages.
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