Walls - with signed bookplate - by L.M. Elliott

Walls - with signed bookplate - by L.M. Elliott


Can two cousins on opposite sides of the Cold War and a divided city come together when so much stands between them? 

Drew is an army brat in West Berlin, where soldiers like his dad hold an outpost of democracy against communist Russia. Drew’s cousin Matthias, an East Berliner, has grown up in the wreckage of Allied war bombing, on streets ruled by the secret police.

From enemy sides of this Cold War standoff, the boys become wary friends, arguing over the space race, politics, even civil rights, but bonding over music. If informants catch Matthias with rock ’n’ roll records or books Drew has given him, he could be sent to a work camp. If Drew gets too close to an East Berliner, others on the army post may question his family’s loyalty. As the political conflict around them grows dire, Drew and Matthias are tested in ways that will change their lives forever.

Set in the tumultuous year leading up to the surprise overnight raising of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, and illustrated with dozens of real-life photographs of the time, Walls brings to vivid life a heroic and tragic episode of the Cold War.

Kirkus 100 Best YA Novels 2021

Kirkus Best Historical Fiction 2021

NCSS/CBC Notable


For reviews and media tab: 

Kirkus Starred Review: "Young people, separated by politics and ideology, search for common ground: Berlin, 1960. His dad’s latest tour of duty brings 15-year-old Drew and his family to a city divided—a fact brought home by meeting his cousin Matthias who lives in the city’s Communist-controlled section. As the teens warily circle each other, conflicting in temperaments as well as doctrinaire views of each other’s cultures, but gradually building bonds, Elliott both fills in the historical background and crafts a tale of rising tensions that culminates in a suspenseful climax that catches Drew on the wrong side of the East-West barrier that literally springs up overnight... A sensitive exploration of cogent themes in a richly detailed historical setting."


Publishers' Weekly Starred Review: "An expertly crafted, evocative time capsule."

Booklist“Elliott’s latest is set a year prior to the unexpected rise of the Berlin Wall, incorporating all kinds of historical context, including science, world events, politics, and entertainment, through pictures at the beginning of each chapter, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the period. The portrayal of events is first-rate, creating a poignant yet lighthearted read.” 

author bio: L. M. Elliott was an award-winning magazine journalist in Washington, D.C. before becoming a New York Times best-selling author of twelve historical and biographical young adult novels. Her works have been named NCSS/CBC Notables, Bank Street College of Education Best Books, Jefferson Cup Historical Fiction Honor Books, Grateful American Book Prize winners, Kirkus 100 Best YA Books, Battle of the Books choices, and been included on TX, VA, MD, PA, IO, and SC state award finalist lists. They include WALLS Hamilton And Peggy!, Suspect Red, Under a War-torn Sky, and Da Vinci’s Tiger. Her latest work, Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves, is a home-front story set in Tidewater Virginia during the U-boat attacks of 1942 and has received three starred reviews with Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and ALA Booklist.