The Wall: Growing up behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís

As a child, Peter was forced to collect scrap metal, show off with public signs of loyalty and join the Communist youth movement, the Young Pioneers. Once he enters his teenage years, he starts to question his existence as bits of information from the Western world starts creeping through the Iron Curtain. He starts reading banned books, grows his hair out and joins a rock band. The government begins to catch on to the rebellion of its people and starts to crack down on those not following the rules, but by that point the public can no longer be suppressed.

This autobiographical graphic novel from Peter Sís is prefect if you are looking to start an exploration into the Cold War. Not only that, but there are plenty of cultural references from the time like tie-dying shirts, why people started wearing their hair long and the significance of bands like the The Beach Boys and The Beatles. I loved the use of colour Peter uses to convey certain thoughts and emotions throughout his experiences.

Peter Sís is an author and illustrator. He was born in Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the United States in 1982. He won The New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book seven times, the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal twice and is a two-time Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honoree.