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Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community
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Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  102 reviews
One creative boy.
One bare, abandoned wall.
One BIG idea.

There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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What brings a community together? What makes a community proud? Susan Verde is exploring those questions in this story just a little from a child’s perspective. The children get to be the creative force. They are empowered.

There is a huge blue wall in the neighborhood, it’s not pretty or welcoming and people tend to ignore it. Until, a child decides it’s time to do something to beautify that wall so it will attract people. The kids come up with a plan and they paint a mural. Now the community g
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

I am a HUGE fan of street art and murals. The way murals can change the feel and look of an area dazzles me! The colors jump off the walls to brighten your day. The images or words speak to you with heart and meaning. A piece can contain such raw power!

Hey, Wall by Susan Verde lets the reader in on one boy’s talk with a rundown community wall.

“No one looks up at you.
There is nothing to cheer for.
You are only lonely concrete.”

This young boy is an artist though. A changer and motivator! By bringin
Ms. Arca
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the concept, especially as a refocusing on positive ways that we can think about walls. This is an example of a positive wall and a positive example of community working together to create something they can all enjoy. I think I must be becoming a picture book snob because I found the writing/ storytelling to be just ok. That being said, I would read this with kids for the example of working together and getting them excited about an uplifting communal project.
The young narrator of this recent picture-book from author Susan Verde and illustrator John Parra addresses himself to the massive wall which dominates his neighborhood. Bare, blank, uncared-for, the wall feels cold and lonely to the boy. As he and his friends go about their lives, so full of fun and laughter, the wall is always there in the background. Finally, the boy enlists the entire community's help, in turning the wall into something beautiful - something that reflects who they are how th ...more
Christine (Tina)
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Public art made accessible for young children. Read this book with your children to allow them to ask questions and make proclamations of recognition the next time you visit a major city or an eclectic town. (We live in an area where we do not have to wander far to participate in public art displayed on all sorts of walls!)
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
A boy and his neighbors work together to make a beautiful mural of neighborhood memories on an old wall. It’s a story of community spirit, and working together, and pride, and remembrance, of making something ugly into something beautiful.
Michele Knott
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful book, one you'll want to refer back to throughout the year. ...more
Jillian Heise
Loved this picture book on building community, celebrating street art, empowering kids to use their voice, pride in their neighborhoods, and showing the value of coming together to support each other. The illustrations are fantastic. I'd pair with Last Stop on Market Street and Maybe Something Beautiful. ...more
For a book about art, the artwork and pictures do the story themes justice. It would be interesting to pair with Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena for a discussion about kid-led activism and experiences in urban communities.
Edward Sullivan
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, picture-books
Great story about neighbors coming together to make a wall a community canvas. Lovely illustrations by John Parra.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational, great for building community. Student-artits will love this one!
Margaret Boling
12/1/2018 ~ A celebration of community - making our home more beautiful. I also loved the child activism here.
Ms. B
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, picture
Picture book about kids creating street art. I loved that the author's note at the end of the book explained the difference between street art and graffiti. ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this realistic fiction for Children's Books group, Sept. 2020. The author and illustrator are from NYC and southern California, according to interesting & helpful notes, but this could take place in any diverse and challenged sector. Well, except perhaps for the rooftop party... I've never lived where that was possible. Anyway, a lovely story about neighbors, especially children, coming together to create street art and to strengthen the ties of the community.

Btw I particularly liked the
Angel's neighborhood has fallen on hard times as one of the buildings has been abandoned, leaving an ugly concrete wall to blight the area's appearance. Angel and his friends focus on the delights of the neighborhood, barely noticing the wall as they play and wait for flowers to grow through the cracks in the sidewalk. After hearing his grandmother's stories about how the area once was attractive, Angel decides to do something about that wall. He gathers his art materials and those around him, a ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book tells the story of a large, blank wall and a boy who sees the possibilities in it. The wall is cold and empty, ignored. People walk past, skateboard by. In the winter, dirty snow is shoveled up against it. Though flowers poke up through the sidewalk, they don’t visit the wall. Then the boy decides to change things. He and his friends come together to create a plan for the wall that with a lot of creativity and hard work becomes a new mural that reflects all of the action in the ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Hey, Wall : A story of Art and Community by Susan Verde, illustrated by John Para, PICTURE BOOK Simon and Schuster, 201.8 $18. 9781481453134


There is a large wall in the neighborhood - as big as a city block. Life goes on around it, but it stays the same. One day, a boy decides to turn the wall into a mural - something that tells everyone about who they are and what is special to them. But he can't do it alone!

I appreciate the author
Susan Verde and John Parra have collaborated to create this wonderful book to celebrate street art and artists. A young boy strolls through his streets, often by this worn out wall, calling "Hey, Wall" telling how no one looks at it anymore, once 'full of style', but now 'cold, old, empty.' He speaks of the community, shown wonderfully by John Parra: alive and happy all through the seasons, inside cooking and eating and laughing with love and joy. He asks the wall: "Can you hear our music? We ar ...more
Christine Turner
Storytime theme: Community, Change, Imagination, etc...

One creative boy.
One bare, abandoned wall.
One BIG idea.

A boy takes on a community art project in order to make his neighborhood more beautiful in this empowering and inspiring picture book by Susan Verde, stunningly illustrated by award-winning artist John Parra.

There is a wall in Ángel's neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can'
A young boy talks about his diverse neighborhood's stories and closeness, then works with his friends & family to design a mural depicting it on a blank wall. Acrylic paint illustrations are by John Parra, and notes from both creators talk about the difference between street art and graffiti, and the power of community murals. I love the author's dedication: "To street artists everywhere: thank you for your creativity, bravery, activism, and ability to start a conversation."

This make me think o
Tabatha Krieger
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
The neighborhood is full of friends, music, food, dancing, memories, and joy. The ugly, crumbling, brick wall is gloom. But one boy has a plan to change all that. He dreams and draws and then, with the help of the whole neighborhood, transforms the wall into a magnificent piece of art; now a true reflection of their collective home.

I thought the message of coming together to make something beautiful in your community was inspiring.

Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
"One creative boy. One bare, abandoned wall. One BIG idea." (from back cover) A boy visits a wall many times during the seasonal changes in his neighborhood. The wall sees a lot of activity, but just stands there, empty and bare. Now the boy decides that the community should change the wall and make it lively, colorful, beautiful. "A story of art and community." ...more
Katie Reilley
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had a chance to read a F & G copy of this picture book through my #bookexpedition group.

Inspiring story that celebrates the way art can give kids a voice, bring a community together, and feel pride in their neighborhood.

I appreciated the back matter from the author and illustrator, who both shared how street art has influenced them.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story of how one young boy restored a sense of pride to his community by convincing the people in the neighborhood to revive their forgotten memories by painting them on a wall. The mural painting brought the people together, and attention to the forgotten, and overlooked wall, bringing life to it.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because this wall is very lonely and it looks very old so they dream things and they put them on the wall that they dream of. That's because he thinks the wall's so lonely and so lonely so they make friends, big ones, so they can see them very well. But if you're small people the wall can't see you very well. But if they're big people the wall can see you very well. ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As I read this story I felt the cadence and rhythm of a spoken word artist in the words. The illustrations and words come together to show the strong sense of community. The wall is an extension of the community and the youth take pride in their work. An inspiring and fun story with a lot to discover in the illustrations.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the chance to read this book at NErDCampMI. It is a lovely book about a boy working to improve the beauty of his neighborhood. Lovely illustrations and message that would pair nicely with Maybe Something Beautiful.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A nice way to introduce young ones to street art.

The small town the library is in, recently created street art on the of the local businesses that much needed an update on it's outside.

It catches my eye each time I drive by.
Viviane Elbee
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Great book for art fans, with kids who decorate a lonely and abandoned wall in their city block. Kids enjoyed it.

The narrator talks to the wall, giving this book a unique POV.
MeganRuth - Alohamora Open a Book
I love the concept of this book. Taking a big wall that was ignored and making it the story of the people. Transforming it into a mural. It's a beautiful idea, and I love when beautiful things like that occur. The illustrations are wonderful, but the writing didn't draw me in like other Verde books have. ...more
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Susan Verde is a New York Times bestselling children’s author, children’s yoga and mindfulness expert, former teacher, and parent. By 2022 she will have more than 20 picture books in the marketplace. She is a highly sought after speaker at conferences, festivals, and schools across the nation, and spends half the year on the road working with children and families. Verde is a frequent contributor ...more

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