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The Wall

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  985 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
Joshua lives with his mother and step-father in Amarias, an isolated town, where all the houses are brand new. Amarias is surrounded by a high wall, guarded by soldiers, which can only be crossed through a heavily fortified checkpoint. Joshua has been taught that the Wall is the only thing keeping his people safe from a brutal and unforgiving enemy.

One day, Joshua stumbles
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Walker Childrens
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Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)

I must apologize in advance for the tear drops splattered across this review. I tried to contain them but they just kept coming. The Wall is one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I've read in many, many years. While The Wall is set in a fictional location its plot and what it represents is very real.

Joshua is such a great, moral character. He tries so hard to do what is right knowing what it would cost him and those he loves if found out. Joshua is a true force for good in a world th
Susan Abulhawa
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Here is the review I published a while ago. (I reserve 5 stars for a select few books in my life; so a 4-star rating is truly a high rating from me)

Writing a novel that depicts an oppressed society when you are not a member of that society is a risky undertaking in my estimation. When it comes to the Palestinian narrative, the task is even more sensitive, as Western audiences have mostly been exposed to reductive stories, written by non-Palestinians.
It is
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-lit
I hesitated over the rating for this book, 4 or 5 stars. In the end I went for 5 despite - or because of - its flaws. The situation portrayed is not clear cut, there are no easy answers and no one escapes undamaged by the events in it. I don't agree with one of the other reviewers that the portrayal is one sided; I think the author does a good job of showing that fear on both sides and a failure to see the "enemy" as fellow humans is at the core of the entrenched positions which form the framewo ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the beginning of this novel, you think you are in a dystopian world with the forbidding Wall and the tunnel which snakes underneath it to the other side into a very unfamiliar world. A tense and gripping read, you soon realise that the setting is a contemporary dystopia - it mirrors what is played out daily in the West Bank. Although never mentioned specifically, the adult reader comes to understand that Joshua is an Israeli and the people on the other side are Palestinian.

Sutcliffe has writt
Anni K. Mars
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ein tolles Jugendbuch über einen Konflikt, den es in unserer Welt auch gibt. Ich bin Joshua sehr gern gefolgt. Von diesem Autor werde ich noch mehr lesen :)
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
The Wall is a hard book to review. It's really an analysis of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the West Bank in particular, thinly disguised as fiction. Joshua is a young boy on one side of the wall who through a series of fortunate (or unfortunate) events comes into contact with and befriends a family from the other side. The friendship will have profound consequences on his own life and the lives of those around him.

On the one hand, there are many things that William Sutcliffe does just righ
Suzanne Moore
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-reads
Joshua's city is surrounded by a wall and military checkpoints. It is believed that those who live on the opposite side of the wall are dangerous, terrorists. When Joshua's soccer ball is accidentally kicked into a building site he climbs over the wall to retrieve it and discovers a tunnel. This raises his curiosity and soon he is crawling through the tunnel into another world. Written in five parts, Joshua returns to the forbidden side of the wall after a girl there helps him escape from a gang ...more
Olivia Scarozza
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE FINISHED THIS BOOK!!! It was required for school and I struggled through the first hundred pages in which the protagonist was in serious need of an adventure. But, in the end I feel like I have a much better perspective on struggles in Israel.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I picked up the book and read the back cover, I thought it would be something like the maze runner. But I was so wrong, so wrong. Although the beginning is a bit slow, I found myself reading and not able to stop. Just like Joshua, you don't know about the world out there at first. And then you slowly built knowledge around that. I think he's very brave, his attitude. That really touched me. The ending was the least what I had expected and it made me sad but also really emotional. The messag ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Sometimes when you pick up a book, it seems like fiction. There is a dystopian feel to the story and as the plot develops and thickens a reader may wonder how society came to be some way. How could a people segregate others, or deny whole groups of people something, because they have determined it to be so. How can an army act a certain way, or how can children be raised to hate or fear others, convinced that some people are so different than them; their way of life so much different.
There is
Apr 14, 2015 rated it did not like it

I do not recommend this book due to the fact that it was dreadfully horrible and is not worth anybody’s time. Keep in mind that I’m not simply stating that the book was horrible, but I have evidence that supports my claim.

First of all, the characters in the book were not easy to relate to. I don’t think that many people in the world have ever seen the palestinian territories in person, or have had to deal with checkpoints and curfew. We feel sympathy for
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for shadowing the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal.

Joshua lives in a fiction town called Amarias, a place where everything is perfect, new and safe. The town is surrounded by a high wall and protected by soldiers, what lies on the other side is the enemy, people who seek to harm them. One day Joshua finds a tunnel which takes him to the other side of the wall. What he finds there is unexpected kindness and a debt of friendship that he feels he can never repay.

Reading that description o
Nov 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't really know what to think about this book. I really enjoyed it but found it slightly confusing and aching.

Joshua is definitely a brave boy I don't think I would have found the courage to go over the fence to get the football, let alone go inside the tunnel and up the other side. The war was never really explained and at times I was wondering who the fenced in people actually were, obviously Leila and her family on the other side were the most restricted with curfews and patrols and havin
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book. The main character is wholly relatable (and I am nowhere near 13 nor a boy). The location where the story takes place could easily be anywhere on Earth, or even in some other universe parallel to our own. Although there are some hints which place Joseph and his world, and these hints grown more specific and more frequent toward the end, after you already know everything important there is to know about him.

I believe this would be an excellent book to discuss in a book group or in
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
An extarodinary story about a boy who lives on the West Bank and after loosing a football finds a tunnel that takes him through to " the other side of the wall" where he didcovers a whole new way of living that he was unaware of and meets and befriends " the enemy" .. it tests everything he knows about his daily life, loyalties, friendshps and even his relationship with his parents..excellent sense of place, a bit clunky in places, and not an enjoyable read..but good recomendaion folr lovers of ...more
Pam Saunders
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wall, ever present, and not questioned until Joshua's football is lost on the other side. When retrieving it, a small act of rebellion, which leads to more and more rebellious behaviour, and unlike the first one, not based on boredom. For Joshua discovers a tunnel, a dark enticing tunnel which he finds he can't resist and having crawled through to the other side he finds a life and people who challenges all he has been told, especially by his step father. How far should he go?

A serious read
Edward Sullivan
Though described by the subtitle as a fable, this novel is clearly about the West Bank and the violent conflict Israeli settlements have brought to that region. Readers unfamiliar with the real-life Palestinian-Israeli conflict upon which the story is based are likely to take it for dystopian fiction, which seems at least appropriate for the Palestinian side. Classroom or small group discussion will be needed to get the most of this intriguing, provocative story.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: carnegie
Brilliant. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and it is an excellent read. I can't recommend it highly enough it should be read in every secondary school and well worth reading by adults. It left me feeling that even in the most difficult situations that there is always hope even if one person wants to change it.
Joshua Harkin
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. At first I thought it was just another dystopian story until it hit me all of a sudden that the story was a reflection of the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict. From there the book really opened up to me and grabbed my attention.
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Powerful, emotional, tense and beautifully written

Me ha gustado mucho esta lectura, aunque quizá me esperaba un poco más.
Brin Murray
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Joshua is a Jewish boy living in the Israeli occupied territories with his mum and stepdad. A Wall with a checkpoint divides his smart new-build half of the town from the older, under-resourced and derelict Palestinian half. Hatred and fear are a normal part of everyday life for people on both sides of the divide, but one side has most of the guns and money.
The specifics are never detailed; theoretically, this could be a troubled situation anywhere. This is a conceit which I think on the whole w
Cheryn H
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
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Yes indeed, I do recommend the novel “The Wall” by William Sutcliffe. The book was filled with realistic scenes, as well as powerful description, and a symbolic conflict within the main character, Joshua. One of the reasons why I enjoyed the book so much was the author’s amazing description. For example, when Joshua went inside of the t
Danial Tanvir
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
this was a very childish book indeed.
it took me about four days to read it.
it is actually about a thirteen years old boy called Joshua who lives with his mother and his step father in a town called Amarias.
his real father has passed away and he is the only child.
this is the plot of the story.
one day he is playing foot ball with his very good friends David and while looking for the foot ball he comes across a wall.

this is actually a secret wall which the people don't want the public to know about
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the writing was good and the ending definitely surprised me, however the middle section felt a little long. It wouldn't have held my attention as much if I read this as a teen as I had no understanding or comprehension of Israel and Palestine back then, saying that though teens of today who are interested in world events would get more from reading it.
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, palestine
This is the best book I have read in a very long time. The writing style is really good and the best thing is that the ending leaves you feeling empty and full of energy at the same time, without being a happy Disney-ish ending. I feel like this would be super useful as an introduction to the way the conflict is part of the every day lives of the people.
Mark Renaud
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of friendship, loyalty and commitment, across social barriers and divides.
It was all the more poignant in that I read it while I was in the Holy Land, staying in Bethlehem, which is in the Palestinian West Bank.
Guadalupe Villicaña
Es una novela que pasa volando. Uno de las mejores elementos de la historia es la forma en que el protagonista va creciendo, madurando hasta forjar su mente y espíritu.
Darcy Leerhoff
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the highest rating that I've ever given to a book that I didn't understand the purpose of.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein großartig geschriebenes Buch, das mich tief bewegt und mir den Israel-Palästina-Konflikt auf eine ganz andere, persönliche Art gezeigt hat.
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Sha Tin College C...: Carnegie Shortlist 2014: The wall 2 4 Apr 08, 2014 01:13AM  
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William Sutcliffe was born in 1971 in London. He is the author of eight novels, New Boy, Are You Experienced?, The Love Hexagon, Bad Influence, Whatever Makes You Happy, The Wall, Concentr8 and We See Everything, which have been translated into twenty-six languages.

The Wall was shortlisted for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Are You Experienced? has been reissued on the prestigious Penguin Essenti
More about William Sutcliffe

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“Mysteries are for solving, walls are for climbing, secret hideouts are for exploring. That’s just how things are.” 1 likes
“Now I have a choice. I can go back up, collect my football, and head home; or I can go through. I know what I ought to do. I know what every other boy in Amarias would do. But as I see it, those are the two best reasons there could possibly be for doing the opposite.” 0 likes
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