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Escape to West Berlin

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The advent of the Wall

Heidi's thirteenth birthday is coming up, but she's disappointed -- her mother is pregnant and refuses to make the annual summer visit to Heidi's grandmother. What's more, it's 1961 and the government is cracking down on border crossers, people who work in the West but live in the East. Heidi's father is a border crosser, and her best friend, Petra, h
Published October 7th 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Eric Friedman
May 07, 2016 Eric Friedman rated it it was amazing
Escape to West Berlin
Maurine F. Dahlberg

Reflect back to your early teenage days and remember the struggle for adolescent independence and the arguments you had with your parents. Now include the unfathomable pressure of living in East Berlin in the days and hours leading up to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. What you will find yourself with is Maurine Dahlberg’s “Escape to West Berlin.”

In her family/young adult novel, Dahlberg captures the dual struggle for independence of a typical Eas
Mar 28, 2015 J.C. rated it really liked it
This book was very short and very sweet. It tells the story of Heidi, a girl living in East Berlin during the commuism years, before the wall goes up. She’s aware of her non-freedom and of all the hiding they do, but still she’s reluctant to want to leave: East Berlin has always been her home. But the problem? Her father is a border crosser and is looked down upon. Finally her family tells her it’s too risky and that a wall is being put up; they are going to have to sneak into West Berlin.

Melanie, Aaron, Annie, and Mary Project
Read by: Annie
Author: Maurine F. Dahlberg
Genre: historical fiction
Interest Level: 3-5
Grade level Equivalent: 5.1
Lexile Measure: 830L

Heidi lives in East Berlin in 1961 - right before the Berlin Wall is erected. Her father works across the border in West Berlin (a much more prosperous area), which causes the whole family to be looked upon as traitors to the cause - as though they are impeding the development of East Berlin's future perfect socialist society. Heidi's parents decide that they need t
Sep 16, 2012 Yebin rated it really liked it
This book is for readers between the ages 11 and beyond, preferably for people who are a few days away from becoming 13, (that's me!) because then they can connect with the main character, Heidi. This girl was born is East Berlin and am having a decent life until the tension between East and the West is becoming clearly much more severe. Her father is forced to quit his job in West Berlin, and then the family realizes that-well-if they stay any longer in East Berlin, they may lose whatever bits ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Maria rated it it was ok
Heidi's father works in West Berlin and crosses from East Berlin each morning and evening. Tension is mounting in the summer of 1961. Heidi's friends are calling her father a traitor and threatening the family. Will she be brave enough to leave everything behind?

Why I picked it up: Berlin holds a special part in my heart.

Why I finished it: I ended up skipping the boring parts... which makes me mad. The history is so exciting that there shouldn't be any boring parts in the story. And what's with
Apr 04, 2014 Rachelle rated it it was amazing
Masterfully touches on so many great themes: courage, love of family, forgiveness, distinguishing truth from propaganda. This takes advantage of history in so many ways with the effect of WWII, the Russians, and the interesting dynamics in pre-wall Berlin. Great reading for 9+.
Nov 12, 2008 Annaka rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
I really learned a lot about the Berlin Wall from this book. It's intense, and I couldn't put it down. Escape to West Berlin isn't part of a series, so feel free to read it!
Carolyn Tye
Apr 12, 2016 Carolyn Tye rated it really liked it
This is a good book to show middle schoolers the realities of the Berlin Wall and what it was like in communist East Berlin. It was historically accurate and interesting.
Mazzou B
Jul 08, 2015 Mazzou B rated it liked it
Good picture of life in East Berlin for young readers. As far as I know, there aren't too many fictional books set in this time period so I appreciated it.
Tiffany Byers
Apr 13, 2012 Tiffany Byers rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this in fifth grade I loved historical fiction and this was a book that I couldn't put down and read over and over again.
Partridge Public
Sep 17, 2007 Partridge Public added it
Recommends it for: JF Dah
Shelves: juniorfiction
Dahlberg, Maurine F.
Feb 27, 2012 Lauryn rated it liked it
This was a pretty good,small book it was about the wall in germany and how a little girl and her family are trying to escape to west berlin (kinda obvious:)!
Mar 05, 2012 Hailey rated it it was amazing
This was the best book I have ever read so far!! It was about a girl that tried to get over the wall but I wont spoil the rest!!
Mar 05, 2014 Carri rated it liked it
We read this in preparation to a trip to Berlin. It was great for my elementary age kids to help them understand what happened when the wall went up.
Katie-Lee rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2014
Gretchen Price
Gretchen Price rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2009
Haylie rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2011
Stacie rated it really liked it
May 21, 2017
Tabitha rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2015
Joelle rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
Aimee rated it really liked it
May 11, 2008
Xian rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2011
Brady Baca
Brady Baca rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2013
Kathleen W
Kathleen W rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2012
Jun 07, 2007 Angela rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this with my son.
Porky rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2015
Amanda rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2016
This was a well-done and age-appropriate story about when the Berlin Wall went up. Lily gave it 4 stars. She's been a bit obsessed with the Berlin Wall since we went there a few years ago.
Leon Birdi
Leon Birdi rated it it was ok
Aug 29, 2014
Katie-Lee rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2009
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MAURINE F. DAHLBERG is the author of Escape to West Berlin, an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and two other novels for young readers. She lives in Springfield, Virginia.
More about Maurine F. Dahlberg...

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