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A Great Escape

By Felice Arena

Reviewed by Sue Wright

When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Germany was reunified. A Great Escape tells the story of Peter, a young boy living in East Germany (1961) at the time of partition.

When the border between East and West suddenly slams shut, Peter finds himself trapped in East Germany with his Oma and Opa, while his Mother, Father and sister are in the West. Peter tries desperately to find a way across the border to rejoin his family, but the cruelty of the government grows as the wall is built.

Despite the ever present danger, Peter finds new friends and the possibility of escape becomes real, but there are hard choices to be made.

Felice Arena’s prose is sparing, and he uses it to great effect to quickly draw the reader in to Peter’s world, the realities of conflict and the devastating consequences for families.

Shortlisted for the Book Links Award for Historical Fiction for Children

Puffin 2019

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