The Boy Behind the Wall – Maximillian Jones

Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In 1960s Berlin, the Wall cuts right through the heart of the city, separating parks, streets and families. Harry and Jakob are both teens living on either side of the wall. When Jakob finds a message that Harry has sent over the wall, a friendship begins which will need to avoid the detection of the authorities. Risking their safety, the boys share secrets about their lives in letters.

Sooner than they imagined, their new friendship will be put to the test. Jakob has big, dangerous plans and he needs Harry’s help. Will they be prepared to risk it for each other…and freedom?

In 2017, I visited Berlin on a Year 6 school residential and we explored the city. Whilst doing this, we walked along the wall and learnt all about its history. Before this trip, I had little to no understanding of why it had been built or the way it impacted life for so many people. After hearing about East and West Germany, I was keen to find out more and ended up researching more about this period of time.

It’s not an event within history that is mentioned often within primary and I am pleased to see a book which not only addresses it but shares with children what it might have been like to live in this time; how must it have been to have a city so divided? The friendship between Harry and Jakob is a poignant one, which is full of interest and constantly changing as their situation does.

This book was well written, with the pace keeping you interested from the very start to the final page. I thought the emotion conveyed through the story was so beautifully done – this is definitely one I want to keep on my classroom shelf to help children learn more about the past.

If you like Emma Carroll’s writing, this is one you’ll want to read next!

Alongside this fantastic book, there are some resources you can use within your classroom from the publisher, Welbeck.

If you’d like to use some discussion notes in class about the book, click HERE.

If you’d like to use the resources, click HERE.

If you like the sound of this story and want to buy a copy of this book, click here:

Emily x

📚 Book gifted by publisher

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